Monday, October 31, 2005

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Yesterday I was visiting the 'Magnum in Motion' website [one of my favorite sites] and the 'Bitter Fruit' essay got me thinking.

So I did a bit browsing around yesterday I found this website Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which is a bit macabre.

Interestingly enough, there do not appear to be any figures regarding troop deployment so I had to do a bit more searching to find out what the casualty figures were as a proportion of soldiers.

Rough figures suggest that US military fatality figures are about 1.5% of the current deployed troops and UK fatality figures are around 1.2%. These do not take into account the periods in which the fatalities occured of the number of non fatal casualties.

I thought that this was quite a high percentage until I read an article in the Washington Post from last December

Ten percent of soldiers injured in Iraq have died from their war wounds, the lowest casualty fatality rate ever, thanks in large part to technological advances and the deployment of surgical SWAT teams at the front lines, an analysis to be published today has found - Ceci Connolly [Washington Post Staff Writer]
This suggests that about 15% of soldiers deployed have been injured, although this figure is probably very inaccurate due to the fact that the article was written nearly a year ago. The real figure is probably lower. This is I suppose significantly lower than previous wars where,

The rate had been 4.5 percent during World War II. In Korea, it would eventually reach a new low of 2.5 percent - Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics: U.S. Army Experience in the Korean War
These rates are cited from Frank A. Reister, Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics: U.S. Army Experience in the Korean War (Washington: Department of the Army, Office of the Surgeon General), pp. 15-16.

I still think that 2223 soldiers dying and 15,353 soldiers wounded plus around 30098 reported civilian casualties and who knows how many unreported civilian casualties is quite a high price to ensure that Americans can continue to pay next to nothing for petrol which will be consumed by their inefficient, environmentally unfriendly, gas guzzling vehicles.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Thirteen Nude Chicks

Diversion of the day: Thirteen Nude Chicks, just a bit of fun for the last Friday of the month; make sure you have your speakers (or headphones) on before you follow the link.

It kind of reminds me of Joel Veitch's stuff on, follow the links in the "Our Songs:" or "Other Songs:" sections for a laugh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lunch break illusion, its funny how the mind interprets what the eye sees.

Today I will be mostly listening to "What Can I Say", mostly because I like the song, partly to piss off Mark ;)

I will also be listening to the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack, for similar reasons to those stated above :)

[update posted by Jon at 1:28 PM : Plan doesn't seem to be working. Mark asked me to turn the music up! and he's commented that he likes some of the songs?!?!?]

Fools in Love

Sung by Inara George on her album 'All Rise'. Excellent phrasing and vocals. Its definately worth a listen if you can get your hands on a copy.
Fools in love, well are there any other kind of lovers?
Fools in love, is there any other kind of pain?

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love, are there any creatures more pathetic?
Fools in love, never knowing when they’ve lost the game

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you see, everything you know now
Everything you do, you do it for your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love they think they’re heroes
’cause they get to feel no pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know, I should know
Because this fool’s in love again

Fools in love, gently hold each others hands forever
Fools in love, gently tear each other limb from limb

Everything you do, everywhere you go now
Everything you touch, everything you feel
Everything you do, even your rock ’n’ roll now
Nothing mean a thing except you and your lady
Love your lady, love your lady
Love your lady, love...

Fools in love they think they’re heroes
’cause they get to feel no pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know, I should know
Because this fool’s in love again- lyrics by Joe Jackson

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just finished performing open processor surgery on my PC and it is a resounding sucess. Woohoo!

Dirty HeatsinkThe computer had been giving me grief for a few months especially through the summer months with random shutdowns. I installed some monitoring software and it turned out that the CPU was reaching 89ºC within a few minutes and then it would creap up to about 93ºC before the motherboard killed all power, effectively shutting down the PC.

I opened up the case to measure the space around the heatsink, intending to get a more powerful cooling solution, no need it would appear. The heatsink was caked in dust, and I mean literally. It took serious scrubbing with a stiff brush to even start clearing it away. Ditto the CPU fan.

Well, now that I have cleaned the heatsink and fan (they look almost like new) the CPU is holding steady at about 61ºC and the fan is spinning about 1100rpm faster and making less noise to boot :)

Moral:Clean the inside of your computer at least once a year. I'm not talking about sticking a hoover in there for a minute either (I do that at least twice a year). I mean take it apart, clean each component and then put it back together again.


