ajva: (Franzlicking)
Just off to bed, and looked up at the ceiling.

For a few years now, I've had the experience at least once each summer of noticing some kind of insect I've not seen before, and my kneejerk reaction always is, I must confess, something along the lines of: "what the *fuck* are you?"

This one is an oval green thing with legs of attitude looking like it's waiting for some I Will Survive karaoke opportunity. I think it might be out of luck as I saw a largish gangly spider on my wall not ten minutes ago. Ah well.

It's nice to be human sometimes.
ajva: (Katy's cartoon Annie)
Ah...that old Edith Piaf song. That old soppy romantic chanson. I was listening to it, and as is my wont, I decided to look up the lyrics just to nail them down a bit, but unfortunately the first site Google took me to had made such a hilarious spelling error in the first line of its transcription that it was immediately obvious even though I wasn't completely familiar with all the words of the song. I was actually moved to randomly join the site just to leave a note pointing the faux-pas out.

In the way of certain chansons, it starts with four lines of introduction before it breaks into the well-known tune. The first line of the introduction is:

"Des yeux qui font baisser les miens..."

It means "Eyes that lower mine...", in other words: he looks at her, and it makes her so hormonal and shy that she can't help but drop her gaze. Nice romantic, gently sexy start, yes?

Unfortunately, this site had transcribed it thus:

"Des yeux qui font baiser les miens..."

A subtle difference in orthography, but a vital one: between baisser (to lower) and baiser (to fuck), meaning they were claiming the first line of that old romantic number was

"Eyes that make mine fuck..."

A little poetic, but perfectly grammatically correct. So a bit of a Marilyn Manson cover version, there, then.


Jul. 15th, 2010 01:14 am
ajva: (Katy's cartoon Annie)
I've booked for Bicon!

This wouldn't usually be exciting news, but I've not gone since 2004, so it's been a while for me, and I'm looking forward to it. :o)
ajva: (Default)
So, I thought I'd check up on the World Cup tiebreak rules so I could work out where England stands. So, here's my understanding of the situation:

cut for those bored by the whole thing )

So. Let's hope England win next week, eh?
ajva: (Default)
Well, I can safely say that I don't think I have ever looked more ugly in my life; I look like an extra from a drama-documentary about the Great Plague. However, three days in and there's still no sign of the dreaded itch. My current spots are in a variety of stages, with the ones on my face being furthest along, it seems (I didn't think I'd ever look at my face in the mirror and say out loud to myself "Ah! Looking nice and crusty - good!", but I did), and I still have no real desire to scratch them. Is this a good sign, do you think? Should they be itching by now if they were going to at all?

The worst thing really so far is the uncertainty about whether I'm going to have recovered enough/be non-contagious/look presentable enough by weekend after next to make my little summer Cambridge jaunt. That and the terrible sore throat, of course, which is stopping me eating very much and making it tricky to take in even the water I clearly need. But hey, it won't last forever.
ajva: (real Anne)
I appear to have the pox.

Chickenpox, to be precise. I will therefore be in self-imposed quarantine for the next week, and will have to miss my friend's wedding on Saturday. Boo.

I am not looking forward to the next few days very much.

Pac Man

May. 21st, 2010 04:21 pm
ajva: (Default)
If you've missed Pac Man, don't neglect to go onto the Google homepage today - where they are celebrating its 30th anniversary - and play with your directional buttons. Just sayin'.
ajva: (Default)
OK, I know there's a lot of residual cynicism and scepticism about the 2012 Games, but I actually think they've done a pretty cool job with the mascots. Coe has apparently said that their research showed that kids both a) are fed up with furry things as mascots and b) want some kind of story attached. So given those two things, I think what they've come up with is pretty good, especially the way they've tied the UK's part in both sets of Games' history into it.

Disclosure: I am a huge fan of the Olympics and Paralympics, and therefore not to be trusted to be impartial. I am, frankly, very happy I've just bought a house in Leyton; from the entrance to the tube station, on the bridge, you can see the stadium as it takes shape. I will be making the most of it when it happens in 2012. Obviously, anyone else who is interested in attending will be more than welcome to crash over at the time.
ajva: (Default)
Just a quick thought on this: I think the probability of a 'yes' result on this far exceeds 50%, even with the parliamentary Conservative party campaigning against it. My understanding is that the coalition agreement requires that the binding result of such a referendum will work on simple majority i.e. that the decision will go with how the majority of people who bother to vote decide to vote.

