Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Ginger Challenge

Tried the cinnamon challenge? Tried the milk challenge? Run out of challenges to film for You Tube?  Now try the GINGER CHALLENGE! Simply take a lump of root ginger, shave off the bark until it's bright yellow, then pop it into your arsehole! 

Can you endure the GINGER CHALLENGE?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Good times!

So Julia took me to Kew Gardens today.  I can tell you now, as a gardener and a scientist, to be taken around Kew by someone far more experienced both as a gardener and as a scientist is a hell of a thing!  I probably picked up as much in an afternoon as I might in a month of books!  I'm tremendously grateful for the experience, and if someone ever offers you a similar afternoon I suggest you take them up on it.

I has a happy :)


It's half past seven on a Saturday morning and nobody else in the house is up and about yet, nobody's bothering me, and I'm sitting under a quilt with a mug of coffee, watching last night's Gardener's World that I set to tape (because White Supremacy World got cancelled).

Nothing beats it.  A quiet half hour to yourself in the morning, a chance to ease yourself into the day pleasantly, it's better than chocolate, sex, ice cream...   Alright, it might be drawing with ice cream.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Shed dramas

The shed - paid for before I thumped my right hand - is being delivered Ikea-style on Monday.  I'm in no fit state to build a shed, though thankfully I've got help.

I went up to B&Q in Chiswick today to pick up some woodstain: 2.5L of Cuprinol garden shades in Iris if I could get it, else Barleywood.  I've been planning where the shed is going for well over a year now and I always pictured it as stained dark blue with the trim (doorframe, corner edgings) painted gloss white.  I don't know why I pictured those colours, but I did, and now that's what my shed looks like.

Turns out they do the range in 2.5L, and they do both Iris and Barleywood, but they don't do either of those colours in 2.5L.  They stock everything but dark blue in 2.5L.  Bugger.  I could buy two 1L cans, but they're £14 apiece while a 2.5L can would be £19, meaning I'd be paying damn near 150% the price for only 80% the amount of woodstain.  Sod that for a laugh!

So the shed's coming, sure as Winter in Westeros, but I've got no stain, half a hand, and I've still not built the bearers yet.



Here's the finalised layout for the arable side of the garden.  I've got the wood ready.  All I'm waiting on now is for my hand to heal up and the damn thing's as good as built.  This is just the right half; try to imagine that off to the left is the path and then the lawn.  All unmarked greenery is Rosemary whilst the purple is climbing flowers.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Roll on the weekend!

So the first of my sledgehammer wounds has healed over, leaving a patch of rough skin.  The second keeps catching things and reopening, but it'll heal eventually.  The bones no longer hurt, though the joints and muscles are still problematic.

Saturday I'm going to Kew again.  Sunday I'm resuming light work in the garden.  Monday I get to pick up the xbox again - Commander Shepard has been at a loss without me!

The care work is at an end thanks to a restructuring of how budgets are assigned - Tory bastards - so I'm looking for work.  Squires, Homebase or Wickes would be ideal for me, but anything's alright.

I've been passing the time by revisiting The Kingkiller Chronicles.  Honestly, there's scarcely such thing as too much of that dodgy little Ruh bastard.  I've also been taking bets on the events of The Doors of Stone, such as:

Lorren is involved with the Amyr,
Meluen is Kvothe's aunt,
Denna dies,
Ambrose kills Simmon in Kvothe's place, Kvothe kills Ambrose,
Kilvin was a boy soldier,
Arwyl sponsors Kvothe to El'the
The plot somehow turns on Elodin.
Not a clue what happens with Wilem, though again I doubt he survives.
Kvothe doesn't manage to kill the Seven.

We shall see.  In the meantime I'll be picking up the second half of A Dance with Dragons shortly.  I've no idea where this one's going so spoilers will be nutted.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

On Lucy Meadows

If this case ain't the straw that breaks the camel's back with regards to the press then I don't know what is.

Teachers require scrutiny, of course, as they teach children all day.  Thing is, teaching has a statutory regulator which decides what the standards are and who is falling short; something the press lack.  Today we find ourselves in a world where the most bigoted and fearmongering journalist for the most bigoted and fearmongering mainstream newspaper can hound an innocent person to death without any fear of being held accountable for his actions.

No.  This is unacceptable.  There is no "free press" anyway, and nor were their actions in this case legal, but they can get away with it.  The "freedom of the press" amounts to nothing more than a series of crimes that we all know they won't be prosecuted for committing.

There needs to be a law governing press activity, and it needs to read as follows:

A journalist or media business of any kind cannot begin to investigate the private life of any individual unless they have reasonable grounds to suspect that they will find information relating to some act of public misfeasance committed by the individual under investigation, nor can they publish any such details that do not have any bearing on an act of public misfeasance committed by the individual in question.  

Or as an example, an MP having an affair is committing an act of private misfeasance, so it cannot be published.  An MP having an affair who uses his expenses to buy the silence of his mistress is committing an act of public misfeasance, so the whole business can be published.

