Things up with which I will put...
The shape of things to come?
I really don't know if I'm into this blogging thing at all. It's fun to work on the site and to bring links like the real Hussein to those who might have missed it but when worrying things are happening in your workplace and your chosen society, well, it's not much fun any more. Nevertheless English teachers and parents in France might like to look at a Guardian report on the situation of schools in the UK today.
One school has already sent 700 pupils home early, but many more are being forced to issue redundancy notices. Next week is the final deadline. Unless ministers act promptly, many more teachers will be laid off. A survey of 86 of the 150 local education authorities by the National Union of Teachers yesterday suggests there could be 1,570 lost jobs in England with a further 560 at risk. Another 250 teaching posts are reported to be at risk in Wales, with the threat to support staff jobs up to three times worse. Remember this was meant to be the year of a big expansion in teacher assistants to help relieve teachers of 28 administrative tasks. Of course some redundancies are unavoidable in schools with falling rolls. But far too many flagged up this year are due to unfair budget squeezes. Ministerial attempts to shift the blame on to local education authorities have fallen flat. Even the department's own survey showed a mere 19 out of 150 councils had failed to pass on the full school allocation.
In these times of [attempted] decentralisation in France should we see here a taste of things to come in the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité?
We Make HP Sauce!
Back online after a lengthy absence of a couple of days. No, I haven't got a sick note either.
Britain's one and only "City of a Thousand Trades", my birthplace, wishes to become European City of Culture. Many excited Brummies are thus trying to make it happen.
Oh, by the way this site has got a very amusing 404 page.
The Real Thing
Would the real Saddam please stand up?
No After Eights for Aznar and Berlusconi!
In 2001, BusinessWeek told us how it was (and still is, I suppose): Speak English or be doomed, whoever you are.
"Politicians such as Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, who both require interpreters, miss out on English-language dinner chatter and one-to-one schmoozing at Euro-gatherings"
Good lesson in RealLinguistik. Only problem is, it's in er...English. So how are the 71% of Europeans (BW's stats not mine) incable of holding a conversation in my mother-tongue supposed to be frightened into having lessons or doing their homework in the "Lycées" and the "Scuole" if they can't read it?"
So be a brick, read the article and spread the word.
Vive l'Europe eh?
UK | Out | ! | Beta | , | News | Yipee | Google | Is
And the French version is on its way too. Check out the latest headlines.
is an anagram for a world-famous corner shop in London. They give you a bloody map when you go through the door in this place. Only tourists walk through the doors, though. I reckon they have a special "Stage Door" type side-entrance for the likes of the Sultan of Brunei and Victoria Beckham to use so they can avoid all the rucksack-esconced plebs. I recently spent a while in there with a couple of colleagues. We were trying to find the pet department. Not that we needed a pet, Ryanair would've charged us the price of a new 737 to bring it back to North Catalonia. It's just that I've always been told that at Rod Rash you can get anything you desire, even an elephant. So we were going to ask how much one was.
In the main lobby they were selling packs of 72 "Tarot" playing cards and as fully-paid up members of the Perpignan Teacher's Tuesday Tarot and Tipple Club™, we didn't buy any. Not at £24 a throw! And need I mention the £24,000 (Yep, £ 24K, bargain) canteen of cutlery? Quite. Nobody actually buys anything from Rod Rash. The only time you see anyone pull out a bit of cash is in the loos, for the immaculately-uniformed keepers of the porcelain bus that hover discreetly while you whistle away. When you have splashed on a bit of YSL after your ablutions, 20p seems a little off the mark somehow. At least I can say I have shopped (well, left some money in the Gents) there now. However, I'm unable to tell you the price of an elephant because when we finally got to Pets, it was closed "...due to high levels of animal stress. We are sure you will understand blah blah". I'm not quite sure on which side of the cages the animal stress was situated so, just in case we were the ones experiencing high stress levels, we went to the in-store pub. Did you know they had one? Oh yes they have, and very nice it is too. Bit pokey though. It's called the Green Man. We would have preferred "White Man" as that was about how you could describe the hue of our cheeks after paying for a round in there.
You can visit London "as if you were there" from the comfort of wherever you have your IAD by going to VRLondon
I'm off "e" - Red Lizards everywhere!
Internet Explorer (6.0) has not been my default browser for over a month now. It just wasn't good enough. OK, the geezer from Redmond does give it to you when they force you to have his OS when you buy a PC. You know what? It's OK, you don't have to click on that blue "e" anymore!.
I have a browser that is free, that comes with an excellent e-mail and newsgroups programme, (hey, no more Outlook Express!) a useful web-page editor (that is getting better all the time, it will soon have a style-sheet editor and all sorts), and an address book. My browser can do more than IE:
- it can be set to block pop-up ads from all or any sites that annoy you.