Monday, October 24, 2005

there's something to be said about a glass half full /
about knowing when to say when /

I think its a floating line /
a barometer of need and desire /

its entirely up to the individual /
and depends on what's being poured /

sometimes all we want is a taste /

other times there's no such thing as enough /
the glass is bottomless /

and all we want; is more- Shonda Rhimes [I think]
Just been to the website to see what's new. Having strange feelings of photographic inadequacy. Back to post processing I think.

Inkblot Test Results

Martin sent me a link to Tickle's Original Inkblot Test which is meant to 'Reveal Your Subconscious Mind'. It took 10 minutes to complete and my results were, well you have to read them yourself.
Jon, your subconscious mind is driven most by Kindness

You have a deep desire to be kind and fair to others. You are preoccupied with finding kindness in the world around you, far more than you may realize on a conscious level. This makes you unusually empathetic and very sensitive to other people's feelings.

Your kind nature makes you an optimist at heart and allows you to see the best in the people around you. Because you're not judgmental, others seek you out when they need a friend.

Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are. - Tickle's Original Inkblot Test
Doesn't sound like me now does it? Al this pop psychology stuff is rubbish; however in light of my Political Compass results, I think I'd better to go away and rethink my world view.

My Political Compass

Just did the political compass test and found out that I am at sitting firmly on the Economic Left and am a Social Libertarian. Not what I expected and I have no idea if this is a good thing, but its nice to know that I sit in the same quadrant as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela & The Dalai Lama.
Economic Left/Right: -2.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51
Try it out and see where you sit.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Turkish woman preparing silk worm cocoons for removal of the silk
Finished post processing for today. Not a bad day's work, managed about 20 scans. Would have been a lot quicker if I had scanned the negs with a scanner with dust and scratch removal though. Would of been even quicker yet if I had taken the photos with a digital camera, though the photos wouldn't be the same, I kinda like grain and the look of film.
Olu Deniz from the air
Today I have been mostly post processing scanned negatives :(

The process has been made a little less tedious than usual due to the recent addition of more memory to my PC. The end results are quite nice, but I think that I am heading towards RSI of my right index finger due to all the cloning required to remove dust and scratches from the scans.

I'm going to have to purchase an anti-static film cleaner before doing any future scanning if I am going to save the finger, but as I have a ridiculously large quantity of scans still to do this is a purchase for the future. It'll be Christmas before I finish the scans I already have to process.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

H5N1 & The Death of a Parrot

Listening to Radio 4 today, there was a lot of discussion about the fact that a parrot in quarantine died of avian flu. This parrot's death is now the subject of an enquiry and the strain of avain flu that killed it is now being rapidly investigated.

A parrot in quarantine; surely this is what quarantine is for. What's the big fuss about? I am aware the avian flu H5N1 is currently a hot topic and that there has been alot of scaremongering in the media but c'mon.

Over the past four decades, only 18 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza, most caused by strains other than H5N1, have occurred throughout the world.- WHO website
The major threat is migratory birds, and the liklyhood of an infected bird surviving long enough to get here is small. On top of that even in the unfortunate event that a migratory bird infects the domestic bird population, (a wildlife tragedy to be sure) the chances of the HN51 virus mutating to a strain that could infect humans and be highly virulent and of infecting a particular individual (you) is so small that you'd have a better chance of winning the lottery.

What's in a name:Is it only me, or does H5N1 seem a bit trendy, a bit media savvy? A bit like DKNY or FCUK. Could it have been specifically chosen as a name so that it would roll off the tongues of bored news presenters?Maybe I should be less cynical but a quick Google for any reference of a HN50, HN49 or HN48 virus didn't return any virus related results. [My error here should have been searching for variants of H5N1]

Maybe the solution would be to change the name of the virus to something like 'Better chance of winning the lottery' virus.

Friday, October 21, 2005

David vs. David vs. Goliath

David vs. David vs. GoliathSo the Tory elite have made their decision the next leader of the Conservatives will be called David, Cameron or Davis, it doesn't matter just so long as they have a name spanning back almost as far as recorded history, a nice conservative name.