A teacher is not doing wrong by being trans, so digging into such a person's private life should be unlawful.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cool Animal of the Month, 03/13: Hallucinogenic Frogs!

Link to article here.

And a warning about the seriousness of licking amphibians:

On complaints

It's needed saying for a while now: you have an absolute right to complain about the behaviour of another person.  You do not have an absolute right to see that person punished if they've done nothing wrong.

Now in this oft-repeated story there are two stereotypes who crop up again and again.  We have the Grumpy Granny, and we have Daily Mail Bloke.  The victim can be practically anybody, though teenagers, ethnic minorities, the working class and the poor all seem to have a greater than average tendency to fall victim to this.  Note that the name Daily Mail Bloke refers to the mindset of your average Daily Mail reader rather than the Daily Mail itself.  Although...

Scene:  A sunny Saturday afternoon.  A bunch of teenage boys are sitting on a park bench, discussing Life, the Universe, and Everything.  Alright, they're discussing football and women.  A constable approaches...

Copper:  Alright lads, do you mind telling me what you're doing here?
Boys:  Just talking with my friends, passing the day.  
Copper:  I'm afraid we've had a complaint from the Grumpy Granny, so I'm going to have to ask you to leave.  
Boys:  But we haven't done anything, we're just sitting here.  
Copper:  Yes, but we've had a complaint, you see.  We have to do something because we've had a complaint.  
I overhear this same discussion once a week around here.  It's ridiculous that people think like this.  We are all citizens, we all have a right to enjoy our city in whatever lawful way we see fit, yet half a dozen citizens at a time can have that right impinged upon by the authorities because the Grumpy Granny says she doesn't like the look of them.  It's a joke!

Radnor Gardens, the wee park at the bottom of my street, is routinely used by anglers fishing in the Thames. A couple months ago, Daily Mail Bloke walked up to an angler to tell him that he didn't like the look of him.  The angler - quite correctly - told Daily Mail Bloke to piss off.  Daily Mail Bloke went home and complained to the council that "the fishermen in Radnor Gardens are all very rude and antisocial".  Again, the word of one man against the characters of many.  Sure enough, fishing was banned for a fortnight in Radnor Gardens.

Are we serious?  Are we as a society so hellbent on ensuring that no complaint goes unremedied that we are willing to suspend all rights to leisure time just in case the oversensitive, bigoted sensibilities of the Grumpy Granny and Daily Mail Bloke are slighted by our presence?

No, but nor will we do anything about it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

On Steubenville

Trigger warning

The Steubenville gang-rape has brought an important fact to light: women should not get drunk, lest they be raped.

Okay, I'll bite.

Ladies, don't be drunk,
don't be sober,
don't walk alone at night,
don't go out in broad daylight.
Don't be a granny,
don't be a baby,
don't wear skirts,
and don't wear trousers.
Don't be straight,
don't be gay,
in fact don't even exist,
or else take some damn responsibility for what happens to the rapist.

As you can see, it's very hard for a woman - men too, but mostly women - to live her life without handing some manner of ammunition to a rapist, sometimes even after she's done living her life.  The internet is alight with discussion as to how this case is a lesson to young men about the perils of social media - a sentiment echoed by the judge himself - when it should be a lesson to young men about how it's wrong to go around raping.

CNN has lamented the fact that the boys will have to sign the sex offenders' register and have that looming over them, but they raped somebody!  At the time that they raped her, they admitted they weren't even sure if she was alive or dead, but they raped her all the same then urinated on her body when they were done.  They carry hatred and contempt for women to such a degree that it makes them a great danger to any woman within striking distance yet CNN finds it uncomfortable that others be allowed to know this fact in order to maintain public safety.

Others have said that the whole thing is just an attack on Ohio's football program, an attitude which makes them scarcely less dangerous than the two rapists at the centre of all this.  This attitude stems from the behaviour of the colleges themselves, who will gladly expel a rape victim to protect her rapist in order that he keeps on making them money from ticket sales.

In reacting to this case, society has once again put money and status and testosterone above women's bodily autonomy.  Excuse me while I rampage and break things.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Beds and other news.

So the builders have finished and I'm getting in the first of the raised beds.  I'm putting in four of the main beds, so I'll be growing potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, garlic, neeps and cabbages.  No photos until it's done because right now it all looks fuck-ugly.

This is being hampered somewhat by the fact that I bashed myself in the hand with a sledgehammer yesterday.  The right hand.  The hand that was holding the sledgehammer.  I'm actually impressed.  It's swollen, turning purple, two fingers are lacerated, but no bones are broken.

Having bugger all else to do this weekend, I'm thinking I'll jump the train down to Egham for a night at the opera, the new one about the Ap-ocalypse.

Until next time.

Edit: apparently my hand's a mess. The joints function but I've got periosteal cracks, weakened tendons, an injured pollical system, the ulnar nerve got banged up pretty good. 4 weeks light duties: no heavy lifting, no heat, no xbox; lest I give myself a crippled hand.