On al-Megrahi

Oddly enough, much of the best commentary on the thoroughly deserved release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has come from rightish-libertarians: DK, Longrider, Longrider again.

(I don’t mean that right-ish libertarians are unlikely to provide sensible comment in general, just that “releasing alleged terrorist” and “annoying America” are things that, all else being equal, are things that right-libertarians tend to oppose. Good Ideological Prism Transcending Skills.)

Less surprisingly, FlyingRodent is properly awesome on this one.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-08-16

  • Top tip: if the only wine in the house is undrinkably foul & white, and you're out of Creme de Cassis, mix with Ribena for a Value Kir #
  • Top tip #2: pork marinaded in port, soy, vinegar and mustard is almost as good as using red wine. #hopingmailordercasearrivestomorrow #
  • Rule of thumb: anything the Taxpayers Alliance praises is nonsense; anything it criticises is either right or wrong-but-trivial #
  • Florence & The Machine's version of You Got The Love is *entirely* unnecessary. Actually, I suspect F&TM is generally rather unnecessary #
  • Does anyone who isn't mentally challenged *seriously* believe you can't put a cash value on a human life for public policy purposes? #
  • Things I learned today: Bruce Lee's old house is now a brothel: http://bit.ly/3bhVrA #
  • Darfur's murder rate is lower than London's. Or, Conor Foley talks balls: http://bit.ly/2PewbJ #
  • RT @JamieSport Daniel Hannan has gone from merely embarrassing to a national disgrace http://tinyurl.com/r57w9d #welovetheNHS #
  • was briefly gonnna suggest that my life was odd, but am assured that it isn't. my christ, the amount of weirdness tonight is troubling. #
  • Don't want to sound weird here, but does *anyone* think al-Megrahi did it? Would be genuinely intrigued to hear from sane person who did… #
  • Out of the two people I know who almost exactly resemble @daraobriain , the best one tonight was the one who doesn't host Mock The Week #
  • Pride and Predator #bestfilmever #
  • Quite impressed that the only other movie to warrant #bestfilmever is Caddyshack. Woo Twitter. Unrelatedly, NEED GIRL. BRING JB GIRL. #
  • Computer: Don't understand 'JB Girl'. JB: No, me neither, it's called being human. Girl: Are you going to blog this, oh for fuck's sake. #
  • I'm quite hungover, which is shocking given how sober all my tweets 8 hours ago clearly were. #
  • The Guardian has decided to solve its cash problems by running ads for Philips on @charltonbrooker's RSS feed. That oughta do it. #
  • You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Lee #
  • enjoying, schadenfreude-ish-ly, @antonvowl's epic struggles with twitter… #

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That ‘Americans pay for drug R&D’ point

In the unlikely event that you’ve fallen for the absurd myth “US healthcare is really expensive because they pay for the rest of the world’s drug development”…

Total global pharma R&D spending was US$53bn for 2004 (it won’t have order-of-magnitude changed since then). US healthcare spending was US$2.4 trillion for 2007.

So even if you assume the US does literally pay every penny associated with global pharma R&D, that’s only *2%* of US healthcare spending. If you’re worried about medical innovation being stymied by some kind of NHS-like system in the US, all you need to do is commit to investing a tiny proportion of the savings in a public R&D fund.

This would have the added advantage of focusing on drugs that are useful, rather than near-identical-but-patent-dodging clones of existing drugs which can be sold to gullible patients and gullible-bordering-on-bribed doctors based on cherrypicked studies and outright lies.

See #15 for my judgement

I gave you all an extra few days, but you still failed.

NRG got 1.5 and neither was the obvious Kinks example, so he wins a Babylon Zoo album. Email details and I’ll post it. Meanwhile, Anton gets the cash alternative to two Babylon Zoo albums, which is being hit round the head with a stick and having all his cash stolen. Email details and I’ll arrange.

And for his interesting explanation of quirks in how the translator works, Edmund wins nothing.

Those answers you’ve been waiting for:

1) “Do you love to love you?” is “Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with?” – The Buzzcocks, Ever Fallen In Love?

