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In his judgment on Julian Assange's extradition, Senior District Judge Howard Riddle says of the defence's expert witness on Swedish law:

"There is no doubt in my mind that Brita Sundberg-Weitman has had a very distinguished career as a judge and as a jurist. In her time she was no doubt a highly respected expert on many aspects of Swedish criminal law."

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An excellent comment on this blog about the Arab uprisings:

"If and when democracy spreads further through the region, I dare say there'd be voting along tribal/sectarian lines, but that happens here. Name a democracy where it doesn't.

I'll accept a 'towelheads don't do democracy' argument from someone who knows the region well enough to have predicted this wave of uprising."
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Greyhound Leader over and out.

RIP Nick, and thanks for the memories.
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Yesterday afternoon I ordered a couple of books from the Adam Smith Institute.

They arrived in the post this morning.

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Meme from [ profile] chiller:

album cover meme

1 - Go to Wikipedia and click "random article." The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to and hit "random quotes." The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days.” Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 - Use Photoshop, PSP, the Gimp, or similar ( is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
5 - Post it your band's latest album cover and add these instructions so your friends can join in.
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This is wonderful:

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Listen here to patronising idiot Kay Burley interviewing Harry Beckhough, the Conservative Party's longest-serving member, who was mentioned by David Cameron in his conference speech. Sample question: "You didn’t used to have 24 hour news when you first started in politics, did you?"

Here's the blurb for Beckhough's autobiography: Student, soldier, code-breaker, intelligence officer, educationalist, teacher, textile manufacturer and political activist. Father, grandfather, writer, thinker; it is all there in this remarkable book. Remarkable not only for Harry Beckhough's quite amazing power of recall, often of the most intricate detail, but above all for its sense of humanity. Harry recalls his early childhood, student years and founding of the Wakefield Shirt Company before going on to tell of his wartime experiences as a military intelligence officer and codebreaker. We learn of post-war Germany as Harry is tasked with rebuilding German University Education. Returning to Wakefield we are told of the trials and tribulations of establishing and running the Atkinson Rhodes textile company, his help in the early development of the Paul Smith clothing empire, the founding of Cundall Manor Preparatory School and the creation of the CBI. On retiring from his business life Harry devoted his considerable energy to charity work and politics. He tells of his political service to the Conservative Party as a campaign strategist at both local and national level. Harry joined the Conservative Party at the age of 15 and is currently the longest serving member. His passion and commitment to active politics is a constant theme throughout the book.

If Burley had done a bit more research - like, say, 30 seconds on Google - she might have been able to ask Beckhough about all this, as well as his, er, interesting views on the European Union, as uncovered by the Mirror and available to read here.

It's all a German plot, apparently. Has anyone told Mr Cameron?
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So apparently this film by Richard Curtis is the latest attempt to get us all to reduce our carbon footprint (Warning: Al isn't the only Gore involved):

Seriously, what?
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This story is a lovely illustration of the little metropolitan world that BBC journalists live in:

"Woman fights off bear with courgette."

A 14-inch courgette? That'd be a marrow, then...
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This guy will go far in politics. No, really. o_O

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So, [ profile] basement_jax and I went to the Discworld Convention.

Read more... )
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Today is the 1,600th anniversary of the sack of Rome.
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Further to this post, I've got my final result for my physics course - I got a Distinction!

Have also just come back from a week in Durham on this course, which was fun (but hectic - non-stop from Saturday evening to Friday afternoon). I measured Planck's constant to about 20% accuracy - I made it 0.00000000000000000000000000000000052 rather than 0.00000000000000000000000000000000066, which I reckon is not bad. I also demonstrated that photons carry momentum, ascertained the mass and charge-to-mass ratio of the electron, measured the speed of sound and the gap between the atoms in a salt crystal, and built a radio.

Now I have to write up my experiments, whereupon I shall be entitled to a Certificate in Physics. Next up I have this starting in November, this starting in February and this in April!
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Iain Dale discusses the shortcomings of Obama's response to the Deepwater Horizon leak.
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Just got an email with the result of the last assignment for my OU physics course.

100%! Yatta! :-)

Now just the exam in two weeks' time...
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From the "Digital Digest" in today's Independent, Graham Linehan gives us this self-parodic clip from The Late Late Show - Chris Morris, eat your heart out...

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your delectation and delight the United States Army's recipe for chocolate brownies (PDF, 26 pages).

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So, Cameron is giving the Lib Dems 20 ministerial posts.

Coincidentally I'm sure, that's exactly how many seats the Tories are short of a majority.

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