Bemusement aside, both Davids have six weeks to drum up support in the wider party membership before the next vote and the party eventually decides who will be the next leader of the Tory party, but I wonder if it really matters?

Six weeks is a lot of time for the supporters of both candidates (if not the candidates themselves) to sling enough mud to bury the reputations of the candidates and with them the party so deep that they'll only have pulled themselves halfway out by the next election.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Tory member or supporter, but I'm not a Green Party supporter, Labour supporter, New Labour lackey, or member any of the registered political parties. I am however interested in our system of government and its effectiveness.

I am of the opinion that the current situation with Labour, New Labour, Tony's Cronies, whatever you want to call them, having such a big majority and virtually no oppositions isn't a good thing. It wasn't a good thing in 1997 and it still isn't a good thing.

I think that a parliamentary democracy is a good thing, never perfect but better than most of the alternatives, most of the time. However I also think that strong democracies only exist when there is space for debate and consensus and where the arguments for and against each issue is heard and considered. This isn't happening in the UK at present. Tony and his cronies have their agendas, and I can't blame them for that, but no one appears to be able to make them listen to any one else's opinions, even when the majority of the population (maybe even the majority of the electorate [a small proportion of the population it seems]) may be against or have reservations about their ideas.

Now I'm not talking about general ideas like taxation and public expenditure, everybody would like to pay less tax and have more public services. I'm talking about moral and social issues like 'the liberation of Iraq', 'the war on terror', 'standards in education', 'human rights', etc. If the ideas and policies of the current government as so good they should be willing put them into the public arena and explain them to the general public, in detail and in language that everyone can understand. If they can't do that with the immense resources available then they aren't really working in the best interests of the populous.

Sorry - bit of a rant, back to the original train of thought. Please, please Messrs Cameron & Davis, remember that neither of you can make a damn bit of difference if you and your party are not elected into government, or at least an effective opposition.

Bearing this in mind, don't go tearing up the Tory party into a thousand little special interest splinter groups. May the best Ken ahem, cough, sputter, David win.

Got Rank!

Today Google™; has blessed this blog with a spattering of PageRank™. This sort of makes it a real website, it also happened on the day I made my 50th post, so I feel like I should celebrate in some way. Woohoo! That ought to do it (it was only a little PageRank™).

So now that this blog is all grown up and a member of the real web, what am I going to do now? Well I suppose I'll keep on doing what I have been doing. I'll keep working on the layout, keep writing articles that interest me (and you I hope), keep sharing my photos, and basically just keep having fun.


Panoramio - website screenshotA nice idea pulling together different google technologies with the addition of user submitted photos to create a virtual tour of places around the world.

When you have an opportunity it is worth spending 5 minutes playing with panoramio to see how it works, if you have photos of your town then contribute :).


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Céad Míle Fáilte

I walk past a pub on my way to work which has the words "Céad Míle Fáilte" written in small letters by the door. I've often wondered what it meant, but always forgot about it by the time I got home.

Well I finally remembered to look it up and it is a traditional old Irish greeting which translates to "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes". It is pronounced, well I haven't quite worked out the pronounciation but if you can pronounce it let me know.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

American TV

What is going on with American TV programming? Fox aired House on 27-09-2005 and nothing but "Encore broadcasts" since. The Sci Fi channel is no better; I don't know when the last episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG1 or Stargate Atlantis were, but it must have been at least a month ago.

What's happening people? What are the schedulers doing? Are they trying to drive me crazy?

If anyone has any scheduling info please let me know :)

Cheeky Chilli Popcorn

Cheeky Chilli Popcorn - sorry about the poor image quality.Yes another food related topic, seems all I have to talk about at the moment :(

Tried these today. Don't let the name fool you, there is no chilli in this product! Rosemary there is lots of, oil of some description there is lots of, chilli, none.

Other than that as far as popcorn goes it wasn't bad, none of those pesky little kernels that didn't pop waiting to break a tooth, and not much salt. In fact as Cheeky Chilli Popcorn does not contain any artifical colourings, flavourings or preservatives it is probably quite healthy. Heathly being a relative term here.

If you are interested in all things corn then don't miss Corn Cam, those crazy Iowans have outdone themselves this time ;)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Blair's Death Rain

Habanero Potato Chips!

