I notice that Mikhail Kalashnikov was in London yesterday publicising Kalashnikov vodka. I've been aware of the existence of Kalashnikov-branded vodka for a while, but a) I think you could only get it in Russia and b) I'm told it's not very good (well, the stuff you could get in Russia a couple of years back apparently wasn't). Nice bottle. No word on how his umbrella venture's going.

Slashdot has a Q&A session here with the (US) Libertarian Party's presidential candidate. once again, I'm amazed at the gap between the rhetoric saying that they're beyond the left/right thing and a truly radical outfit, and the opinions seeming to show just another insular rightist. Going by his opinions, he's actually quite a scary bloke, although I was amused that wants some of the legal protections offered to limited-liability and stock-owned corporations ended. His reasoning on that point is, as far as it goes, spot-on.

There's an interesting article here about tax havens, which seem to be an even worse problem that I'd realised. In April, the US general accounting office said 61% of US corporations paid no federal income tax in the late 90s. Tax havens contain only 1.2% of the world's population and 3% of the world's GDP, but 26% of assets and 31% of the profits of US multinationals are held there.

This might also be worth a look. It's about reading newspapers, and how to go about it. If the headline asks a question, try answering "no" [ . . . ] It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic. To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means "don't bother reading this bit".

Also in yesterday's Meeja section was this piece about the BBC's Creative Archive, mainly focussing on Lessig's rôle in the whole business.

Finally, and with reference to my comments on tradition here, there was a letter (the second on that page) which mentioned a book ("Hunting England: A Survey of the Sport, and of its Chief Grounds", London: Batsford ltd, 1936, AFAICT) stating that "in 1799 there were fewer than a dozen regular [fox-]hunts".

Anyone reckon I might have had another quiet day at work, then?
  • Current Music: The Clash - The man in me.
Re: wrong link
Yes, it should. Not that my version doesn't work, but that one's much better. Thanks.
Re: wrong link
To me your href contains an empty string. It's possible that this has something to do with my ad-blocking software, as I've seen that cause the odd problem with a link posted on LJ before, but I've just told it to all ads from, and it still seems to be an empty string.

I surmise from your music choice that you already have The Vanilla Tapes: how is it? I've put mine together in an Amazon order with the new Banksie book, which nicely takes me into the free-postage zone. So I'm expecting them both early next month, which nicely takes me past the end of my OU course, and prevents even more distractions than normal.
Re: wrong link
Ah, I see. Me being even dopier than usual, then.

Sorry. IGMC.

Vanilla Tapes. Yes. It's good. Mostly the same songs, but in demo versions, amazingly enough. Some don't have vocals, some have slightly different ones. I haven't watched the documentary yet. Very good value, given that I didn't have London Calling on CD before and now I can play it out at Neon, which has no turntables (what sort of venue do they think they are without decks?).

New Banks? Already? I am gonna be so skint. I've just bought another Stross, and at his rate he'll have another one out next week too. I need to read stuff by less prolific authors. Dead ones, maybe.
Re: wrong link
They're generally the least prolific. Though I think it's Virginia Andrews estate who commissioned a series of Virginia Andrews™ books after she died. Then there's Tupac. But he wasn't an author, as far as I know.
Just to be totally frivolous, I was amused by Mikhail Kalashnikov's comment that he wanted history to associate his name with something not connected to violence.

"Vodka - proudly starting drunken brawls since 1546!"