2) “At the foot of the toy, he is like a mixture of stuttering children” is “No need to whine boy, like a wind-up toy you stutter at my feet” – Elastica, Stutter

3) “World, died at the western end of the city” is “In a West End town a dead-end world” – Pet Shop Boys, West End Girls

4) “I turn off the hazard lamps” is “With the lights out, this is dangerous” – Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

5) “Also, all girls, to take gold” is “Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free” – Dire Straits, Money For Nothing

6) “If the nitric acid, he knows the hearts of animals” is “Like his Dad you know that he’s had animal nitrate in mind” – Suede, Animal Nitrate

7) “Above, some other girl” is “Some girls are bigger than others” – The Smiths, Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

8) “In this case, if you have difficulty walking” is “Walking back to you is the hardest thing that I could do” – Jesus And Mary Chain, Just Like Honey

9) “Honey, get a lock to lock, it will take time” – “Get your rocks off, get your rocks off honey” – Primal Scream, Rocks [*]

10) “We need to maintain the greenery of the village community” is “We are the Village Green Preservation Society” – The Kinks, Village Green Preservation Society

11) “I love his shows” is “When I say I love you, you say ‘you better” – The Who, You Better You Bet

12) “Line of credit for the toes” is “They have a way to make you pay And to make you toe the line” – Babyshambles, Fuck Forever

13) “This is a special fashion show is the result of his recent research on her head” is “He’s nothing special, she’s not too smart; he studies fashion, she studies art” – Sleeper, Inbetweener

14) “Courage, hard core, a little fun” is “It take courage to enjoy it, the hardcore and the gentle” – Bjork, Big Time Sensuality

15) “How many people, I can see the sense of shame” is “How can you show your face, when you’re a disgrace to the human race?” – Madness, Embarrassment

[*] this one will appeal to fans of jokes about Asian pronunciations of English. There are reasons why it works to do with foreign-imported words being rendered in phonetic alphabets, which Edmund could probably explain in more detail.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-08-09

  • I backed a horse that came in at ten to one. unfortunately it was running in the 1130 #oldjokesfornogoodreason #
  • (yes, I know that slating alcohol marketing isn't normally how I roll, but the JW ad was fucking egregious) #
  • Sometimes I forget ppl like @hematuria and @anattendantlord are many hrs ahead, and briefly assume they're ultra-hardcore workers-n-players #
  • I think it's cuz they don't write like N Americans. Although @hematuria clearly has the sidies of a native Nu Yoiker. #
  • Pleased that #deviantart is a trending wotsit. Displeased that GI Joe is one. It's called "Action Man", FFS. #
  • I love my MacBook Air to the point that I sometimes call her 'her'. But Safari is the worst browser ever; it's even worse than IE #
  • Dans le port d'Amsterdam il y a de marins qui qui boivent, et qui boivent et reboivent, et qui reboivent – have it. http://bit.ly/q0WO #
  • Been listening to Brel & Walker for an hour; Spotify reckons ad for blood donation is way forward. If I slit wrists you'll be 1st to know… #
  • Enough mid-20th-century dramatic lyrical music. Bedtime. G'night, world o'Twitter #
  • Why do we waste money on treating shoplifting as a criminal offence, given that there are no social benefits to deterring it? #
  • Far better to force stores to pursue individuals for civil damages… #
  • Relatedly, crown prosecutor Martin Lindop should be hanged: http://bit.ly/4c0kSe #
  • have baled on clubbing in favour of cocktails and movies. yay the wisdom of age #
  • Happy, for once. W00t! #
  • It's Jo And Danny are one of the most wonderful bands ever #
  • Sadly they appear not to be on Spotify, so you'll have to take my word for it. Or pay them real money for a real album: http://bit.ly/a6uID #
  • I love Manda Rin: http://bit.ly/XyQ2m #
  • Is it objectification to point out how hot I find @pennyred's sulky CiF profile pic http://bit.ly/8S0cB ? Fairly sure it is. Sorry, feminism #
  • If I were Clarkson, the last comment could be taken as sheer tossery, rather than self-parody as sleazy-but-feminist man. Am not Clarkson #
  • Dozens of Helen Love tracks on Spotify. Hell yeah! It's 1996 in my head for the next 40 mins. #
  • "I'm having sedation since Kula Shaker came along". Understandably. #
  • (was delighted to see KS on My Super Sweet 16 UK, playing at a spoilt rich girl's birthday party. Oh, how the not-very-mighty are fallen) #
  • Quality sarcastic HL reference to Swells (sniff): http://bit.ly/v4pfB – also, err? http://bit.ly/6uLoM #
  • …and finally. There will never be a song better than this: http://bit.ly/DODsD (spent the advance on a pinball table) #
  • Captivated by Welshness, I failed. This is better. Not in a morbid way, but this is my funeral tune: http://bit.ly/1ajaqY #
  • Grumpy I can only find LastFM link: not on Spotify and Youtube version awful. OTOH, that's like being upset my rocket car only does 1000mph #
  • To compensate for @charltonbrooker's evil bedtime story, here's a sweet one: http://bit.ly/4jd1CT #
  • This is a bit pathetic: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8192013.stm – then again, badminton's hardly a super-macho sport #
  • If this was a gang fight, rather than racist bullying, it'd be T3H @wsuMZ #
  • this is link: http://bit.ly/2LOn3J #

