In "Belgians "

I was there on the march and had a great time. I don't get to involved in Belgian politics as they are just too bizarre, but this 'constitutional crisis' is just absurd. Basically the Flemish parties campaigned in the last election for more autonomy for Flanders and did reasonably well. It all comes down to a few electoral districts on the east/southern side of Brussels, known as the BHV. Should they continue their multi-lingual traditions and become part of Brussels region or revert to Flemish only and be part of Flanders. This is what has kept a government from forming for 162 days. The simple answer is to give all the residents a vote to decide. That won't happen as the majority of people want to remain bi-lingual. The Flamands, or rather the hard right Flemish politicians, are getting increasingly petty. For example three towns in the BHV have no mayors because some of them handed out electoral leaflets in French. It's important to remember that most people don't want to split into three. But the voters are not being listened to. To make it even more farcical Laterme, who is trying to get a government together and be our next Prime Minister embarrassed himself on National Day. He was asked what the day celebrated and got it wrong. Then they asked him if he knew the Belgian national anthem. He said he did and to prove it, started singing. Singing La Marseillaise, better known as the French national anthem. There are times when I think Belgium is nothing more than Rwanda with an economy.

In "Fat Cyclist"

Argh, I think they stopped the prizes because last year hardly anyone actually handed them over. My girlfriend is nominated for the third successive year, having won the previous two. The first year we got $20.05, some nice coffee and the offer of a free tour of Dresden. Last year, she won again and got nothing. It's a fun competition and does show some interesting blogs.

In "Cruise 'is Christ' of Scientology"

Feeding the Multitude - brought to you by Burger King. that's how miracles would be reported now.

In "Spread the Net"

what would be interesting is, instead of importing nets, to set up community manufacturing enabling villages to, say make one for themselves and more to sell at a reduced price. this would have a knock on effect throughout communities. most malaria nets i've seen on sale locally are of terrible quality and of a design that isn't appropriate as many african families would need a large circular net that the whole family sleeps under, with a reinforced bottom edge, rather than the box design that is more appropriate to 'western' style beds. i'm also in the dark about how the nets are going to be distributed, who to and what mechanisms are in place to combat theft/fraud. who decides who receives the nets? how will we know they're going to the most needy and not, say the local corrupt village leader handing them out to his friends? i am very disappointed to see just how little information is on the website - especially for one asking for cash. indeed i wouldn't support such an initiative unless a great deal more information was avaliable - but after seeing a tremendous amount of aid projects and 'cool ideas' either fail or actually do harm, i insist on asking hard questions before i part with my cash. i also am suspicious of people who tell you absolutely nothing about themselves. it may be a 'cool idea' but the problem of malaria demands a well thought out solution. to be honest, i see no sign of that in the website.

In "Okay, so first of all, the Duchess of York has a weblog."

So... she works for Weight Watchers.. and McDonalds... No contradiction there.

In "The House That Must Be Mine"

you'll also get jennifer saunders and adrian edmonson for neighbours...

In "Curious George; My hosting company (Dreamhost) is having serious problems. I need a reliable hosting company. Suggestions?"

i use Servage - a fantastic deal

In "Traumatic eclipse of the heart"

Quite right. now if Jaques Brel was singing...

In "Linux-Curious"

i'm installing Ubuntu as we speak. I downloaded the install CD on bit torrent and, as it's a live CD managed to test it out by running it from CD. It picked up the hardware (although this is an old machine) including the woreless mouse and keyboard. Having played with it, and checked out the excellent support forums, I decided to give it a go. I'll post here after it's done and I've played some more.

In ""

having seen your phot, you've got nothing to worry about. as i'm in my mid 40's i now realise that my phobias/worries about how i looked were a waste of time/energy. declaration my partner doesn't rate my opinions

yes. some men want barbies and they might not go for the natural look, but the rest of us love a natural looking woman. all my gf's have rarely used make up and to me, it says 'take me as i am, i'm confident about myself'. guys do forgive a lot of flaws -if only you would forgive som of ours ;) too many women spend too much time worrying about 'flaws'. we're all human, and if a guy won't accept you as you actually are, then dump him ;)

In "Curious George: Name my friends bar"

I first thought of the Dugout also.

In "Engineering on ze German tip!"

They were good fun, but I'm a sucker for anything with a trebuchet in.

In "Incredibly bold opinion offered on Al-Jazeera"

i would like to back up ian would say. every journalist i respect admires al jazeera and i can't wait for al jazeera international, their english service. i recently attended a conference organised by the channel and was very impressed by their courage and honesty. you might be interested in a couple of interviews i did whilst there: Hugh Miles author of al jazeera: how arab mews challenged the world Lieutenant Commander Steve Tatham author of losing hearts and minds: the coalition, al jazeera and muslim public opinion

In ""Whatever you do, don't mention the War.""

they should have used the slogan "Where's my bike?"

In "Oh My!"

pretty much every journalist get's banned from Iran at some point, but i would like to see the explanation for the mis-translation

In "Russian Climbing"

god almighty google video is bad... but this isn't that exciting. the truly hard climbers are polish. i have seen one do a VI ice climb with two meathooks. I've seen them do dramatic stuff lke that on ice at altitude, not on a children's playground.


Sally James' Legendary Pop Interviews... I remember the one with Kevin Rowland SJ: So how did you get the name Dexy's Midnight Runners? KR: Well, you know what dexy's are... World stops revolving for a split second SJ: So, when's the album coming out

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