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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in David Cantrell's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, April 1st, 2006
11:56 pm
Last post!
I'll not be posting to Livejournal any more, as I've moved my journal to my own server. All my LJ posts are archived there too, with comments disabled. You will, of course, be able to comment on any new stuff, and on the posts that I'm leaving here.

If any of you want to continue reading my words of wisdom through LJ, you should work the RSS magic.
9:23 pm
Now with added freshness and faster-than-light capability!
I doubt any of you care, but I just changed the stylesheet for my webshite, and converted it to use TT2.
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006
9:59 pm
Advice to environmentalists
The world is looking for a "green" power source. Wind, waves, and solar are all great, but all require LOTS of BIG equipment if they are to be realistic replacements for fossil-fuel burning power stations. And none of them, of course, are suitable for powering vehicles.

I have a solution - miniature black holes, carefully constructed so that they evaporate at exactly the same rate at which they suck their surroundings into themselves. All you then need to do is use the energy from the synchrotron radiation as stuff falls into the black hole and gets torn apart. A carefully tuned system could probably spit out lots of microwaves which you could use to boil water and drive a turbine in a large installation, or move a complex assembly of shiny brass rods and hinges and stuff on vehicles.

I recommend feeding the black hole with petroleum products, as there is already an efficient infrastructure in place for their distribution, and dropping them into a convenient black hole is carbon-neutral.
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
10:07 pm
Advice to christians
Simon Cozens wrote about this news story in his journal:

" I've been getting steadily more and more angry about this over the past week, and now I'm bloody furious. Angry with what? ... with the church - and that must start with myself - for not being there to offer counselling, unconditional love and the opportunity to value life in a different way "

I can think of plenty of reasons to be angry at the church, but this isn't one of them. I'd bet a large amount of money that the people involved weren't christians. Consequently, I'd expect them to see any attempt by the church - or by a christian proselytiser - to barge into their lives and blather about "counselling" and "unconditional love" as being just unwelcome interference. It would be a different matter entirely, and quite probably more effective too, for concerned christians to do their good works seperate from and without regard for the church. The church is not welcomed in a great many places and by a great many people. Decent caring people, however, are welcomed far more widely, by christian and non-christian alike.

I suppose the root of this is that to non-christians, the church and christianity are at best an irrelevance, at worst a rabid dog which should be shot on sight. Individual christians, however, cover the whole range from rabid dog through loveable puppy to faithful old friend. By approaching a non-christian (and I don't think it makes any difference whether they're not christian because they've examined christianity and found it wanting like I have, or because the church effectively doesn't exist in their environment) as the church, you have no chance of getting a good response and run the risk of getting a bad one. By approaching as a person, you at least have the chance of getting a good response. Once you're doing good works as an individual you might get the opportunity to introduce christianity after creating an environment in which it may be received positively.

Or to put it another way, when you want to say "we're from the church, we're here to help", think what the response would be if you said "we're from the Labour party, we're here to help". And then say "my name's Simon, I'm here to help".

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
3:38 pm
Horror films are all true!
It seems that H.P. Lovecraft, in addition to writing nice stories to read to your children and inventing food, was also a scientific journalist.

update: the linked film is not for the weak of stomach - yes, my large collection of B movies contains a lot worse and I wouldn't warn you about them, but those are all just special effects. This isn't. It's real, and it's cruel.
Monday, March 13th, 2006
8:56 pm
Currency survey
If you had a thunderbox emergency, where you'd run out of bog paper but needed to wipe away the remains of the curry you just evacuated, what currency would you prefer to wipe on?

Please rate by softness and value.
Sunday, March 12th, 2006
9:07 pm
New words
I just found my second real word that's not in the OED 2nd edition. Yay!

The first one I found was some time ago - hardbody, which appears in print in "American Psycho". The second is prannet, which as well as being in Ian Dury's most excellent little ditty "Billericay Dickie" also appears in Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta".

Current Mood: literary
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
9:57 pm
If I were a suicide bomber ...
I'd be paying attention to the recent whitewash from the Association of Chief Police Officers, which says that the policy that lead to the murder of an innocent man at Stockwell tube station last year is just A-OK.

The conclusion that any intelligent suicide bomber will reach is obvious. "I'll make a dead-man switch out of my kitchen scales, that way I make biiiig badda-boom anyway and get my 70 virgins*, **". And the result of this is that the police will continue to gun down innocent people for no good reason, while not stopping determined naughty chaps from blowing shit up.

Hooray! The death count in The War Against Terrorism rises! We have always been at war with East Asia!

* or reincarnated as an astronaut, or to sit on JAYSUS's right hand (cos he likes fondling arses), or whatever their silly superstition tells them.

** why they want virgins instead of an elite team of whores, trained in every form of depraved perversion both known and unknown to man, I'll never know.