Not too hot to enjoy with a great paprika flavour. I was given a few packs on Friday and have to say that they are excellent. Can't really describe them any other way. Also no artificial colors or flavourings (i.e. no E-numbers), means that they are probably quite healthy as well. If you can find them, try them. website screenshotMad about Mountain Dew? Crazy about Kellogg's Frosted Cherry Pop Tarts? Can't live without Wild Cherry Pepsi? Craving that Cap'n Crunch? Well I found a UK based website selling all that junk and more (even Jolt cola).

If you have a fetish for American caffine products or sickly sweet snacks have a look at, its full of saccharine filled, tooth rotting products. You pay a bit of a premium for them but if you gotta have 'em, you gotta have 'em.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Playing Pool Again

Went to play pool again yesterday, had fun as usual :) Here's a photo of Mark trying to figure out if he's been snookered by Martin.


Friday, October 14, 2005


A possibly useful tool, gDisk Allows you to use your gmail account as a portable hard disk, accesable wherever you have an internet connection.

I'm sure that Google didn't intend for gmail to be used like this exactly, but they must have been aware that people would use it a little like this so I have no reservations in sharing my find.


Thursday, October 13, 2005


Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.
- Joe Raposo
In January 1973 the Carpenters went to the NBC studios to tape a Robert Young Special and were asked to perform a tune from Sesame Street with Arte Johnson, Sandy Duncan, Robert Young, and a children's group.

The Carpenters' version, which Richard was arranging right at the TV studio, features The Jimmy Joyce Children's Choir. It went on to become their seventh gold single.

I still prefer the Sesame Street version though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Castles Made of Sand

Sand Castle - Miami Beach.
Huge sand castle on Miami Beach. Like most things these days it has its own website at


I found this new Google facility called Google Reader a few days ago. It looks like a good idea in principle but I can't for the life of me get the bloody thing to work!

Have a look and and see if you can do any better (if you can let me know), I know that it is still in beta but, the basics should work.

Just thought that I should give you a heads up in case it ever becomes useful.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Essential Life Saving Equipment

Essential Life Saving Equipment
This is what you get when you hire a boat skippered by a university student!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who's for Lunch?

Little Gator

This little fella was only about 18" long nose to tail but his much bigger relatives were lurking around. Eventually stopped at a place selling gator burgers and tried one. It was like eating rubber, not recommended, and it didn't taste very nice either (a fact they try to hide by lacing the burgers with lots of pepper sauce).

Alligators are farmed in southern Florida mostly for their skin which is used to make shoes, bags, belts, wallets, hats, etc. The rest of the alligator isn't wasted and is used to make keepsakes for tourists. I spoke to the proprieter of one of the farms and he told me that farming meant that they went out into the swamp and collected newly hatched gators and moved them into a pen where they grow them up to about eight feet long.

The reason that they collect wild ones rather than breed them themselves is because it is extreemly hard to breed them in captivity and in the wild the newly hatched gators have a life expectancy measured in days. They get eaten by just about everything bigger than them in the Everglades, including other alligators.


Saturday, October 08, 2005


Laurie has posted a new article on SREP and using it to search for Regular Expressions in one or more files.
In my opinion, what separates the men from the boys when it comes to programming is debugging. It doesn't matter how good one is, bugs are an inevitable part of a programmers life.- Lawrence Tratt
I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a useful tool.

Heading South the Hard Way

Heading South fo rthe Winter - the hard way.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Nobel Mohamed ElBaradei?

I read in the papers (well the Evening Mail ... cough ... Standard) on my way home thah Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA had been awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Now forgive me for having an opinion on this one but, I don't think that preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or any other weapon of mass destruction is a good enough reason to award a peace prize. Don't think that I am happy about the proliferation of nuclear weapons because I'm not. I'd much rather no country or group had a single nuclear weapon.

It's just that I think that the weapons are simply tools and that it would be more appropriate if the prize was awarded to a person or organisation which tackled the much more difficult issues regarding the causes of conflict.

I believe that removing the tools of conflict without tackling its underlying causes, like social and economic inequalities, is essentially a pointless exercise as far as the purpose of developing long term peaceful relationships between individuals or societies.

Surely the prize should be awarded to people or organisations which try to educate people and/or try to reduce the very large inequalities that exist between social and economic groups. Yes it is a much harder task, and yes it is harder to evaluate the success of such attempts but surely awarding a prize to an organisation and its head just for doing the job that they are meant to do isn't very inspiring.

