This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Phew!

Issue 6 of Subtext is out now - hoo-frickin-ray that took a while!

The latest newsletter's on the blog, and you can get it online, or subscribe at the website.


I plan to have a little sleep now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lunchtime

video

I ususally eat my lunch by the Trent. Swans, geese and ducks all like to come by and check if there are crumbs on offer. There never are.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To do list

Ikea Hacks is a great little site about reworking Ikea products for different uses.

A recent hack was to turn a Not lamp into a globe lamp, which I love and want to do for my house. We were bought a Not lamp as a gift, and it resides on our landing covered in dust. The lampshade on the ceiling lamp on the landing is a globe, so it would be the best accompaniment - especailly if I can find one with terrain/geological rather than political boundaries.


Language of reporting - Darwin fraud

I was shocked and amazed to hear this morning that Anne Darwin had received a longer custodial sentence than her husband for her part in the 'canoeing accident fraud saga'.

Earlier in the week Em at Adjust the Sails commented on the harsher treatment and increased criticism Anne was being subjected to, which is unfortunately unsurprising since women are consistently subject to harsher judgements and stronger sentencing in criminal trials - something likely to do with the pure, chaste and caring image of women so keenly promoted in society.

While watching the breakfast news this morning a commentator described Anne as a 'demon', while sat in front of huge images of her walking to court. Not one image of John was shown during this whole report.

There is no doubt that the plot Anne and John hatched is criminal, and I am at a loss as to how they could openly lie to their sons for 5 years about John's death - but it would seem they share at least equal blame. In fact, part of Anne's defense was of spousal coercion - in that her husband forced her into lying to their sons. Perhaps this claim is a desperate lie of a condemned woman or perhaps it's true. Worse crimes have been committed as a result of familial pressure.

On researching the sentences awarded to Anne and John this morning I found that the differences in their sentences is 3 months - Anne receiving 6 1/2 years, John receiving 6 years 3 months. John admitted his deception ahead of the trail which I assume knocked 3 months off his sentence, whereas Anne pleaded not guilty.

While the sentencing may now appear to be justified, the vilification in the media of Anne alone is not.

Guardian coverage
BBC coverage

Monday, July 21, 2008

Live and learn

I learnt yesterday that there is a mu-hassive loophole in legislation that allows fox hunting to carry on practically unchanged in the country since the ban in 2004. (some info about this here)

Basically it is fully legal to hunt a fox with dogs, as long as you kill the fox before the dogs get to it. This could be with a gun i.e. shoot the fox and then giving it to the dogs to rip apart before dousing yourself in it's blood, or sometimes a bird of prey is used to kill the fox (I found this quite hard to believe).

Frankly, I find fox hunting abhorrent, and cannot begin to understand the motivation of people who consider this a spot (and a tradition worth preserving).

Why anyone should be able to kill another creature in the name of 'sport' or 'entertainment' is beyond me. This goes for deer stalking, grouse shooting, fishing, trapping and all manner of different ways we as humans have found to waste life and interfere with nature.

I was happy to read that the proposed cull of badgers to halt the spread of bovine TB, which was thought to be linked to them, has been abandoned. There is scientific evidence that badgers do not exacerbate bovine TB, and that a cull could actually lead to worse conditions. The Woodland Trust provide a good summary to the background of this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Percieved increase in violent crime - link to media sensationalism?

A report on national crime figures for England and Wales published today shows an overall reduction in the amount of crime, including violent crime - and an increase in public belief that crime has gone up.

Apparently this reduction in crime rates is part of the longest sustained reduction in crime recorded - 48% since 1995, and the chances of being a victim of crime have fallen from 24 to 22%, the lowest recorded since 1981.
So why do 65% of people think the level of crime has gone up nationally?

Could it be linked to media sensationalism, 24 hour news and the tabloidisation of news programmes? Drama, violence and even fear sell papers and engage viewers. From my own observations today's news seems to be more about speculation than reporting. And stirring people up.

The amount of news coverage we receive today could also be a factor - we're never far away from the latest breaking story - radio news, terrestrial tv news, 24 hour news channels, interactive news on tv, newspapers, web based news sites, blogs - all of these outlets will essentially be running the same stories for a given day - but the glut of them surely gives the impression that a whole lot is going on.

I don't much like the local news here because it seems to be knife crime after knife crime after shooting every day. Apparently though Nottingham - a place widely considered to be the East's home of violent crime - is not even in the top 5 areas for knife crime in the country.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Joy

Hilarious and heinously denim clad. Flight of the Conchords are a bit of a current obsession in our house.

May I present "She's so hot" (click to listen)?

"She's so fucking hot, she's like a curry
I gotta tell her how hot she is
But if I tell her how hot she is she'll think I'm being sexist
She's so hot, she's making me sexist?"
Or "Business Time"?
"I remove my jeans but trip over them 'cause I still got my shoes on.
But I turn it into a sexy dance.
Next thing you know I'm down to just my socks,
and you know when I'm down to just my socks what time it is?
It's time for business.
It's business time.
You know when I'm down to just my socks it's time for business,
that's why they call them business socks."
Are you a Breterosexual or a Jermainiac?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Drawings

My note book - somewhere to keep interesting and motivating ideas. A couple of weeks ago i was really psyched to sort out the tip of a house that I live in so I printed off a load of pictures of rooms that I liked from flickr and stuck them in alongside a quote from William Morris

" have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful "

it applies double to our house since we are total hoarders,

Above: The top one of these I drew when my boyfriend cleaned the fridge and stuck it on the front because i would be out when he got home - the clean fridge was a nice surprise for me so I thought I'd make one for him. Domestic bliss :o)

The bottom one I drew for a friend who's gone to live in the US for a bit. I meant to send it to her before she went as a postcard, but I forgot, so I kept it...

Above: Another postcard I drew for a friend and forgot to send!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anonymous witnesses

The Guardian reports today on the witness anonymity bill, a bill that if accepted will mean all witness in criminal trials have the right to anonymity, granted by a judge, if they can show a "harm to the public interest" if their names are made public.

I can envisage only a small number of criminal trails at which anonymity for witnesses could be a good idea, for example trials for rape. It's well documented that women survivors of rape who pursue a conviction are subject to investigations into their lives and analysis of the sexual history - enough to put off anyone, but add to that the slim chance of a conviction and it's no small wonder the majority of rapes go unreported. Witness anonymity in this case could be a good thing that would spare a victim the trauma of open court cross examination.

Having said this there are some very obvious problems with witness anonymity. Never being able to know who's making claims against you and no cross examination of anonymous witnesses makes for a trail shrouded in mystery. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a defendant to challenge the witness testimony. There are currently no safeguards proposed to prevent someone being charged based solely on secret evidence from an anonymous witness.

Call me paranoid, but in our surveillance society, where our movements are monitored (and false records could be easily created) allowing anonymous witnesses undermines the fairness of trails and gives powerful people/organisation yet another opportunity to frame an individual for a crime they did not commit.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Courgettes success

We ate our first courgette from the garden yesterday! Yum.

Here's a photo of me pissing about to celebrate.

Home made

Here's some photos of my final show for college - I made those!

Here's a shot showing some of the other garments people on the course made.

The beige/brown stripey dress on the right is amazing. It's made from an original 50s pattern - with original 50s sizing. I tried it on but the waist is about 26".