Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The latest in demotivational accessories for your company. Just click on the Thread title to go to the web page.

Despair, Inc. are based in the US. They do, however, ship worldwide. With regard to international shipping, their website says the following:

"Despair ships to most international locations. Most orders to most international locations are delivered within 1 week, however- larger-sized orders often can take 4 to 6 weeks (and in a few cases, even longer) to deliver. For faster shipping, we recommend moving to the United States."

The rest of the website, and indeed the whole company ethos, is centred around the principle of demotivation, in juxtaposition to the huge market there is for motivational literature and products.

But I personally recommend the video podcasts, available through the website or iTunes Music Store.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Flame of the week

The Register has published a "how to" for flaming the ultimate flame.

Wonderfully apt, given some of the flamings I've read over the years, and I'm surprised I didn't come across this before.

Mind you, I only really started browsing the Register a few months back, and then fairly intermittently.

So a competition for anyone reading my blog: flame me.

Best flame wins a prize, though I haven't decided what yet.

What kind of coffee are you?

You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low
What Kind of Coffee Are You?

I am sooooo not a Frappacino...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Flickr sorted

Not sure what they did, but I can now access my account. Received an email telling me how to log in (which was what I was doing) and all seems fine.

Mind you, haven't added any more pictures to it as yet...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Problems with Flickr

Getting lots of problems when I try to log into my Flickr account from work. It keeps telling me that my Yahoo id is already associated with a Flickr account, and I need to merge the acounts.

Fine. So I follow the links and instructions, only to be told that the email address I supply is linked to a Yahoo account and I need to log in there.

Fine. So I log into my Yahoo account and then try to access my Flickr acount, only to be told that I need to merge the accounts.

Guess what happens next?

I've emailed Flickr support, but I guess they'll be on US time, so I will have a bit of a wait.

I've tried to resolve the issue using both Firefox and Internet Explorer, no joy and consequently not many pictures as yet. The funny thing is I can access the account without any problems from home using both safari and Firefox.

It's very fustrating.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Global Warming

Following on from my last post, and by a strange quirk of coincidence, the Sustainable Development Commision, chaired by Jonathon Porrit and reporting directly to Our Glorious Leader, have released a report into whether the UK should invest in nuclear energy.

And the answer is: No!

Surprise, surprise.

A press release is available here.

We all need to reduce, reuse and recycle much more than we are at the moment. That is well known. Developing countries carbon output will inevitably go up over time, so we need to lead by example. If you haven't got a compost bin or water butt, why not? Go and buy one next weekend, or start a wormery. If you need a new boiler (unlikely, granted) get a condensing boiler. Use the car less, walk or cycle more.

Mind you, renewable energy has a long way to go before it can hope to provide us with the energy we need. Wind farms are unpopular, solar water heating is one thing, but photovoltaic solar panels are not as cost effective as they need to be to generate a mass market. It can take many years to recoup your investment.

But, and its a big but, the current Government are only interested in votes, especially those from Middle England. If Colonel Bluster (rtd) from Greater Whinging in Surrey says "No!"*, the politico's wobble and rethink. Sound bites are all. They have to start paying attention to the long term needs of the country. Of course TB says he is. But if that is the case, why is the nuclear option being considered with such alacrity?

Personally, I think the Government should move away from a centralised energy grid towards a more flexible, locally delivered system concentrating both on big power stations and small microgenerating schemes (such as solar energy, small wind turbines on everybody's roof next to the TV aerial/satellite dish). Grants are already available in the UK to help get your roof insulated, even to get solar panels of one sort or another put up. But the Government needs to improve the structure of these mechanisms, making it easier for householders to have the work done, and easier for planning authorities to ensure that developers build in a more sustainable fashion. Why not insist that all the new houses that are being built in the south east of England have either solar water heating, or photovoltaics, or both? Build in water capturing technology to reduce the amount of rain water that goes into the drains, there to the sewers and so to waste. It can't be that hard.

So come on, people. Have a think. And this weekend, do something green.

*Col Bluster is fictional and any relationship to any figure in life or imagination is unintentional and your own problem.

Planet Earth

There's no getting away from it: Sir David Attenborough has done it again!

The first episode was aired last night and already you can see that the show will be a tour de force in the genre.

Stunning landscapes, beautiful animals and state-of-the-art videography and filming have become de rigeur in wildlife filming but, in my humble opinion, there is no organisation who bring it together as well as the BBC.

That it also makes people more aware of the damage we are doing to our home can only be to the good. This post is not the place, however, to go on about global warming. I'll do that at a later date...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Doomed!! We're all doomed!!

It never ceases to amaze me how the media affects people. Bird flu is a case in point.

This morning a patient contacted me to say she had seen a dead duck the day before yesterday. Now she is feeling unwell. She is worried she has contracted bird flu. I take a deep breath, explain that she hasn't got it, and give the usual advice on how to deal with the symptoms of the common cold. But I don't blame her for being worried. How was she to know?

Only recently have the press started being less sensationalist about bird flu and its possible effects on humans. However, somewhat over-egged stories can still be seen in numerous tabloids such as this story in my favorite paper. The BBC has generally been more circumspect, providing a more balanced view of things.

For myself, I am more sanguine: bird flu will inevitably reach the uk. This is not the disaster people think. It is part of the natural order of things. At some point, this virus or another will make the transition to human from whatever it's current host is and we will see another global pandemic.

But there is no need to panic. Admittedly they started slowly, but worldwide, governments are finally starting to take the threat seriously. There have been moves afoot to develop a vaccine for some time, but only recently have governments started to take an interest.

So what can you do to stop yourself getting bird flu? Not much to be honest. But don't worry. At the moment you are significantly more likely to die as a result of an asteroid strike on the Earth.

Normal flu on the other hand is doing the rounds. Advice on flu and managing the symptoms can be found here.

Next patient please...