The Nobel website had this to say about the prize:
The ways and means to achieve peace are as diverse as the individuals and organizations rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, shared the first prize in 1901 with Frédéric Passy, leading international pacifist of the time. Aside from humanitarian work and peace movements, the Prize has been awarded to a wide field of work including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts and arms control and disarmament.
There are also some interesting quotes on the BBC website.

A Lesson Learned [Reprise]

Sainsbury's Instant NoodlesIn an attempt to restore my faith in cheap supermarket food I have again dipped into the well of instant noodle meals. Today is was the turn of "Sainsbury's Instant Noodles", again vegetable flavour and this time labelled suitable for vegetarians.

Now these noodles are half the price of the "Ko-Lee instant noodles", and critically contain no E-numbers in the list of ingredients!

The list of ingredients do contain some new items, Yeast Extract, Tumeric Powder, Onion Powder, Celery Powder, etc. They all are naturally produced items, which I recognise so I think that it is probably safe for human consumption.

Now to the nitty gritty, the noodles were quite nice, however the lack of MSG (E261) was clearly noticeable. The noodles were bland, bland, bland. I could have been eating anything. I tried adding increasing quantities of chilli sauce in an attempt to liven things up, and whilst the heat increased substantially, there was no noticeable improvement in flavour.

Moral:So I guess the moral of the story is "Cheap food can be healthy, but it probably won't taste of anything".

This now raises the question: "Is a bland, healthy life better than a spicy unhealthy one?" A topic for another day I guess.

Messis Summa

Messis SummaI was 'gifted' a few packs of MS cigarettes a few days ago and having now smoked them I think a review is in order. MS is a BAT product manufactured and marketed by the Italian subsidiary, a quick search on Google only brought up two results both in Chinese.
In the smoke box, the inner layer aluminum foil and the attachment outward appearance is extremely consistent, completely was not the before appearance. Moreover, the English America tobacco Italy company states, and came using the overseas tobacco from Veneto, Umbria and Campania (Bai Lei Yan, spice and the flue-cured tobacco packing material) the tobacco mix quality already enhances. Moreover, the English America tobacco Italy company also emphasizes must fully use its Italian status superiority, on the other hand English America tobacco must consider is leaf tobacco question. Up to now, 欧盟 already cancelled the tobacco subsidy, all leaf tobacco were going to export beyond the border.
This I think you will agree isn't all that helpful. I visited the BAT website and apart from the fact that the website had a link in the main navigation entitled 'litigation', which leads to a whole microsite, there wasn't really any other interesting information and I was unable to find out any more about the product.

The cigarettes themselves were very similar to Marlboro Reds, but a little less harsh. Apart from that they were unremarkable, I must say however that the packaging is quite distinctive and drew a lot of attention from people on busy train platforms.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Something Fishy


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Lesson Learned

For lunch today I had a packet of "Ko-Lee instant noodles", vegetable flavour. I had a brief look at the list of ingredients, and they are as follows;
Wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, flour treatment agent (E500, E501, E451), thickener (E412), antioxidant (E306). Salt, dried vegetables, flavour enhancers (E621, E627, E631), starch, sugar, spicy.
I was wondering what all those E's were so I had a look and found out the Food Additives and Ingredients website, where I found out that:

E500 = Sodium carbonates, which could be any or any combinations of, (i) Sodium carbonate, (ii) Sodium hydrogen carbonate, or (iii) Sodium sesquicarbonate. That doesn't sound so bad.

E501 = Potassium carbonates, which could be any or any combinations of, (i) Potassium carbonate, or (ii) Potassium hydrogen carbonate. That doesn't sound so bad either.

E541 = Sodium aluminium phosphate, acidic. Aluminium and its acidic, that doesn't sound so good. This required some more research, which revealed ... "Chemical names - Sodium trialuminium tetradecahydrogen octaphosphate tetrahydrate or trisodium dialuminium pentadecahydrogen octaphosphate", hmmm let's read some more, "Purity - Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg. Lead: Not more than 10 mg/kg. Heavy metals: Not more than 40 mg/kg". Now I'm no food or medical expert but Arsenic, Lead & Heavy metals don't sound particularly healthy!