There are a couple of issues here. Firstly, that most people who bother thinking about it will realise that AV releases them from straightforward negative tactical voting - in other words, if you are a left-leaning LibDem supporter in a Lab/Con marginal, you don't have to sacrifice your LD support any more by voting Lab to keep the Tory out: you can vote LibDem if that's your preference, then give your second vote to Labour as a safeguard. And the same in any other scenario: suppose you're a conservative in a Lib/Lab marginal who thinks the yellow-blue thing is going well; you can vote for both parties in good conscience; if you're a Labour voter in a Lib/Lab marginal who despises the LD coalition "betrayal" and also hated the New Labour government and has always had to hold your nose to vote for New Labour even though you're far more to the left - you'll be able to vote for a full-on Socialist party and give your second vote to Labour as a back-up, thus being free to show your true allegiance without jeopardising the end result. In other words, all voters will be able to vote for whomsoever they'd like to win, then back that up with a second vote for the candidate they think is best placed to defeat the one they really don't want. This means that we will no longer be slaves to what happened in the last election in deciding how to vote this time; we will be able to start afresh each time. I think the vast majority of people in the country are really going to like that kind of liberating idea, as it'll sit really well with all our consciences. And it will give a much more accurate, genuine assessment of how the popular vote divides.

Secondly, this is one reason why Tories are historically against it: because they think that anyone who isn't a Tory will want to vote against the Tories and that the multi-decimation of their majority would leave them locked out of power forever. If the coalition starts working out, that might give many Tories on the ground pause to think that maybe that's not so much the case any more. So maybe a lot of grass-roots Tories will vote in favour of AV too.

Thirdly - and most importantly, perhaps - there is surely much more passion accruing from those who want AV than from those who are perfectly happy with FPTP. FPTP is a system that, even though you might agree with it, the concept of the defence of it is unlikely to inspire you to get out and vote for it.

I suppose what it comes down to is this: AV is not PR, but it still makes hung parliaments more likely. The only people who have something to lose in the long term from a continuing series of hung parliaments are the extreme wings of the Labour and Conservative parties, because only with the kind of solid majorities usually delivered by FPTP do they have a good possibility of any of their extreme policies being introduced. Even if they have to put up with the other party being in government now and again, at least they can enjoy the addictive high of righteous indignation while that's happening, and then eventually get back in themselves and swing policy back round to their side again for a few years, even if just a tiny bit - and a tiny chance is better than zero. (But these extreme policy shifts are not necessarily a good thing for the rest of us.)

Interested to hear what you all think on this.
ajva: (Katy's cartoon Annie)
You know I absolutely love people speaking languages, particularly British politicians. So! Apparently Nick Clegg speaks Dutch, German, French and Spanish. I've found a video of the first of these, and very impressive it is too - his Mum is Dutch, apparently - but I'd pay good money to find video examples of him speaking the other languages. But in my first research attempt, I've had difficulty. So I'll throw this out to the floor, and make this pledge: £10 per different language to the charity of your choice for anyone who can find me a clear video of Clegg speaking French, German or Spanish that lasts long enough to show he does it well or badly (i.e. "merci monsieur!" as a protester throws a croissant in his face would not quite suffice).

Here's my offered Dutch one.
ajva: (Default)
OK, here's my prediction: I think the LibDems have about 24 hours to make up their collective mind before losing the majority of its electoral support for years to come.

I really hope they can strike a deal, and even though I have a natural anti-Tory bias, I hope it's with the Tories, because I think a deal with Labour would have so much against it that it would of necessity result in another general election within the year, which would have a real chance of resulting in an outright Tory majority - perhaps even a landslide - consigning this little chance for something different to history.

