Sunday, 19 October 2008
I have nothing particular against Spurs, or their individual players. Indeed, I used to enjoy going to see them in Europe (and willed them on in those endeavours) when I lived in London in the 1980s.
However, it is now clear that the undermining of Martin Jol by Spurs just over a year ago, was a massive act of hubris, for which the club is now paying the penalty (no pun intended in the context that Spurs gave away two penalties to Stoke today).
Martin Jol had managed to take Spurs to within a whisker of Champions League football. But he was viewed (by the Spurs Directors) as being not sufficiently ambitious in the pursuit of that elusive champions league place. So he had to go.
Enjoy this moment, Martin. Revenge is a dish best served cold!
Sunday, 12 October 2008
The groundrules are that you should:
1) Look at the list and embolden those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.
When I started looking at the list I thought I'd hardly read any of them, but I did get past the six mark. I haven't italicised any books that I intend to read, because I don't think I do want to read any on the list right now. I clearly avoided Austen, Bronte and Dickens in my youth!
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible [most of ]
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8= Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
8= His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare [most of ]
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Monday, 14 May 2007
I had a very nice little guestbook on my family history website. It was a great feeling to get an e-mail to say that someone had posted an entry on there. But then the spammers started coming. This meant laboriously working through all the spam entries and deleting them (one by one).
I found out a great trick to tackle this from someone else with the same problem and who was using the same webspace. Just change the name of the folder for the guestbook (and the accompanying links) and that would fox the spammers (until two months later they had found you again).
But then I found I could no longer change the folder name on my webspace, nor could I upload a new configuration for the guest book. By this time I was getting ten to twenty entries a day on the guest book. Most of these were for viagra (how did they know of my impotence?) but there were others which I think were related to sex (but in other ways – see below).
Some of the guestbook spam pointed to pages on sites run by educational institutions in the United States. I followed one of these up and pointed out to the owner of the sub-site that this was what was happening. I received a very courteous e-mail in reply which thanked me and promised that the site would be taken down. But it was a just a mere drop in the ocean – and still more came.
I did laugh at a few of these spam entries. Like the example shown above - my boss compels me to post these links on your site. Unfortunately, most of the spam entries didn’t even have cheeky humour to redeem them.
Anyway, it finally got to me, and I secured a new guest book with a spam filter from Smart Guestbook, and saved off the 40 or so legitimate entries from my old guestbook to preserve in aspic and lovingly reproduce on my site. I’ll let you know if the new spam filter works.
Sunday, 29 April 2007
What other sport’s governing body but cricket’s can completely mess-up their showcase tournament?
The Cricket World Cup in the West Indies can only be seen as an unmitigated disaster. Granted, the International Cricket Council cannot be held responsible for the mysterious death of Bob Woolmer, but most of the other sins can be laid at their door:
- An interminable competition lasting almost seven weeks
- Near-empty stadiums - Locals priced out of attending the matches
- Regulations that stopped people enjoying themselves – no instruments, no drinks unless bought through official concessions
- A commercial strategy underpinned by an assumption that India would at least survive the first round (they didn’t)
- Rigid application of a standard approach to handling rain-hit matches – which ruined the final as a spectacle
While some of these issues were addressed during the tournament, it was by then too late.
The only bright spot was the fun had by Bangladesh and Ireland in tweaking the noses of their supposed superiors.
The ICC has embarked on a strategy of commercial maximization since Malcolm Speed became their Chief Executive. He should now do the decent thing, and stand down.
Sunday, 22 April 2007
So why is Cyndi so important? Her website Cyndi's List is the biggest repository of genealogy/family history research links on the web. It's not just a list, but a sophisticated indexing system, which gives people the opportunity to browse or search in a variety of different ways for what they are looking for.
Cyndi's List has now been going for more than ten years, and it is interesting to read Cyndi's observations (and frustrations) about how people use the web and issues associated with running such an important site.
It's worth reading quite a few of the tips first, before trying anything - and don't forget to download your template before trying anything!