see more pwn and owned pictures
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I can't believe I missed this earlier!!!
Police say UFO
was just the Moon
Police called out to a 999 call about
an unexplained object in the night sky solved the mystery straight away
for their operator - "it's the Moon, over."
But the emergency call meant the officers were sent out to a house in the valleys area of south Wales.
They were told a "bright stationary object" was spotted above the unnamed caller's home.
A recording of the call has been released as part of a police campaign asking people to use 999 appropriately.
The Control Room conversation, which took place in May, was recorded - and below is a transcript:
Control Room: "South Wales Police, what's your emergency?"
Caller: "It's not really. I just need to inform you that across the mountain there's a bright stationary object."
Control room: "Right."
Caller: "If you've got a couple of minutes perhaps you
could find out what it is? It's been there at least half an hour and
it's still there."
Control: "It's been there for half an hour. Right. Is it actually on the mountain or in the sky?"
Caller: "It's in the air."
Control: "I will send someone up there now to check it out."
The mystery was soon solved, as the exchange between control and an officer at the scene, makes clear.
Control: "Alpha Zulu 20, this object in the sky, did anyone have a look at it?"
Officer: "Yes, it's the moon. Over."
Control room staff also dealt with a stream of unsuitable calls
on the 999 number during an "extremely busy period", said a spokesman.
Another caller rang asking for help when they wanted to vote for Rhydian on the TV programme X-Factor.
Another wanted a pound for their supermarket trolley.
Following the calls, South Wales Police has changed the way it answers the phone.
Instead of saying "South Wales Police, how can I help?", control
room staff now say "South Wales Police what is your emergency?"
Since the change, they have reported a 10% drop in 999 calls.
Superintendent Kevin O'Neill said: "There is no doubt in my mind
that the public have taken on board the message we sent about making
inappropriate 999 calls and thought twice about dialling the number in
a non-emergency situation for which we are extremely grateful.
"Thanks to the public we have been able to answer calls, concerning real emergencies, quicker," said Supt O'Neill.
Between January and June 2008, the force answered 86.4% of calls
within 10 seconds compared to 76.2% in the same period last year - an
improvement of just over 10%.
The change in the greeting is being monitored by Cardiff
University researchers Professor Martin Innes of the Universities
Police Science Institute and Dr Frances Rock of the Centre for Language
BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Police say UFO was just the Moon
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Found this cool website. Tells you what was #1 in the charts the day you were born. I seem to be haunted by Phil Collins
UK: Easy Lover - Philip Bailey and Phil Collins
US: One More Night - Phil Collins
AUS: One Night In Bangkok - Murray Head
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
That's right folks, I come to you with another book review. This time of William Gibson's Spook Country.
Let me first state that I have always been a fan of William Gibson. I found Neuromancer wholly original, and Pattern Recognition an absolute joy to read. With this in mind Spook Country left me entirely underwhelmed.
Perhaps this feeling I have comes a lot from the way I approach this book. By this I mean my cultural milieu. I approached it from the point of view of a ‘young Australian’. It felt like there were so many things in this book I could simply not relate to. My youth made the language seem strained, almost like Gibson was trying too hard to be ‘hip’, and the consumerist driven action was far too – for wont of a better word – ‘American’,
The Plot follows three groups of people; Hollis Henry and her employers Blue Ant, as well as the rock band she used to be part of; Tito, a young Cuban-Chinese man (or is it boy? His age is only passingly mentioned, and then as a ‘he looked like’ not a ‘was’) and his underground crime family; Brown and Milgrim, a claimed DEA Agent and his captive. These stories see separate but naturally are working to the same conclusion which will lead them from their bases in America to the final showdown in Vancouver, Canada. This said however I think Gibson failed to give each group enough of a story or background. There are connections that are hinted at, but too cryptic for the reader to be certain. Perhaps this was intentional, but throughout the whole work I felt that I missing some fundamental point to each of the characters.
The characters themselves I found empty. I got no sense of motivation, or even appearance, from any of them. Rather than give his characters any personal definition Gibson instead chose to define them by the products they used, consumed, or had the money to acquire. Once again this was most likely intentional, but it made the characters very hard to relate to. The protagonist, Hollis Henry, is the only character with a defined past, but even that is superficial and shallow. Perhaps Gibson was attempting to draw attention to the culture they are currently in, rather than the characters themselves, but as a reader I personally find it difficult to relate to a novel, or even enjoy it enough to want to grasp its meaning if there is not even a single character with whom I can identify. I was irked by Gibson’s failure to let me know what the characters looked like, what their personalities were, or even where they were situated or what time it was. I could never tell if it was day or night. The ‘noir’ was simply so much that I just assumed all the action of the novel took place at night.
All motivation in this novel was pure which with a huge undertone of ‘because I want to’, or ‘because I can’. While this is a criticism of today’s Western society it is a very shallow look at a very complicated world. There were parts of the narrative that excited me, like the GPS driven locative art created by the artists it is originally Hollis’ objective to investigate. For me this was completely original and I wanted more investigation into this side of the world from which the characters originated. Imagine my disappointment when this wonderful concept turned out to be completely incidental to the plot, which drives us toward an ultimately disappointing conclusion.
The plot is so full of incidental information. I felt often it was placed in just to give the characters some rudimentary sense of identity, rather than to say or advance anything really substantial. The only thing I could derive from these hastily constructed artistic backgrounds was that art needs to enter commerce to survive. Was this the amazing revelation that this book claimed it would give me about the society in which I live? I certainly hope not. I am not above admitting that there may be a deep and complex point that I simply may not have understood. I am however an intelligent, educated human being. I very rarely feel that a book is ‘over my head’ so to speak but perhaps this one is. If I delved deeper into it perhaps I might find the promised revelation of my reality staring me in the face, but to be frank the book was not constructed in a way that gave me any interest or inclination to re-read it, let alone pull it apart and find its hidden meanings.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not by any stretch of the imagination a ‘terrible’ book. I simply found it un-engaging and alienating. The constant product placement made me even more unable to relate. I don’t wear Adidas, I don’t us a PowerBook, and I simply don’t think that using an iPod for data storage instead of simply music is an original concept.
Frankly Spook Country is readable, but far from Gibson’s best work. The overall experience was underwhelming and disappointing. I can only rate this novel at half stars.