serious

Miscellaneous nonsense.

A few points relating to the last few days:

  • http://www.bendshire.com/ - bloody hobbithouses. Quite near seventorches, which I mention in case she's feeling comfortable living so close to it.

  • I think I've found a community devoted to Harry Potter/Leonard Cohen slash. You hear that sound? That's my skin crawling.

  • http://www.electoral-vote.com:2006/ deserves a mention, and extra points for good use of a port number too. It is, as before, Andrew "No, actually I didn't invent Linux" Tanenbaum's opinion-poll summary in the runup to US elections - in this case the midterms. As before, it looks as though politicians will win most of the seats.

  • There's an interesting article on the US death sentence at http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1877856,00.html. Among the interesting points is:
    Many states are beginning to wonder whether the death penalty isn't just costing too much already. A typical capital case costs at least three and a half times as much as lifetime incarceration. New Jersey has passed 60 death sentences, overturned 50 on appeal, and still not executed any of the 10 men left on death row. Having spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars executing nobody, it's expected to abolish its death penalty this year.

  • Adam Ant was in the paper a week or so ago nominating a Significant Image that mattered to him. He impressed me significantly by choosing Guernica. Sadly I can't find the actual article. It was quite interesting.

  • Several friends of mine have a particular friend I've never met, although I remember her name being mentioned at various points over the last several years. I know nothing about her except, oddly, that I've just heard about her eating plasticine. This makes me wonder - what have people I've never met heard about me? What sort of opinion must they have? I suppose if any of you wish to confess having told people odd things about me, this would be a good time. I promise to try to be amused by it. Or if the subject comes up do you all claim not to know me?

  • Today's Guardian has an article on independent record shops. Kev Avalanche gets a look in, of course, and it even turns out that he has a surname of his own after all. Who knew?

  • Alternative Carpark went rather well on Saturday, and we managed to arrange the rather unusual sight of a dancefloorload of g*ths dancing to such obvious handstapleforehead fodder as Start Wearing Purple and Babylon's Burning. Yesterday included a rather fun (but very short) gig by the Victorian English Gentlemen's Club, who in fact sound a bit like those pesky Pixies, but on average look better in nice frocks.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Music: Swans - Thank You
I suppose if any of you wish to confess having told people odd things about me, this would be a good time.

I used to tell lots of people about my and Tristan's plan to kidnap you in a van.

And I occasionally tell people about you trying to put the duvet cover on the duvet and instead getting lost inside the duvet and stumbling around the room wearing the duvet because you were very very very very drunk, when I came to stay with you in Edinburgh.

Other than that I just tell people how wonderful you are, I think.

E.
x
getting lost inside the duvet and stumbling around the room

But surely everyone does that?

Surely?

I do it most weeks, after all, so it can't be that rare.
Thank-you for not including a link in your second point.

Why would I wish to confess? Anyway, it's all true.

Did you actually call it Alternative Carpark? It'd be a good name but none of the kids would get it.... Do you think you could get Glen to be the mime?
Thank-you for not including a link in your second point.

I can if you like.

Did you actually call it Alternative Carpark?

Well, no. It's called Alternative Culture. But it would have been called Alternative Carpark if I'd been consulted.

Do you think you could get Glen to be the mime?

The question is more over how much we could have charged Glen to get to be the mime.
I know one of the guys in the independent music shop article. He's a good friend of one of my US friends. When he visited the US (before I moved to the UK) I took him to see Sugar. Lovely guy and a very interesting shop. I should visit next time I'm in London.
I did bring a copy of the Sultan's Elephant CD with me last night to KJs but you were absent. Anyways you may now chase this like I chased MC Hawking...
Bend is four hours away. I think by British standards, that's far.

I usually refer to you as my Scottish punk-socalist geneticist DJ friend. Depending on the audience I sometimes tag on, "he's single".

Are you coming for Christmas?
It's rather tempting. I had a great Christmas last year by avoiding my family. It could depend on how the current talks turn out, though.
But in 2000 the numbers changed direction. Executions fell that year, and have continued to fall ever since, so sharply that this year's total may not even pass 50. Death sentences have more than halved, and support for capital punishment has slumped back to around 65%. The US Supreme Court has removed entire categories of criminals from death row. Two states have imposed moratoria while they review their death penalty, and moratoria legislation has been introduced in over 20 more. New York has abolished its death penalty altogether, and New Jersey is expected to follow suit. Even in Oklahoma, one of the more prolific states left, Patton was only the third inmate to be executed this year. Quietly but unmistakably, the anti-death-penalty movement in America has started to win.

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but that's not really a big move toward nationwide abolition. Neither NY nor NJ have executed anyone since 1977. NY, NY and Illinois are some of the bluest of blue states. And while Oklahoma may have significantly declined since 2000 along with the rest of the country, it has an average execution rate of 2.86 per year, so OK hasn't even below its own average yet. (About 26 of the death-penalty states execute less than one person per year on average). The US has an average rate of 36 per year every year since 1977, and a median of 49. Last year's 60 is a lot less than the high point, but still quite above average. Public support has merely returned to the average.

Curiously, the author mentions a number of explanations for why the execution rate is dropping and skips over one of the most obvious: the US homicide rate is almost half of what is was in the early 90's, nowadays at a level not seen since the late 60's.
This page, is particularly scary. They have a strange sense of 'history', 'accurate' etc. Perhaps ideal for demensia suffers? ;) I wonder if they have artificial thatched rooves?
From the drawings they look tiled.

To be fair, it's no worse a view of history than developers anywhere have. It's about sales.
> what have people I've never met heard about me? What sort of opinion must they have? I suppose if any of you wish to confess having told people odd things about me, this would be a good time. I promise to try to be amused by it. Or if the subject comes up do you all claim not to know me?

"But he seemed like such a nice quiet chap when I first met him..."
"Don't ask him about pasta... or geese..."
"Anyway, I still look better in a miniskirt"
I freely concede your miniskirt point, but must both insist that pasta and geese are totally safe subjects for discussion, and remind you that I am in fact All Sweetness And Light according to a legally binding LJ poll.
Beano's is one of three independent retailers left in the town centre, along with a clothes store and a hardware shop which is also about to close.

F**K! Not Turtle's too? No record shop, no old-fashioned hardware store staffed by little old men who know every screw by name... why did I move to the damned town anyway?
Sorry to hear abour Beano's immanent demise - used to go there quite a bit.
Vox Pop is a lovely shop, and Ray's is an institution.