Saturday, 30 January 2010


"... Mr Jagielski's book is equally compelling about the lives of the more humble people among whom he has lived: Chechan fathers do not cuddle or play with their sons for fear of making them weak. Chechan women have become emancipated, unwillingly, by war: they spend a lot of time touring Russian prisons trying to recover their menfolk."

Quote taken from December 12th 2009 issue of The Economist, review of Wojciech Jagielski's book 'Towers of Stone: The Battle of Willis in Chechnya' (translated by Soren Gauger).

Steve Jobs selling the new Apple IPad

Say it like you mean it,
like you're sure and certain,
and they'll believe you,
and buy it...

"... very thin... it's very thin... what this device does is extraordinary... it is the best browsing experience you've ever had... it's phenomenal... it's unbelievably great. Way better than a laptop. Way better than a smart phone... to see a whole web page is phenomenal... holding the internet in your hands, it's an incredible experience..."

All that is from a one-minute clip. All that in one minute!

MI5's 11th Commandment

"Thou shalt not get caught."

Taken from a paper written for/by The Guardian entitled 'The truth about torture: Britain's catalogue of shame'.

Recommended viewing: Tony Blair at the Iraq (Chilcot) inquiry yesterday.

Friday, 29 January 2010

The battle for booze

"I rely on God"
(Iraqi booze seller whose shop was shot at for selling booze)

"Freedom won this time round in the battle for Iraq's future"
(Some other booze seller)

"Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water"
(W.C. Fields, American funny man)

Quotes taken from an article in the December 12th 2009 issue of the Economist entitled 'The battle for booze'.

Complaint to TFL regarding bus driver

Complaint I wrote to Transport for London just now regarding a racist/Islamophobic incident I witnessed yesterday on the bus on the part of the bus driver...
"I witnessed an incident yesterday that smacked of racism or Islamophobia perhaps. The bus driver took on all passengers and closed the doors. There was traffic ahead so he waited at the bus stop. An Asian lady came (visibly Muslim, wearing a headscarf) and gestured for him to open the door and let her in. He did not. That is strange but overlookable. She stood there right beside the door and clearly in the driver's view for what must have been at least 15 seconds, though he would not look directly at her pretending he could not see her. It was raining slightly and the driver wasn't going to open the door so she stepped back to take shelter under the bus stand. Then, another man came running, knocked on the boor and bizarrely this driver opened the door without a qualm. The lady from before saw the door open and stepped forward to get in. The driver without doubt saw her and closed the door in her face. I was fumed but did not kick up a fuss on the bus so as not to turn this whole situation into a fight and trusting that tfl has procedures in place to deal with such blatant abuse of position.

Btw, I didn't get the registration number but the driver had a yellow card in front of him with the number 208 on it if that is useful.

I have experienced such behaviour myself once previously from a bus driver and did write a complaint. However, after a number of weeks and queries from tfl for further information I was told no driver I described matched my description. I will be extremely disappointed if this happens again and will look to take this to higher authorities, whoever that happens to be. Apologies."
Don't like to complain and especially don't like to see bus drivers abused (my dad is a bus driver) but what I saw yesterday was just plain wrong. Maybe I should have kicked up a fuss on the bus there and then?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Uplifting quotes taken from an uplifting feature/article...

"... it's never as bad (or as good) as it seems at the time."

"...'Adversity will make the strong stronger and the weak weaker'..."

(Source: Wired, February 2010 issue, from an article entitled 'The Neuroscience of Screwing Up' with sub-caption 'If we can train our brains to embrace failure, we open ourselves to new discoveries')

We all find ourselves in sticky/difficult situations at times. Seems like the whole world has come crashing down on us. Yet time after time a way out opens up. Such is the measuring of the Almighty.

Likewise the delights of this world, temporary and short-lived.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

How to shake hands with sincerity

Sincerity. Dominance. Small difference :)>

"... As they move in, the antagonist rotates their wrist 45 degrees to put you in a subordinate position..."

"... simply add your left hand to the fray, placing it on theirs in a sincere gesture, but applying downward pressure..."

"... Once in a Double Clasp, the only way out is to grab your opponent's right arm. There are three stages of dominant grab - forearm, elbow and shoulder..."

(Source: Wired, February 2010 issue)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

It's a murky world

Agents. Double agents! Redoubled agents!! Triple Agents!!! (wiki the terms. crazy. mind boggling.)

"... [Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-]Balawi was a double agent, posing as a Jordanian informant but working for the al-Qaida terror network.

On December 30, he was invited for a meeting inside a U.S facility in the Afghan border province of Khost. Instead, Balawi blew himself up at the meeting, killing seven agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a Jordanian intelligence officer..."

(Source: Voice of America News)

For further info...

Bomber's Pre-attack English Video Message

CIA base bomber's message (Al Jazeera English)

The many faces of the double agent CIA bomber (Al Jazeera English)

... or, if you prefer, search 'cia bomber' on Google News or Youtube.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Hindsight can be ugly / Look forward :)>

"It's what you do next that counts."

"... We know what it takes to be a Tiger..."

(Source: Accenture advert featuring Tiger Woods from a few months ago)