Current Mood: grrrr
Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
8:39 pm
Mmmm, tasty baby-meat
Baby cow, that is.

For my tea tonight, I boiled some taters, then set them aside to drain. Then I fried a chopped onion a bit, and added the taters, some herbs, some chopped green thing which was sort of like spinach but not quite, and a splash of beer. Cooked that for a few minutes until it was nicely steamy and moist and the green thing had reduced somewhat. Transfer that to plates. Add a little more oil to the pan and wait for it to get hot enough, then fry a couple of veal escalopes, turning occasionally so they're cooked evenly and don't burn. I added a little Worcestershire sauce half way through. When the veal is decently cooked (about like a medium-rare steak, so still pink in the middle but not dripping with blood) and beginning to ooze nice meaty juices, serve.

And keep the meaty juices from the pan for to re-use them later in the week.

The veal was very nice. I'm sorry to say that the veggies weren't up to my normal standard, they were a bit bland.

Current Mood: satisfied
Sunday, March 5th, 2006
1:02 pm
Cooking à la Jazz
I started to make a pea soup (sort-of like that recipe but not quite) but only when I was some way in did I realise I'd run out of peas. So I am Improvising. I have a Mysterious Red Vegetable that the tame hippies delivered a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea what it is, so I chopped that up and am using it instead.

The soup now seems to be changing colour every couple of minutes. I think that's a goodinteresting sign, right?

[update: it has settled down on Mud colour]

Current Mood: creative
Saturday, March 4th, 2006
9:33 pm
The bad-tempered clavier
I have recently been listening to DJ J.S.Bach's bitchin' dance album "The Well-Tempered Clavier". And I looked it up on Wikipedia, where I found out that grown adults spend their professional lives argufying and theorising about what the curlicues in DJ Johann's hand-writing can tell us about the precise frequencies at which he tuned his instruments.

What none of them seem to have realised is that Bach had no way of knowing what those frequencies were and that while the knowledge existed for contemporary natural philosophers to have taken a stab at figuring out the relative frequencies (eg that this C is twice the frequency of that C) they would not have been able to make usefully accurate measurements of the one or two Hz differences - which are down in the quarter of a percent range - that these stupid academics are arguing about.

In fact, I can't really imagine a Baroque-era experimenter getting results more accurate than within 5%. And 5% is as near as damnit a semitone.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
9:37 pm
Happy Lent!
I am going to abstain from biting anyones ears off, even if they're on public transport and deserve it.

What are you going to abstain from?
Sunday, February 26th, 2006
9:26 pm
Sprouts are tasty
At least, they are provided you don't just boil them for hours and serve them with a dull dry lifeless turkey once a year on christmas day.

I just posted a sprout recipe to the snake_soup community.
Saturday, February 25th, 2006
5:34 pm
Stilton and kipper soup
I am about to try something new. I am about to try making stilton and kipper soup.

Towards the end of every fortnight, I am left with some veggies which I have to use up otherwise they go manky. This time, I have a head of broccolli and half a leek. I've had both before in $foo and stilton soup, but I've never tried making anything like it. So I'm about to ...

Saute a couple of huge onions, add beer and water and seasoning, bring to a gentle simmer, add chopped broccolli and leek and a kipper (which I also need to get rid of before it makes everything in the fridge stink of fish), simmer some more, add a wege of cheap nasty stilton what I just bought from the stupidmarket, broken down into small chunks, simmer some more, then hopefully yum yum yum.

[update: it was good, and I've posted the recipe with a leeeeetle more detail (but only a little) to the snake_soup community.]
Thursday, February 23rd, 2006
10:27 pm
What were they thinking?
Cumbria Storage Systems Ltd's website lives at http://cumstore.co.uk. What an ... unfortunate choice of domain name!

To make matters worse, they are based in Cockermouth.

Current Mood: amused

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
10:59 am
an rant
It has come to my attention that some illiterate non-people write and even say "an homage". For instance, in this wikipedia article (which I have since corrected, so that's a link to an older version). No doubt this error was made by analogy with the somewhat more widely used "an hotel", which is also an error. Neither the OED nor Fowler support this hatefulness in modern writing.

Therefore, when I become benevolent dictator of the world, anyone committing these linguistic sins will be shot.

Current Mood: angry
Thursday, February 16th, 2006
11:10 pm
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
7:13 pm
Dear spammers ...
if you want me to look at your "Valentines Day ecards" might I recommend not pretending to send it from "Darren". The only Darren I know really isn't very attractive.

Current Mood: amused
Sunday, February 12th, 2006
3:48 pm
Saturday, February 11th, 2006
12:18 am
More Olympic cost over-runs
Quelle surprise, the Olympics is going to cost Londoners even more money. Thankyou very fucking much Seb Coe you midget Tory CUNT.
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