E412 = Guar gum. Reasearch provided "Galactomannan polymer (guar gum) is a complex carbohydrate derived from the seed of specially grown bean plants. This carbohydrate is a long chain linear molecule with a molecular weight of approximately 1 million. The long polymer chains attract and weakly capture water; as well as physically tangle with one another in solution thus producing viscosity when mixed with water.", sounds okay to eat.

E306 = Tocopherol-rich extract. All I could find was contains a source of fibre and magnesium, and is suitable for vegetarians.", which doesn't sound too bad.

E621 = Monosodium glutamate. Yum, yum, yum. A bit more reading revealed... "In its pure form it appears as a white crystalline powder; when dissolved in water (or saliva) it rapidly dissociates into free sodium and glutamateions (glutamate is the anionic form of glutamic acid)." Don't really care because it makes everything taste yum yum yum.

E627 = Disodium guanylate. More sodium, not too bad, read a little more... "Disodium guanylate is a flavor enhancer derived from dried fish or dried seaweed. It is a by-product of disodium inosinate." Dried fish or dried seaweed!!! Nowhere on the packaging did it say that this product may contain fish!

E631 = Disodium inosinate. Even more sodium, I can feel the blood pressure rising already. A bit more reading revealed.. "usually made from meat (especially sardines or other fish), may trigger gout, not permitted in foods for infants or young children". Gout!!! WTF!

Well I've learned my lesson, namely, never buy cheap shit from the supermarket if you intend to eat it as it will be packed full of shit you can't spell or hides behind a benign E-label but will probably give you strange ailments or kill you.

Pancake Café

A traditional pancake café in Fethiye market on a busy Tuesday.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cable Cars

Cable cars to the top of table mountain. Look closely, they are there.Older cars no longer in use.
The Table Mountain Cableway was opened in 1929 and today conveys some 600,000 people to the summit annually. It provides safe access and the trip takes about six minutes.

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Monday, October 03, 2005


In recognition of my pseudonym doppleganger I decided to post a few pictures that I took on a trip to Jerusalem many years ago.
The Dome on the Rock
The Dome on the Rock
The West Wall
The West Wall
And whilst on the topic of Jerusalem, here are the lyrics of what many English people think should be the English National Anthem (as Wales and Scotland already have one but England does not). It is not a replacement for the U.K. anthem just something for the English to sing at sporting events :)

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded there
Among those dark Satanic mills

Bring me my bow (my bow) of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my (my) sword sleep in hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land- William Blake
The words were written by William Blake (1757-1827) a British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver; who illustrated and printed his own books. The poem is actually an excerpt from the preface to one of his "prophetic books", Milton (1804-8).

Blake (pennyless at the time of his death) was buried in an unmarked grave at the public cemetery of Bunhill Fields. Though generally dismissed as an eccentric during his lifetime, posterity rediscovered Blake and today he is highly rated both as a poet and artist.

Jerusalem was set to music quite movingly by composer Hubert Parry in 1916, who wrote the score in just two days. It was composed in the darkest days of the First World War for singing at a Fight for Right campaign meeting in London's Royal Albert Hall. Parry's original version is pastoral, quite sombre and serious but became a symbol of britishness and was used to raise morale extensively throughout the Great War.

The version by Edward Elgar, devised for the Leeds Festival of 1921 is better known and loved best by the British public. It was again used as morale booster extensivly duringthe second world war by the British. With its sweeping string lines, this is the evocative setting associated invariably with The Last Night of the Proms.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cape Town

Cape Town - view from Table Mountain.

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Playing Pool

Played pool against Rico Diks (former European 9 Ball Champion ) and Eva Linn Fossheim on Friday night at the pool club. They were doing trick shots, speed pool competitions and challenge matches. They were both very friendly and very good - I got whipped every game I played against either. Andy, Mark & Martin didn't do much better but it was a laugh anyway.Blurry photo Martin took of me setting my speed pool personal best!

There were some other pros like Chris Grzesik, Steve Knight, Imran Majid and Martin Mullaney there on the night and they did participate in the speed pool competition. I now have a speed pool personal best of 1m44s which is over a minute longer than the pros took :(

Rico and Eva sang a few songs as well and if you want to find out more about their band Amigdela check out the Amigdela website.