Protests in Ottawa


All in all, it was a quiet day. President Bush is still here, of course, probably over in Quebec right now waiting for the Secret Service to finish doing a security sweep of the Museum of Civilisation (and surrounding neighbourhood) so he can hunker down with the PM for a nice meal of Alberta Beef and…er…squash. Or whatever they’re serving up over there tonight.

The security downtown was minimal from what I saw, other than the “security bubble” that followed the pres around all day. As far as I can tell from the news reports, basically nothing was accomplished, and Bush has remained wilfully ignorant of the general dislike and distrust Canadians feel towards him. Whatever.

Winning sign of the day: FREE BEER!
Winning protest group of the day: Belly Dancers Against Bush.

UK Benefits system hit by IT chaos

Benefits system hit by IT chaos

Pension and benefit payments face disruption after what is being described as the biggest computer crash in government history left as many as 80,000 civil servants staring at blank screens…

A routine software upgrade on a small number of PCs last weekend is believed to have gone disastrously wrong when an incompatible system was downloaded on to the whole network.

The punchline: they were experimenting with WinXP on a small number of machines. The outage lasted four days. They had to fly MS consultants in from the US.


Buy Nothing What? When? Today?

Retailers consider it important to lure the crowds on Black Friday as this could influence shopping habits for the rest of the holiday season, when Americans are expected to spend about $220 billion, according to NRF.

For the record, “the holiday season” is November and December (2 months totalling 61 days), and $220 billion is over $500 per living citizen (all ages) in the US of A. Black Friday in 2003 saw $7.2 billion dollars in sales.

The World (or rather, a ship full of rich people)

Um…I’m not even sure where I stumbled across this, but I’m sitting here somewhat agog at the sheer ludicrous genius of this particular venture. How better to make a crapload of money than by catering to the insanely rich with things that normal plebes could never, ever, ever hope to afford?

Me, I’m not a big fan of water, so my open-mouthed wonder is partially due to my inability to comprehend how someone could possibly live in such conditions. *shudder*

Although, er, this sounds pretty sweet…”Once more from Greece glide past the ancient port of Alexandria into Suez and the Canal. The Red Sea resorts of Egypt lead us to the emerald islands of the Seychelles set in the blue Indian Ocean.”

So I’m half horrified, and half mind-bendingly envious. Stupid rich ppl. *shakefist*

It’s not at Castle Arrgh…


The Holy Grail is believed by some to have been the chalice used at the Last Supper, by others to have been a cup used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch the blood of the crucified Christ, and by others still to have been both. Some claim that Joseph may have brought the cup to Britain in the first century CE.”

“‘It’s all good fun but absolute nonsense’, says Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh. ‘The quest for the Holy Grail belongs with the quest for the ark Noah left on Mount Ararat or the fabled Ark of the Covenant Indiana Jones is always chasing. There ain’t any objective truth in any of it…'”