Tuesday, 8 November 2011

I think I should stop listening to the 'O Brother where art thou' sound track

I think this is microfiction: It's called 'Angels only Sing one Song'. It's a bit maudlin ;)

Sometimes the sadness is so great it comes out of you, like them angels that can only sing one song.

Sometimes it’s the difference between living with regret and ending it all.

“Hush your moaning,” she says.

Well the drink don’t help it

“Might as well do something useful, now you’re back.”

Well the drink don’t help none

“We managed just fine without you.”

If the drink don’t help, then I’ll pray to God

“Would be better if they’d never let you out.”

And I’ll get my gun
And I’ll get my gun

And sometimes the singing makes it worse.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

With apologies to Steven Fry's Planet Word

                                    Well put
                                       a word
     and pick up a song              can change our minds
     spark joy in a heart              lifted by relative position
     and bear me along              beyond a mere shape of letters
       on a tide of                       it becomes a key to unlock
         shared lives and loves and minds.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Questions no one seems to have asked...

Information No results found for "Why wasn't Soundgarden 4th of July'used in the film Independence Day?"



Friday, 28 October 2011

The Narrative Sat Nav

The Narrative Sat-Nav has some suggestions for improving the fantasy classic "The Lord of the Rings."

COUNTRY:         ENDOR    UK    EUROPE      

From:  The House at Bag End, The Shire
To    :  The Grey Havens, Eriador

 Add Via Point: Go Direct!
OK. I admit that might be taking things a teensie bit far. But editing rocks. And is hard. And he does go on a bit, doesn't he?

Friday, 7 October 2011

UK 'Sustainable' Forests company in Ugandan land grab (allegedly)

I posted on Facebook yesterday that according to an Oxfam report the UK based forestry company New Forests had been involved in the forcible eviction of up to 22000 in  central Uganda. Since slackivism is as close as I get to Doing Something About Stuff, I emailed both New Forests (info@newforestscompany.com) and the Forest Stewardship Council (info@fsc-uk.org) which according to its international website  "is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests", you know the guys that tell you your B&Q garden furniture doesn't have an environmental and social cost much greater than the price tag.

I got this reply back from FSC. I might be too easily please, but I found it a little reassuring.  I don't know how any of this helps the people who got evicted, but although it's easy to be cynical about slackivism, I think there is an important function here; namely that people can (sometimes) be held to higher standards if they think someone is watching. Where they exist, we can influence the regulators, which is why it is so important we have the regulators, what ever the area or industry. That said, we must also be able to trust those bodies, as there have to be limits to regulation too. What I think those might be, could perhaps be another blog post...

Hi Barbara

Thank you for your email.

FSC takes the findings of the Oxfam report very seriously, and will investigate the issue thoroughly to ensure that FSC Principle 2 requiring demonstrated land tenure and use rights, as well as all other relevant principles and criteria, are upheld.

The findings from the recent Oxfam study were brought to the attention of FSC in late September. The Oxfam report reveals serious land tenure concerns. The certified operations in question are related to licenses held by the New Forests Company operating FSC certified plantations covering 12,607 hectares. The operations were certified by FSC accredited certification body SGS Qualifor in March 2009, and are in the Mubende and Kiboga districts of Uganda.

Accreditation Services International (ASI), who monitor FSC accredited certification bodies such as SGS, performed an assessment audit of NFC in February 2010 with local experts and a full stakeholder consultation. FSC has determined that the process of certification made by SGS did evaluate the change in land use on the government owned land where NFC obtained a land lease from the National Forestry Authority.

Findings from the Oxfam report indicate that outstanding claims related to land ownership and use rights were not fully considered and may have escalated since the evaluation. FSC will thoroughly investigate the situation in Kiboga and Mubende in a transparent process where all findings are publicly available to stakeholders. Our priority is to ensure that any contradictions with the FSC Principles and Criteria are remedied.

The FSC system is designed so that stakeholder concerns are addressed in the certification process. Where this intention is not fully realised, additional measures exist to ensure that concerns and disputes are addressed to the fullest extent required by the FSC Principles and Criteria. Working with all relevant stakeholders, FSC will ensure that the concerns regarding the NFC certified operations will be given full consideration and that any disputes or non-compliance will be resolved.

I forward updates on this issue to you as soon as they are available.

Best Regards

Business Advisor
Forest Stewardship Council UK

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Ancestor/ Descendent

Two meet, make one,
and in the geological blink of an eye,
these genes coalesce like fireflies,
into a form, never seen before, which makes Time say
You look like someone I used to know.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Frankenstein's Gas Fire

It lives
but only so long as I kneel supplicant before it,
pressing in the dial
feeling the weak heat from its spluttering flame.

It chimes,
like someone playing spoons on organ pipes,
it clicks and rings and breathes,
like an old man with pneumonia

Until eventually, it can be taken off life support,
and I can get on with my evening,
very slightly warmer.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Not another f*%^ing Wikileaks post

I often don’t bother writing about things because I find other people are much better informed and smarter than me, so it is easier just to read what they say.

But for some reason, over this, which the world and their uncle has something to say about, I decided I am going to say something.

I have been following the Wikileaks ‘circus’ with something approaching a disgraceful level of interest because I think it is one of, or possibly the most, important news stories of our time and I am waiting for it to be treated as such. I am waiting for something specific to happen. Two things actually.

1) For a reasonable debate about what are appropriate levels of secrecy in Government to start. I read something by one of those smart, informed people about starting this debate. I supposed that in order to properly start this debate, we need to have all the facts, something which I will admit is tricky when we are talking about whether something should or should not be secret, but hey, there’s these cablesa, which are already public domain. So rather than saying ‘this is criminal’ or ‘this is a storm in a teacup’ why don't we make the question: ‘Should this information have been secret?’

2) For us to engage in a debate about individual privacy versus corporate or governmental secrecy which rises above the level of ‘you show ours and we’ll show yours.’ Seriously?

So is that OK? No one is going to send round the damned-by-association police with their logical fallacy writs? Just asking.

a. I guess that means actually reading them. Bum. Or, waiting for smart people to do it.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Why the Norwegian Nobel Commitee may just have guaranteed that Assange cannot be extradited to the US

So, no, I don't think he's going to win it. But if I were Obama, I'd be thinkin'... could be mighty embarrassing ;)

PS Julian is a lot easier to draw than Barack

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Back for (post) Burns night Special!

All traditions need updating.

So I give you... The Tartan spreadsheet ;)