20 years since Bhopal, still no justice

Next Friday is the 20th anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, and there is a global day of action scheduled. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, read this, then sign the petition.

Colour me yellowy orange

As I read this article [simon] on the opportunity the Lib Dems have of becoming “second party” in the UK, I increasingly felt like wow, maybe it’s finally time to join up. Then I read this:

They [the lib dems] are instinctively permissive, even if their brains tell them to be watchful about what they permit.

which, basically, is me. I don’t always listen to the brain, though.

Fudge pickers

So yesterday we visited the Llys Nini RSPCA shelter and introduced ourselves to a few cats to see if any would like to adopt us. I won’t bore you with the details of all the cute ickle fwuffykins we saw, but honourable mention must be made of Cornelius, the doppelganger of Buster, my first cat and The Best Cat Ever – but he probably needs to be homed with his buddy Josephine, and anyway he’d have a lot to live up to, looking like that.

In the end we’ve put our name down next to Fudge, a dainty white & black shorthair with a gammy leg (though she could still do yoga, I was pleased to see). There is a slight medical question which needs to be settled before they can release her, which might delay things a few weeks alas, but for now we’re hoping she’s the one. If she’s not, Chester was pretty cool (and a lot bigger, which my lap prefers). We’ll see. In the mean time, we can visit Fudge any time we like to get to know her better – and that’s exactly what we’re doing in a minute. Then I’m off to work… :)

Oh yes, and I saw What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? for the first time last night. Magic.

A computer trailer is no place for a kitty

w00t! The landlords, in their infinite wisdom, have given permission for us to get a cat, so expect photos of cute ickle kitty doing fluffy/destructive/insane things from now on… And if you can’t wait for that, these should keep you warm.

Gfump gfump

www.phamnews.co.ukPlumbing, Heating and Air Movement News, which, being a schoolboy at heart, made me think of farting. Fnar.

Gentle terrorism by photography

Gentle terrorism by photography: David Shrigley’s work is marvellous [will].

Favourites, if you can’t be bothered to browse: Beach Dwellers (which reminds me of “Them”, a picture by my old friend David Dickinson), One Day A Big Wind Will Come (gloriously hopeful), Imagine The Green Is Red (sinister), Sunday Adventure Club (let’s go, kids!), Landmine (must try this), and finally pumpkin (just plain old troubling).

Fuck The South

“Let the Spanish keep it, it’s a shithole,” we said, but you had to have your fucking orange juice. Absolutely fantastic. Pure distilled vitriol in its tastiest form. Thanks, Barbara…

Python interface stuff

I’m currently working on a laaaaarge and very complicated database system – a real beast. I think it’s about time I wrote some nice GUIs to help me wrestle with this beast… You know, drag myself off the command line and into the 1980s and all that. Naturally, I’m working in python, and since I’ve inherited some Tkinter based code, and it looks reasonable, I think I’ll try that out.

These things must be multi-threaded, because there are some very long-running operations taking place. Remembering I’d seen some good stuff online on this very task, I fired up the googlesaw, and found the following: A short example of Tkinter and threads by the venerable Fredrik Lundh, the classic (in that I’ve met it before, back in my Frontier days) Threads, Tkinter and asynchronous I/O from the ActiveState Cookbook (OK, I’m not exactly doing async I/O, but you could consider long-running database ops from that point of view), and finally (for now) a complete Python Tkinter sample application for a long operation, which pays attention to progress bars and the like.

Writing the words “ActiveState Cookbook” reminds me that I’ve got “The Python Cookbook” in dead tree form on my bookshelf. Maybe I should look at that too… Yep, there are a few Tkinter bits and bobs in there (and some database stuff I should probably check out). Groovy.

Bonus level, this looks cool: A Sinus Plasma, using Pygame. That takes me back to my Amiga days, when I used to watch these crazy colourful “demos” with swirly sine waves, the precursors of all the nifty visualisation plugins for winamp, itunes, etc. I always wondered how it was done – apparently it’s bloody simple. :)

Moaning about work again

Yesterday (a Sunday): at work from 2pm until midnight. Today, 10am until right now (00:50 the next morning).

I’m not spending this quality time doing research or catching up on my marking, so it must be time to exam team stuff? That’s right, kiddies. Joy… Or, to put it another way, sob.

However, my gift of a wife is hauling her purty self out of bed to come and pick me up. Don’t feel too bad: she wasn’t asleep, she was surfing the net and occasionally chatting with me. So that’s nice.

Who is Tamsin Grieg?

Tamsin Grieg in the Guardian, wittering about celebrity and the absurdity of fame and all that and everyfink. Worth reading if you’re a fan, I guess.