From time to time, I volunteer with Thames21 to clean up stuff on the canals and rivers in the East End. Expanded polystyrene is everywhere, see picture, in various sizes and forms. The boot is to give an idea of scale.
It chokes plant life and wildlife [if they eat it], doesn't biodegrade quickly and is an ugly carpet in natural places. Rant, information over.
It's also extremely difficult to pick up with litter pickers and there are good reasons not to use hands, even in work gloves. So [now we come to it] I'm inviting suggestions for ingenious picking up solutions. In my opinion, these include stabbing, vacuuming/sucking, blowing, selective brushing and static electricity [that could be fun]. No lasers that set the atmosphere on fire and no genetically modified polystyrene eating animals or large robots called Gort, sorry.
I've been spending some down-time from cclite and all the other more serious things, developing a Perl based simple MUD framework. I looked for one, honest, and couldn't find anything that suited. The project page is here:
There's a somewhat serious purpose in that I want to make a simple, hackable ecology game where you can plant things, build things etc. but I don't want farmville [tm, no doubt]. Also it's a bit of a playground for JQuery, Ajax with JQuery, SVG with Raphael.js, Parse::RecDescent and other things that it might be fun to combine.
Also, it's making me think about rules and Wittgenstein, what can be thought and can be shown. For example, I can take a screwdriver but it seems a little unreasonable to take another player and put him or her in my bag. Others may feel, why not?
I've attached a mini-talk about the Debian/Ubuntu based drop-ins created on the Exmouth Estate and the Barleymow Estate in Tower Hamlets. This is meant to occupy about five minutes during dorxmas: http://dorkbotlondon.org/event/dorxmas/
Both of these were created with very small [in the case of Barleymow, none] amounts of funding and will not disappear because of artificial upgrade cycles either. Both of them use older PCs, some between five and ten years old. It costs an enormous amount of energy and physical resource to make a PC and therefore their lifetime should be as long as feasible.
Actually that applies, pretty much, to everything that we make: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle.
Down to my last couple of days in Tokyo, a great visit. I spent some of today before the rain on a minor suburban adventure to visit Shimo-kitazawa: http://stsk.net/en/index.html a sort-of nicer Camden, now menaced, as usual by development.
Had lunch in a cafe set to the Stone's music at about the time of Altamont, Gimme Shelter, I know it's not real but pleasant to bathe in some of those previous days. Kids cycling around with solid guitar cases strapped on their backs too.
Back to London on Wednesday, just my fairly minimal Japanese is beginning to function too.
Here's the little talk about the current state and the future of the Global Ideas Bank, given at Okcon in 2010.
Please contact me if you read this and would like to help.
I've written to the electoral commission twice in the past couple of weeks about alleged irregularities in the petition for directly elected mayor in Tower Hamlets
Actually, these claims were not made by myself (a member of the disempowered and counts-for-nothing citizenry) but by Channel 4 (big media, counts for something, therefore) during a Dispatches documentary.
On both occasions, they haven't deigned to reply. So like all the other oversight-theatre-garbage (LGO, FSA, Fair Trading, the Audit Commission) we can assume that their core comptence is hand-sitting in anticipation of hugely inflated public sector pensions.
They are active however in that they have aboutmyvote, something inhabited by diseased and rotting PR people (those that couldn't get a private sector job, the bar is pretty low) who tell us how important it will be to legitimise the array of polluted and dying brands called 'parties'.
Postal vote fraudsters, to your marks, no-one is awake or watching!
This key is valid for the current six months. Use it to encrypt email to my gmail address and to validate various things that I claimed to have signed.
Now that UK Gov is beginning to enter a phase of particular stupidity and intrusion, more and more communications will be encrypted.
Well, I'm not buying anything from Cadbury as of today, another US buyout. Of course, the advisors are apparently RBS, so mummy's boy will pocket another big wad from this.
It also turns out that they were busy stabbing Cadburys in the back. Good going for a publically owned bank and mummy's boy who didn't let anything approaching ethics or accepted practice restrain them.
Incidentally the sleazy 'half-truth in advertising/teaser rate' Direct Line are an RBS subsidiary, don't buy anything from them either, at least until some of these parasites are thrown out.
We lose one of our last big manufacturers and see nothing in return. Would you like chocolate cheese fries with that? Nice foreign war maybe? I don't think so..as they say.
Well, it's the election season again. Having been harangued during a TRA meeting and door-knocked by the massing hordes bearing a kind-of (pace, Jimmy Hendrix) wisdom. Here's my top tips for everyone from the conventional parties:
Well, the last round of discussion about the execrable, spintastic, inaccurate and childish (hey, choose an adjective!) East End Lies, the local Pradva produced by Tower Hamlets Council, met with some childish stonewalling from the 'complaints' department to quote Ms Dowden:
The Council has answered your complaint and is not willing to enter into further correspondence on this matter
Actually, all I've received is evasion and changes of subject, rather like a child caught in some trivial wrongdoing (except that council officers who create democratic deficit on purpose and try to ruin the local newspaper, that's not trivial, is it?).
So I'm happy to see the battle has broken out elsewhere in a more high profile way.