- It can stop animated images from endlessly looping.
- it can be set not to show adverts or images from all or certain sites
- It has a cookie, password, forms and download manager
- it has a great Print Preview function.
- there are all sorts of plugins that can be added on, from the Google toolbar to advanced web developer tools
- it has tabbed browsing!
- You can highlight a word or phrase and do a search in Google with a right-click!
- I can't go on, it'll take all night...
My browser is only a 12MB download (IE 6 is up to 60 MB, nigh impossible on a dial up connection) and you can have it in most languages. The latest version is numbered 1.31 although there is a 1.4 beta version available for those who don't mind the bugs.
My browser is called Mozilla. If you tend to be a right-brainer, have a read of this article.
Here are the direct links to the relevant downloads for the English and French (or whatever) versions:
Smoking or Non-Smoking?"
Paul McCartney has given up the weed...retrospectively. Maybe they could adjust Ringo's backing vocals in Cool Edit Pro too... More photoshopping and political incorrectness at the Memory Hole.
It's Friday night! click! -----------||
What's in a name?
Interesting to note that the French Education Minister is no longer the "ministre de de la jeunesse, de l'éducation nationale et de la recherche" but plain old "Ministre chargé de l'Education". Wow, the Corporate Branding, Market Segmentation, Product Positioning virus has bitten the powers that be! Reminds me of when, after a century-long quest they finally came up with Consignia for the UK Post Office / Royal Mail. And we all know how that turned out.
Let's Spend the Night together
I'll always remember my first Shakespeare lesson at school:-
Romeo and Juliet
- Play "Let's Spend the Night Together" by The Stones.
- Read the Balcony scene out loud
- Answer the question:-
"So, what have Jagger and Romeo got in common then?"
"Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off".
"...now I need it more than ever..."
"Er, dunno sir"
"It means they both want to sh*g the lady, boy! it all depends on how you ask."
Quite brilliant if you ask me!
New look site in progress, new name (I can't have the badenglish.com domaine name as it's already been taken by John Waites and his eponymous group). Never heard of them.
People are healthy; vegetables are healthful.
Bad English, or rather, common errors of usage is also the subject of Paul Brians' site. Now it is American usage but hey, who can tell the difference these days?
Oh, I nearly forgot. The extremely tasteful background image that I have stolen for this blog came from Squidfingers. There are more than a hundred and we are invited to help ourselves. A link is all that's required in return. Isn't the web great?!
Raed is back
The Guardian informs us that Raed is back. I enjoyed The Baghdad Blogger's tragically funny writing. If you feel like reading some more English, you can do worse.
Whatever happened to Atlanta's Balls?
Atlanta's Balls was set up in order to make finding John Donne resources online a tad easier for people preparing the French Agrégation d'anglais. As old John has had two years on the syllabus, I think we can safely retire his part of the site to graceful linkrot.
So it's goodbye Atlanta's Balls... and hello Bad English!
For info, the most popular part of those pages was the section, visited by ooh about 85 people a day, mainly from the USA and France.The ton of MP3 audio files that I offered to the renaissance-starved masses didn't seem to fly off the server like hot cakes though. Bet if I put the new album by Massive Attack up things would be different.
Speaking of which, MA are offering extra content to visitors to their website who already own one or more of their albums.
"You can now view Massive Attack content if you own Blue Lines, Protection, No Protection or Mezzanine. The more albums that you own, the more content you will be able to preview. This is the first time ever that fans have been able to use multiple albums to receive increasing items of content - the technology has been developed by IDIL Systems who 'fingerprint' the albums so that they recognise the valid CDs."
Well, I reckon I'll be able to see something if I show them my copy of Mezzanine. Don't know about Blue Lines and Protection though... ;-)
Anyway, I doubt if I'll be doing a John Donne style set of pages on a new Agrégation subject, the AgreGang discussion list takes up a bit of time and maybe this blog can be a useful tool in that respect. Maybe I'll just be tempted to ramble on about any old subject without a care. Anyway, I'm having to do this with Blogger (I don't think Movable Type will function on my ISP as they don't allow you to execute CGI scripts. Neither have I installed an "Add a Comment, Send Hatemail "section yet, even if the three people who will read this probably already have my phone number and probably couldn't give a toss anyway. All in good time.
404's can be boring, not to mention a pain in the bum. Unless, however, the one you meet has been customized to make it useful and/or fun Take for example this topical example. I need to make one for a site I'm working on and that is how I came across the fun and useful 404 Research Lab.
I've finally got one up and running. Why, I don't know but here we go...
First of all, thanks to Eric Costello of Glish.com for making this blog template available. Just the job while I think about making my own from scratch.
The Guardian Online use the same one but they removed the psychedelic colour-changing feature. So will I. Sooner, not later, obviously!.