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Lyric translation quiz – WIN BIG PRIZES

Someone’s built a website that translates phrases repeatedly into Japanese and back until the phrase stays the same in both languages. So, for a Crazy Friday Competition, I fed in a bunch of lyrics – pretty much all indie/rock stuff from the 1960s through to the 2000s, if that helps – and you have to work out the original, the song and the artist.

Whoever gets the most wins a Babylon Zoo album; whoever gets the second-most wins two Babylon Zoo albums. I’ll post the right answers on Sunday. Post your answers in the comments, along with sarcastic jibes about how the blog has gone downhill.

1) Do you love to love you?
2) At the foot of the toy, he is like a mixture of stuttering children
3) World, died at the western end of the city
4) I turn off the hazard lamps.
5) Also, all girls, to take gold
6) If the nitric acid, he knows the hearts of animals
7) Above, some other girl
8) In this case, if you have difficulty walking
9) Honey, get a lock to lock, it will take time
10) We need to maintain the greenery of the village community
11) I love his shows
12) Line of credit for the toes
13) This is a special fashion show is the result of his recent research on her head
14) Courage, hard core, a little fun
15) How many people, I can see the sense of shame

If anyone gets number 11, I’ll be so in awe that I’ll do pretty much anything they ask of me. If anyone doesn’t get number 10, then the opposite (but I like the way it sounds, very Japanised…)

British negativism versus reality

From CiF:

We managed to add a 5th terminal to Heathrow without too many problems – apart from some lost baggage in the immediate aftermath; which, while tiresome, was hardly a showstopper. Trouble is, with our infinite capacity to see the negative, this was seen as some kind of apocalyptic proof of how useless we are at infrastructure.

The French built a new terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport a couple of years before Heathrow terminal 5. It fell down.

What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-08-02

  • 'Compare seu QI' is a current trending topic. OK then: slightly enriched uranium is less good than @stephenfry's quiz show #
  • RT @Herring1967 I have been overwhelmed with messages of support and commiseration and am ending the day feeling a bit sorry for Brian Logan #
  • Maybe my LC piece (live tomorrow AM, waiting-for-not-very-exciting-things fans) on Carr-esque fools versus Hicks-esque Fools was overkill #
  • …although I now wish I'd used the fools vs Fools distinction #
  • The @charltonbrooker show tonight was remarkable, in that everything reviewed sounded like a slightly-too-implausible reject from TVGoHome #
  • 'Best ever TV' poll. Top Gear winning massively, The Wire second. VOTE FOR THE WIRE: http://d2q8l.tk/ please RT #
  • Foolish Dr Who fans. By not voting for The Wire, you are letting Jeremy's evil hordes take over the world. That is not what the Dr would do #
  • And so to bed, sober. I literally don't remember the last time I went to bed completely sober on a Friday. #
  • Alcohol is fun in moderate, and occasionally large, quantities, as long as you don't get addicted #Idvoteforapoliticianwhostatedthistruth #
  • Most 'health & safety' restrictions are actually spurious nonsense made up by lazy middle managers #Idvoteforapoliticianwhostatedthistruth #
  • Spending decisions shouldn't be democratic as most voters don't understand stats or economics #Idvoteforapoliticianwhostatedthistruth #
  • Backstreet gin-shops FTW http://bit.ly/DV1ev #backtothe1760s #
  • Just had a Mark Corrigan moment watching American reality TV: "humanity is awful <switch channel> aah, Delia…" #
  • Sober Saturday night more dealable with; I've had lots of those. Happy birthdayery @beatniksalad, sorry I can't be there #
  • Unrelatedly, Almost Famous and In The Loop are both excellent films. Can't believe it took me nine years to get around to watching AF… #
  • Then again, it's only in the last 12 months that I've seen the Blues Brothers and Ferris Bueller all the way through #

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The idle musings of John B