31 July, 2008

Underwear in videogames

This article is an interesting look at the sheer (ha ha) ridiculousness of female underwear in video games

30 July, 2008

Blog list addition - marginal revolution.

I've added Marginal Revolution to the blog list as Ive whilst I've read it fairly freqeuntly over the past year or so, I suddenly have found myself on there daily for the past few weeks.

Megan McArdl often references them, as has comment central

(sory bout any an all typos, mid week middle class binge drinking means another bottle down...

edits o follow tomorrow.)


Whe non-lawyers write about law, I often have the same feeling I do when I see 'historical' fiction, however, much of te commentary on the suggestion that the law on partial defences to murder should be changed is not only inaccurate, but often wilfully and maliciously so.

This article
is one of the best, and most balanced I've seen on the subject.

But what is the difference between the wife who kills her husband after a long campaign of domestic abuse, and the husband who kills his wife having caught her in flagrante? Simple really, in my mind. Domestic abuse is illegal. Sex between two consenting adults, whilst morally wrong, is perfectly legal.

I do like the debate about removing minimum sentances though. Really, the guidelines should be enough and the judges should be considered learned enough to go outside them when it is just to do so. If a judge makes a truly crazy decision (of 'short skirt/rape magnatude') then the sentence can be appeal for undue leniency/severity.

More later, I'm very ill.

Playboy for the blind

Playboy for the blind...

The only group who read it for the articles?

(ps: link clean... I've checked)

29 July, 2008

Indexed - BVC style

In a homage to indexed

And because I am very much at the point where the 'days' axis is running out of numbers...

'Tis the season

Well, having applied for a job as an admissions officer at Salford, I'd given up hope as I hadn't heard anything.

This morning just got a letter asking me to interview - yay!

Let's hope the spate of 'good luck with jobs' extends to pupillage!

Curious - a little game

This is an excellent way of wasting half an hour.

I completed it in 22mins and 31 secs.

I have a very slight obsession with these sorts of games...

Will post the daymare one when I've found it.

Any recommendations gratefully received.


Well, I bit the bullet and applied to three paralegalling positions yesterday.

Was pleasantly surprised when the firm I liked the most got back within the hour and offered me an interview for next Monday. They're a respectable sized city firm with a Manchester office. My only problem is that the advert said 'PRG paralegal'. If anyone has ANY idea what PRG stands for, I would be grateful!

My only thought as to why I got the interview was because I've done two vac schemes with solicitors firms in Manchester - maybe that helped?

Or it was simply my sparkly personality!

Fingers crossed, eh?

Crime maps and data protection

Ignore the Tory love-fest going on in the not-so-sub-text of this article, I actually very much agree with crime maps.

There was an article in the Times about a month ago on the same topic (the Times has one of the worst search engines I've seen, I had to use google to find it. Thank God for site search!) where the writer had heard about this working in America, but wanted the same statistic for their street in the UK. The police told them that yes, they had the data and that no, they couldn't have it because of data protection. Boris had the same success.

I can agree that the name and houst number of a rape victim shouldn't be shared, but that#s not what was requested. All you need to know is that on high street in townsville, x number of crimes happened and they were abc. Or, given we have a very efficient postcode system (I just don't understand how countries live without it!), say in postcode are AB1 2CD crimes efgh happened. As postcodes tend to cover about 20-30 houses, this would seem quite a useful number to know about.

I'm broadly supportive of the laws on human rights, data protection and freedom of information. What really annoys me is the non-lawyer idiots who decide to say no to everything in the name of these pieces of legislation.

the most stunning example I've seen was a criminal who sat on top of a house in Gloucester (where else!), shouting, throwing stuff and generally making a nuisance for himself for several hours. Now, I would have just let him sit there until he came hungry as that would be the short way of getting him down and would mean that all the neighbours in the street could go back to their daily lives. What did the police do? They went and got him a KFC bargain bucket because it was his 'human rights'. Have I missed an HR article here? Is my reasonably decent mark in consitutional and administrative law actually a sham and a mockery?

I think every petty official who tries to invoke one of these pieces of legislation - or is in a profession where he is in danger of doing so - should be made to sit down once a year, read all the legistlation in full, have a lecture on it and then sit a written test.

Oh, we can throw health and safety law in there as well.

Fashionable to be green

This article is a wonderful expression of my own views on being green.

We all feel a need to cast the first stone at our neighbours, but now adultery is off the statute book, we'll judge them for their 4x4.

The line I love best:

"I find I can neither get too excited about polar bears (too far away); nor about the twiddly, fiddly little efforts we obedient households are supposed to make to ensure our planet keeps ticking along nicely. Yet, like the thoroughly conditioned member of the chattering classes I am, I do exactly as I'm supposed to."