My Dad is, unsurprisingly, hoping that the SNP will hold the balance of power in the event of a Lib/Lab deal, but that's a great example of why it would be a bad idea, because his focus is entirely on extracting concessions for Scotland, just as Plaid Cymru's focus would be on extracting concessions for Wales and so on, and in essence, any Liberal Democrat pact with Labour would require a bitty coalition that wouldn't last six months. Painful thought though it may be to many Tories and LibDems, a coalition between them would be a bit more stable and their policies do actually have a lot in common.

And I for one would rather see a watered-down Tory manifesto implemented now - with a few bits and pieces for the LDs - and for the next five years, possibly, than for the Tories' entire plan to be implemented with gusto from six months down the line.
ajva: (Default)
I think the LibDems should go for it. It's not PR, but it's a slight improvement, and a hell of a concession from the Tories. And what's more, if the LibDems turn it down, they'll be seen as putting their party interest first and possibly be punished for that later on.

What do you think?


May. 10th, 2010 06:55 pm
ajva: (bmovie)
I see on the BBC's live election update that

"The editor of the Spectator, Fraser Nelson, tweets: This is Clegg's fault. He wanted to turn the heat up on Cameron, and Brown took this as a reason to stay on until October. Incredible."

Hee hee. You can almost hear the "...the snotty-nosed little oik!" he didn't commit to twitter at the end of the sentence.

Ratchets the stakes up a bit, doesn't it? The BBC's feed also reports:

"Conservative blogger Tory Bear tweets: Never thought I would be so angry at Gordon's resigning. Spent three years waiting for this and when he goes I scream nooooo stay."

Ho yus. This is better than the final table at the World Series of Poker. :o)
ajva: (bmovie)
My disappointment at the unexpectedly poor showing of the LibDems last night is, frankly, massively outweighed by my sheer Puckish delight at the chaos resulting from this particularly numerically "balanced" hung parliament we've got. I managed to stay up until 0520 (sadly missing the Brighton Pavilion declaration, but my first action on waking up about noon was to fire up the iMac to check out what had happened there). And as an election geek, I had a night of rapture, as every single bloody result was completely different. Incredible. And, if you're someone with no clear party allegiance like me, really rather fun. So much fun that my alcohol intake was actually rather moderate, so enchanted was I by what was going on. A bit like when you go to see a film that grabs you so much that you sort of forget about your popcorn.

I bet there are suddenly lots of Conservatives astonished by the fact Clegg is talking to the Tories, so certain were many of them that he was what they might call "loony left" in disguise. And, I have to say - committed democrat (with a small 'd') I am - despite my natural aversion to Conservative politics, I was pleased to see that Clegg stuck with his campaign promise to firstly favour the party that had attracted the most votes/seats. If he'd done anything else, he wouldn't have been worthy of the 'democrat' bit of his party name, in my view.
ajva: (Default)
I posted this on Facebook, but expect it'll get more attention here. :o)

Read more... )
ajva: (Franzlicking)
Anyone watching this? It's 1983, and dodgy new officious baddie seemed - not definitely, but possibly (with a somewhat nonchalant affirmative nod of the head) - to have heard of Jeffrey Dahmer. But the latter wasn't caught until 1991...

I love these shows. :o) They screw with your head in such a delightfully fun way.

ETA: Even if you're not planning on watching the whole thing, it's worth catching the first couple of minutes of this week's ep on iPlayer, btw, just for the Uptown Girl salute. I think it's my second-favourite opening so far in the whole LOM/ATA canon, after the classic Camberwick Green one.
ajva: (bmovie)
Has anyone seen Lizzie & Sarah yet? I didn't see it on broadcast, but just downloaded it. It's beautifully nasty. I hope it gets a series.
ajva: (bmovie)
What a swell party and all that. Back at the new house this evening cleaning it up in preparation for the first of the two big moves this Saturday (the other being in about three weeks' time). On the way home I took the time to visit the local BP garage about three minutes' walk away.

Which has a 24-hour M&S Simply Food concession that takes up the whole shop. Quite big, too, for a garage.

M&S food available round the corner 24 hours a day. Have you ever heard the like?
ajva: (Default)
I knew immediately they just hadn't heard any modern shit.

Lady Sovereign is the modern Poly Styrene. That is all.
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