Poking around, but mainly through Steve's Del.icio.us, I found this story from 10 years ago (Friday 25 October 1996, 13:41 GMT to be precise). The good old days, eh?

Yahoo and Webmania join forces to slay the opposition

Steve Bowbrick, managing director of Webmania, proposed the motion at the Oxford Union this week, that "This House believes that the Internet heralds the rise of a global community" and won his case.

Supporting bowbrick was Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, and Sam Greenland, Treasurer of the Union. Opposing the motion was Tim Kirkhope, Parlimentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, Paul Ross, broadcaster and writer, and Malcolm Hutty of Internet Vision.

Arguments from the opposition centred on the alienating and isolating effect of computers and the internet, encouraging a lack of physical contact, attacking the idealism of those supporting the motion that the internet is akin to the coming down of the Berlin Wall. Bowbrick and his supporters successfully demonstrated that the internet is, in fact, a tool for connecting people and can only increase the richness and plurality of communities.

Bowbrick commented: "It is great compliment to be asked to speak at the Oxford Union. I see it as a indication of the seriousness with which the internet is beginning to be taken. The internet is moving away from the perception of being a toy and taking its rightful place as serious commercial tool for the wider business community."


Stiff Little Fingers - Nottingham Rock City December 1987

I never saw Stiff Little Fingers live but I spent a large chuck of today listening to a bunch of their stuff. Here we go:

Alternative Ulster

Nothin' for us in Belfast
The Pound so old it's a pity
OK, there's the Trident in Bangor
Then walk back to the city
We ain't got nothin' but they don't really care
They don't even know you know
Just want our money
And we can take it or leave it
What we need is

An Alternative Ulster
Grab it change it it's yours
Get an Alternative Ulster
Ignore the bores and their laws
Get an Alternative Ulster
Be an anti-security force
Alter your native Ulster
Alter your native land

Take a look where you're livin'
You got the Army on your street
And the RUC dog of repression
Is barking at your feet
Is this the kind of place you wanna live?
Is this were you wanna be?
Is this the only life we're gonna have?
What we need is


They say they're a part of you
But that's not true you know
They say they've got control of you
And that's a lie you know
They say you will never be

Free free free

Get an Alternative Ulster
Get an Alternative Ulster
Get an Alternative Ulster

Bettany Hughes on Stella Vine

Apparently Bettany Hughes was at Stella Vine's show at Oxford. I didn't see her but then I probably wouldn't recognise her unless it was on the telly. I'll look at my photos again.

"My week: Bettany Hughes

...Suitably steamed-up (uncharacteristic, I'm pretty much a Pollyanna), I drift to Oxford for the opening of Stella Vine's show at Modern Art. The competing merits of concept and process always interest. There are many good ideas in the world and a handful of successful executions.

The crowd buzz around with excited, brittle smiles. But these gauche canvases genuinely seem to move their audience. As Diana's lips bleed and Courtney pulls off her panties in the back of a cab and Nigella tempts the vicar they remind me of the world's first created woman - described by Hesiod as the kalon kakon. The beautiful-evil thing.

After the garish glory of Vine's paintings, squalling London looks very cold in the light of day..."


Fast supper ideas: No 1

Got home, wet carrying a large framed photo (which luckily wasn't wet). Having been away for 4 days there wasn't a great deal of food in the cupboard. Wife is out tonight (Me: "But you'll leave my tea for me won't you?" Her: "Yeah, right.") so it's a meal for one. In the cupboard there's a packet of chicken noodle soup. The instructions are in Turkish but how hard can it be to make noodle soup out of a packet? On it's own this isn't going to be very nutricous and we're out of eggs (would have been nice poached in the broth). In the absence of frozen peas I found a tin of chick peas that I added to the soup quite early on. I also chopped a clove of garlic and added that and some black pepper. I fancied it a little spicy so I added some chopped green chilis I'd pickled in my pepper sauce a while ago and that gave it the required kick. It's not dissimilar to an Italian dish my Italian mother-in-law makes with chick peas, stock and spaghetti. The only thing to watch out for in my version is the MSG in the noodle soup, it could have you sweating like a pig. You could use MSG-free stock cubes and spaghetti.


Stella Vine at Modern Art Oxford

Stella Vine
Originally uploaded by Catfunt
Stella Vine's show at Modern Art Oxford is the first chance to see the range of work that she's produced over the four short years that her career (at least in the public eye) stretches. The first thing is that it instantly dispels the twin ideas that she can neither paint nor come up with engaging subject matter. This was the first time in a long time that I had the sense of entering the alternative universe and point of view that art can give us. It's a dark but absurd world of a dripping Kate Moss, Pete D as harlequin, Princess Di as a dripping pleading emotional sponge as well as other characters (a boss-eyed Superman, a mis-proportioned Spiderman) I hadn't seen before.