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Archive for July, 2007

MentalNurse: Irreverent Buddhist Sent To Coventry.

July 26th, 2007 No comments

Over at MentalNurse I have become engaged in a most unsatisfactory string of arguments with a self styled respectable academic tw@. “Training the next generation of Mental Health nurses”, ‘Beakie’ maintains absolutely that Psychiatrists “have no power” and that the “real” power lays in Government, where it “always has”.

Such an absurd reductionist argument is reminiscent of Marx. Oh well. I can not argue with the tw@ any more because I have been “sent to Coventry” and banned from commenting on the site. I hope “Mental” the owner of the site recognises that running a comfy shop does not lead to running a healthy shop. Perhaps this is the reason Mental Health facilities and services are so often god damn awful. People who work in them are so busy “managing” the patients with chemicals, threats or other devices to keep things quiet, that they never get to the root of the problem – the patients never get to express what it is they need.

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Monsoon Britain: A Taste Of What Is To Come

July 26th, 2007 No comments

This summer we are enjoying a monsoon in England. Aside from the ten thousand or so homeless our antiquated water management system seems to have created, the main worry seems to be whether the weather justifies spending even more money on a roof for the Olympic Stadium.

Of course, this additional economic activity will only add to the speed of climate change but at least the two week festival will pass without an umbrella crisis. That man is so shortsighted in his activity is no surprise to us. But the conesequences are coming. For Britain, the permanent change in position of the Gulf Stream will change our weather patterns completely. We will end up enjoying a three season pattern of weather.

Monsoon will run from around the end of April until the middle or end of August. The there will be a hot season lasting until the end November by which stage it will be cooler, before a short sharp and very cold winter begins in December and runs through until March.

Our farming and crops and insects and parasites and much else will change. The pattern will enshrine itslef within the next twenty five years, and quite clear agreement that it is where we are headed will be reached in five years or so. Just around the time of the Olympics, be they roofed or unroofed.

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US Economy: Prime Down, Private Equity Short: It’s Here: Prepare For The Bear

July 26th, 2007 No comments

The US economy has run on cheap oil and cheap foreign money for many years. With the current levels of Dollar dominated indebtedness at all time highs the strain in the system is starting to show. The dollar, standing at $2.05 to the british pound, has continued the steady decline I commented on in October 2004. Since that date that drop has been around 6% against the Euro. Now we are seeing a potential implosion in the US sub-prime mortgage market which will have inevitable knock on effects on the US domestic economy as mortgages are pulled and lives turned upside down.

The overspill into the business sector of the potential funding shortage that may now arise has also begun I believe. Private equity buy outs are facing a shortage of funds as the underwriting banks are still carrying on their books much of the stock they issued for transactions earlier this year. Since Bush was re-elected for the second time, delay of an economic bear market in the US has only been managed by spending lots of dollars on very unpopular wars. The Republicans do not believe theirs will be the next president so the current situation suits them fine.

The Democrats will be handed a Basket economy on the point of implosion and two wars they can neither win, withdraw from or pay for. When I was at Las vegas airport earlier this year a Trucker from New Jersey gave me a light. We chatted as we smoked outside the terminal. “You watch”, he said, “The Democrats are down to a black and a woman for President. The Republicans aren’t gonna let a black or a woman run the show. There will be another major terrorist attack”. I do not believe he is right there. Another terrorist attack would only ensure the Democrats are in for ten years, whomever they chose. Without it they will be in for five, crisis managing through the bear to the beginning of the upside, before a shiny young besuited whiter than white Republican can take over to ride the good times.

Prepare for the bear because it is coming. Luckily we will be protected from the wash to some extent by the trading block of Europe and the trade we have with China and India who are of course leading world growth. But any major remolding of the shape of the US economy will not be without knock on effects. In the UK we can expect inflation up 1 -1.5% over the next two years and interest up 2 – 3 points. At the same time many people are coming off low fixed rate mortgages set five or ten years ago. The effects on consumer spending will be quite significant, slowing growth to near zero for a short sharp spell.

The worst affected will be the same borrowers as in the US: those who are mortgaged at higher rates because they have less resources and lower credit ranks. Oh, and those who own businesses.

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Logo Designs for UntwistedVortex.com

July 24th, 2007 No comments

RT at untwistedvortex.com has been running a logo contest for his blog. Despute the appalling current design scene at freedomforall.net I put pixels to screen for fun. The best fun in the world for me is doing something simple for someone else.

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Computer Mod: In The Desk Not On The Desk

July 10th, 2007 No comments

UPDATE: Full story here:

I got really fed up with having a great big white computer box on my desk and wires all over the place. You know the situation: cables and computers are not pretty. There was only one solution: My desk and my computer needed to be merged.

This was not your typical computer maintenance project. I did use a phillips screwdriver – quite normal – but the widespread use of a hacksaw, jigsaw and hammer to get everything in the right place and operational differentiated this project from most rebuilds I have done (lots).

Having managed to get the case cut down to provide a backplate and mounting for the motherboard and PCI devices I then cut out the back of the desk drawer for the cable access. The hammer was widely used throughout this project.

Amazingly I managed to get everything nicely located. Both the DVD drive and CD writer will appear from the front of the drawer. Have yet to cut the slots to locate them. And can’t decide if I want to go to the trouble of getting some matching veneer and giving them a wooden fascia to match the rest.

The old lock on the drawer was removed and the barrel emptied and cut down to become the power button. Locating the power switch behind the lock was easy enough. The main thing was trying to organise all the bits so they would a) fit b) connect with standard cables and c) not cook each other. Currently she is running in the drawer, in the cabinet at 43 degrees C CPU temp – thats low enough for me and only 4 degrees higher than when the beast was in a case.

Time to power up and see if this thing will actually fly. Holy cow she does !!!

Finally I have to do some cabinetwork on the desk she is going in. It’s an old base unit from a large office desk

few more bits to finish: cutting the CD drawer openings, securing the lock barrel to the power switch (don’t try no more nails – I discovered it dissolves the power switch plastic :D ) and then I have to cut down the cabinet and rebuild the desk. Nearly done. Will post a pic when the final details are completed.

Just her smoked glass top to come.

Full story of the build here

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Categories: art, Computers, Life Tags: