1. v. The act of writing a weblog or 2. n. Toby’s weblog.

Breaking the silence

I’ve been quiet recently; many apologies to my few readers. Something which I feel is worth passing on has made me temporarily break cover. Via Sackerson (his followup is worth reading too) comes" this entry": which I can’t add to as Sackerson has covered it all. It just makes me feel very very sad about the state of politics in this country.

Published on 2008/06/18 at 18:24 by Toby, tags , ,

Humphrey Lyttelton 1921-2008

My god: you think that this year is getting better and then something happens to prove you wrong. It has been announced that Humphrey Lyttelton has died. I got the announcement on the ISIHAC mailing list that he was in hospital but it didn’t seem like it was serious. He always seemed such a strong character that he would survive.

I don’t have much to say as many more people will be able to say far more than I. I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue has been one of the soundtracks to my life. When I was very young my mother used to cut my hair whilst listening to it and although I then didn’t get many of the jokes I understood the sheer wit and joy behind them.

RIP Humphrey and thank you for all the laughter; you will be very sadly missed indeed.


“As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication.”

Published on 2008/04/26 at 00:32 by Toby, tags , , ,

It's at times like this

… that I feel an overwhelming sadness at the future of humanity.

There I was on a flight out to see my friend over the Easter break when the two seats in front of me were taken by two early twenties girls. There was, of course, the irritating linguistic tic of not being able to reduce the number of ‘likes’ per sentence to below three. There was, as well, an inability to realise that you can talk on an aeroplane without resorting to foghorn like volumes. Finally, there was the following conversation which sealed the deal and made me see red:

Air hostess: Can all passengers please turn off all electronic equipment, including mobile telephones, laptops and personal audio devices.

Plane starts to taxi and I watch one of the pair send a last text and then sit there waiting for a return text to arrive.

Air hostess: Madame, could you turn off your mobile phone please

Girl: Why, like, should I?

Air hostess: Because it may interfere with navigation equipment during take off.

Girl: But I’ve been on, like, ’planes where they let you, like, use them during, like, flight

Air hostess: You may well have been madame, but I’m sure that they didn’t let you use it during take off and landing and also we do not have the equipment on this aeroplane that will let you use your telephone during the flight. Turn it off.

The girls sighs loudly and turns the phone off and the air hostess walks off, presumably quite glad that she didn’t have to ask the pilot to get involved (which may have escalated to him aborting the takeoff). As she walks away…

Girl: Fascist.

Published on 2008/03/25 at 18:43 by Toby, tags , , , ,

Leaked UK gov't doc reveals plan to "coerce" Brits into national ID register

Via Boing Boing:

Phil from the UK anti-ID-register group NO2ID sends in this nugget — note the call to action there. We’ve got a sensitive government document revealing the British government’s plan to trick us into a database state and we need as many copies as possible, as quickly as possible!

My mirror of the NO2ID annotated document is here.

The full NO2ID call to action reads as follows:

UK campaigners NO2ID this morning enlisted the help of bloggers across the world to spread a leaked government document describing how the British government intends to go about “coercing” its citizens onto a National Identity Register. The ‘ID card’ is revealed as little more than a cover to create a official dossier and trackable ID for every UK resident – creating what NO2ID calls ‘the database state’.

NO2ID’s national coordinator, Phil Booth, exhorted bloggers, freedom lovers and anyone who gives a damn about personal privacy to mirror the annotated document on their site.

“The charade is over. While ministers try to bamboozle the British public with fairytales about fingerprints, officials are plotting how to dupe and bully the population into surrendering control of their own identities.”

“Biometric ID cards are a sham; a magician’s flourish to cover the biggest identity fraud there has ever been.”

Published on 2008/01/29 at 14:34 by Toby, tags , , ,

Burning building

Coming back from lunch the building site down the road from my office is currently pumping out pungent dark grey fumes. The sun is out, and the sky is blue behind all that…

Published on 2008/01/28 at 14:28 by Toby, tags , ,

TCSOTD 2008-01-24

Techdirt on that announcement

Scotland Yard to investigate Tony Blair and Peter Goldsmith for war crimes

Ross Anderson asks: ‘is the Financial Ombudsman losing it?’

Unshredding East Germany’s past

Rogue trader to cost SocGen $7bn

Chicken Backup’s excellent post on the new Anti-Terrorism bill
… I have to include this quote from Jacqui Smith:

It won’t be hypothetical if and when it occurs, that’s precisely the point. We are not legislating now on the basis that we’re bringing it in now for something that might happen in the future. We’re putting in a provision for if it becomes unhypothetical. If unfortunately I and many other experts and right and we do need it in the future it is in place in legislation.

Just. Unbelievable.

Peter Hain Resigns

Kevin Greening 1962 - 2007

I was shocked last night to hear on the news that Kevin Greening had passed away in his sleep at the young age of 44. I am not often moved by the death of someone famous but this really hit hard; I’m gutted.

Kevin was an intellectual, dry witted, interesting and down to earth broadcaster who loved music. When he finally left Radio One it marked the point when I started to no longer listen to the station; I sent him a good luck email to which he replied which is more than I would expect from many people in the public eye. Some memorable moments:

  • Prince walking out of an interview when Kevin asked him how to pronounce the symbol (if anyone has the video of this could they put it on youtube? I can’t find it anywhere).
  • The Zoe Ball walk out april fool (which I so hoped was true).
  • All of his silly characters (Major Holdups, Raymond Sinclair, Eric the Gardener, Blowchap amongst others).
  • His championship of Mike Flowers Pops.

I didn’t know he had reappeared on Smooth FM so never caught him there but his passing on is a sad loss from the world of Radio and music.

Rest in Peace, Kevin.


Published on 2007/12/31 at 12:47 by Toby, tags , , , ,

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