Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A New Playground On Google

I've just stumbled on something that could be useful - an item in Google Labs called "Experimental Search".

You can search for something, with your search results arranged either chronologically along a timeline - for example, for FA Cup finals. or geographically on a map - for example for the Battle of Britain.

However the Battle of Britain example shows the flaws with this. Along with important places from the summer of 1940 - e.g. London, Dover , Coventry and Southampton, it shows Lancaster and Clarenville, Newfoundland.

Why Lancaster ? - because of the Lancaster bomber.
Why Clarenville? - because someone there wrote a view of the film "Battle of Britain"....

It might be fun to google your own name there, though...

Monday, May 28, 2007

In the Running

The local website we do in Rochford District, , is in the running for one of the New Statesman New Media awards.

There's no distinction in being there , as anyone can nominate you and I certainly don't expect us to win. But it's just fun to be there, and to compare what we do with other councillors' blogs (not to mention some distinguished MPs and MEPs!) One of the useful features of the New Statesman competition is that it gives 'the public' a chance to leave comments about any of the sites. Frustratingly though, apart from the original nomination, there haven't been any for our site yet.

Going Cosmic

I was delighted to see Millenium Elephant writing about Olaf Stapledon, the philosopher who in the 1930s wrote science fiction on a cosmic scale. He's one of the writers who explores those great gulfs of space and time, and much of his work seems as fresh as anything written today.

The Elephant sums up Stapledon's work with two words - "Scale" and "Tragedy". Those words could also be applied to a new short novel I read online this week.

It's Missile Gap by Charles Stross.

We are about 14 years after the Cuban War of 1962 , the Cold War continues, and Earth's continents lie on a vast flat surface.....

Sounds absurd? It's well worth reading....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Genuine Hero

Like most people in my home town, I was stunned by the shooting of a commuter at Rayleigh station yesterday . As reported in the national news, 24 old Adam Mapleson was shot in the chest as he tried to stop two armed men from robbing a pair of security guards at Rayleigh station. Thankfully he's starting to recover.

I don't suppose you have time to think about whether to intervene in a situation like this, I guess you follow your instincts...

As for the robbers, they planned an armed robbery on a station forecourt crowded with rush-hour commuters - and opened fire. I just hope they are caught soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Most Awful Thing Imaginable is Having More Than One Wife

"I have a great-great grandfather. They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert and so he took additional wives as he was told to do. And I must admit, I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy," he said.

- That's Mormon US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney , as quoted in the Boston Globe today.

Now, I'm against polygamy, I don't think it should be recognised in the U.K., for example.

But he can't imagine anything more awful?

No wars on his watch, then.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Resolution opposing Satan's plan to destroy the U.S. by stealth invasion"

Sometimes I'm not keen on mixing God with politics. But I'm definitely not keen on mixing Satan with politics.

Hattip : Andrew Sullivan

Points of View

An optimist might say that in a few years time we will look back at Tony Blair's period in office with affection and nostalgia.

A pessimist might say exactly the same...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mainly for Trevor...

It's been a great day for us in Rochford.

After a few years of feeling like hunted, small, endangered , furry mammals, we're finally starting to hit back. We easily defended two seats (getting 73- 74 percent of the vote), and then wonderfully gained an extra seat, defeating the Tories by just 30 votes.(This was in Sweyne Park in the west of Rayleigh) This was no fluke - a years preparation, an excellent candidate, and a lot of hard work...

We are now a group of five - nothing much to boast about. But the endangered furry animals are feeling more confident, and the Tories are starting to look like dinosaurs - and you know who won that contest.
Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.