Archives for: April 2004

Wed, 21 April 2004

Permalink 11:07:22 pm

George W Bush & Dick Cheney Arrive At The 9/11 Commission

Inspired by a comment on Daily Kos, this is my prediction of the scene as George W Bush and Dick Cheney arrive for their joint appearance at the 9/11 commission.

Bush and Dick

Sat, 10 April 2004

Permalink 11:36:29 pm

Sorry Kids...

Easter Bunny

Happy Easter

Mon, 05 April 2004

Permalink 11:47:14 pm

Google's Gmail sparks privacy row...

...according to the BBC. Repeat after me, 'I don't have to use it if I don't want to'. FFS, no-one is forcing anybody to sign up - if you don't like the terms and conditions or the way it works, use something else.

Sun, 04 April 2004

Permalink 09:23:59 pm

Britain's 'Secret' Underground World

After reading about the fire in Manchester's Guardian Underground Telephone Exchange, a formerly secret telephone exchange built 34m underground during in 1954, I decided to do some digging to see what else is out there (digging, get it?). Sorry, I know this will bore some people to tears, but for some reason this really interested me. Well, it seems that the UK is awash with underground tunnels and rooms, some still in use, but many lying disused.

The most widely known are the London Underground tunnels that, for one reason or another, are no longer used. In many cases they are just sealed up, and the stations almost become time capsules, untouched for years. For further reading, Underground History has a very comprehensive write-up and accompanying photos.

Staying in London, there are also an extensive network of tunnels used by the government, some that are officially acknowledged, such as the Cabinet War Rooms, and some that are not. Outside of London there are ancient tunnels in Glastonbury, a secret British Military Installation at Rudloe Manor near Bath, which is rumoured to be the UK Government's new nuclear command centre.

I found a few good sites with extensive information - take a look at Urban Underworld, Darkplaces, Subterranea Brittanica and this page on
Permalink 12:01:34 pm

Happy Birthday April - Birthday Greetings From Gmail

This link will probably die soon, but over at Google's new beta email site, Gmail, there's a link to a page wishing April a happy birthday, love Paul. Presumably Paul works on Gmail, and April is his other half. How sweet. I wonder if this will start a trend - who can wish their other half a happy birthday in the most public way?
Permalink 12:04:31 am

Help Get Danny Baker On Radio 2

There's a campaign over at Terry Wogan's TOGs site to get Danny Baker moved from his slot on BBC London's Breakfast show to Radio 2. It appears that his appearances on the Terry & Gaby show have endeared him to a whole new audience. With the listeners of Radio 2's most popular show on his side maybe there's a chance this time.

If you'd like to hear Danny Baker freed from the constraints of no music, traffic reports every 15 minutes and, with a bit of luck, also free from Amy Lame, head over there to sign the petition.

Sat, 03 April 2004

Permalink 11:08:48 am

US To Start Fingerprinting and Photographing Visitors

It was announed yesterday that from September 2003 all visitors to the US are going to have their fingerprints and photograph taken on arrival to 'help fight terrorism'. Could someone tell me any act of terrorism, anywhere in the world, that would have been prevented by this? If someone is already suspected of terrorism they won't be let in to the country; if intelligence is gained after they enter the country it's too late, and a fingerprint won't help track them down.

Consider this: in October this year, someone other than me enters the US with a faked copy of my passport. The US fingerprints and photgraphs them, and their details are added to the database as me as they are none the wiser. Unaware of this, I then visit the US some time after. As soon as they take my fingerprints it is going to be flagged up that I've visited before and the fingerprints don't match. Imagine the hassle trying to prove you are who you say you are, and that the first person was the imposter.

This just won't work unless other countries share information; as far as I know the UK government doesn't have my fingerprints, and even if they did, there is no plan to share it.

All this is going to hurt tourism. The last time I was in the US, in June 2002, the wait at immigration was an hour. After a long flight this was just about bearable - everyone understood that security would be increased after September 11 (even though you spend 5 minutes getting asked stupid questions that are not going to stop anyone). These new measures are going to double the time it takes to get in to the country. After an 8 hour flight, a 2 hour wait would be just too long. My tourist pounds will be going elsewhere, as, I suspect will many others.

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