So, so true.

Right, I'm off to take the glass and cans out...

EDIT: thanks to Al for pointing out the complete lack of a link

28 July, 2008

Victorian Cities

I broadly agree with the thrust of this article but I get very annoyed when people abuse Victorian cities.

Yes, compared to today, they weren't fantastic places to live. I mean, you could smoke in pubs - how backwards is that?

But we seem to have the idea that the slums were the worst places to live. Again, fine, they weren't Victoria Park or Chelsea and Kensington, but they weren't as bad as, say, the countryside. Or Ireland.

There's a good reason why, despite people knowing that the cities were pretty grim, that they still migrated from the country and from places such as Ireland to work there. That's because life was better.

Even working in a factory for 12 hours a day, you would live longer and have (marginally) better health. You were paid (as opposed to living from the land), you had a far wider variety of foods to choose from than in the country, there was almost limitless entertainment on offer for you and inequality was far less entrenched in the cities than in the countryside (the factory owners were new money - unlike the landowners - and there was far greater opportunity to say, set up small shop or similar than just gleaning).

Of course, the pictures that writers such as Engels draw for us of places like Little Ireland (situated in the area just south of what is now Oxford Road Station in Manchester) are of esperate poverty. What should concern us more is how bad that makes the country.

So why do we persist in thinking the cities worse? For to main reasons: firstly, because of an anti-capitalist agenda/pro-back to nature agenda (modern day environmentalists?) but secondly because the poverty in the cities was more noticeable because it was on your front door.

When there was famine in an area of the country, you'd read about it in the paper, but itw ould be a distant place. When the supply of cotton was ut off because of events elsewhere, the factory workers were laid off and would starve to death on your door step (even I'll concede that the cotton famine years quite possibly brought the standard of living down to that of the country). Then, the poverty wsa noticeable.

Good from Evil : The Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan genocide was undoubtably wicked and evil, but the aftermath seems to have sprung some good.

The government has been painstakingly careful to erase any differences between Hutus and Tutsi since 1994 (to the extent that freedom of peech etc have taken a back seat).

The aftermath of the genocide has also meant many opportunities for Rwanda's women - as shown in this article here.

Incarceration and Mother Jones

This article on worldwide levels of incarceration is interesting.

My one criticism is that it fails to consider what may be the future impact of our policies today and sticks very much to fact recital.

On the same site, but on Afghani women, I found this photo-journalism essay more interesting.

27 July, 2008

The interview - Preston

Well, I had the interview with 15 Winckley Square yesterday and I enjoyed it more than I thought I might!

Turns out they are interviewing 8 people for one pupillage - so we'll see how it goes!

They spent the first third of the interview asking me about debating. I realise a question like 'so, you say you're the 71st best speaker in the world - how is that measured?' may have sounded odd in many contexts, but for me it was the perfect opening as it meant I could just go onto 'auto debating explanation' :)

They went through my application form in a lot of detail, luckily I didn't make any of it up or I would have been in trouble! I'd photocopied my results transcript as well, so when they started asking for details about my marks, I handed it over which seemed to save them some effort!

I'm a bit worried that they thought I didn't want to do crime at all. I had to explain that whilst I have a greater interest in civil, I don't loathe crime. I think they were amused when I said that the reason I was put off somewhat by crime was because of the clients!

After they'd gone though the OLPAS form and academics, they moved onto three problem questions involving professional conduct - one of each of their practice areas. I had to be prompted to take further action sometimes (like forgetting to negotiate - oooops!) and got bogged down on side issues on others. I hope they figured that it was just nerves!

The final part focussed on 'HR' questions. Luckily, I'd played the dinner party guests games with friends a while ago (Stephen Fry, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austin, JS Mill and Mary Wollstonecroft, in case you were wondering! I reject Jesus as although He would be interesting and the water to wine is useful, I fear I would have to be on best behaviour all the time!). They also asked a couple of other reasonably odd ball questions - nothing too bad though and all perfectly reasonable.

A friend who was interviewed after me found their contradicting her somewhat disconcerting, I guess debating is fairly handy for being taught just to go 'no, I really do think I'm right and here's why' in a polite manner but unmovable manner.

I tend to become one of two things when nervous: self deprecating or verbally aggressive. They appeared to be laughing at a lot of my answers (Q:"do you get scared when speaking in front of large numbers of people?"A: not really. 1 person and 100 people are all the same to me, it depends who the people are. For example, I'm more scared of a 5 member pupillage committee than I am of 500 students....) OK, so not too funny but hey!

They also asked me my favourite film. I blurted out Princess Bride without thinking and then realised I should probably have said somewhting far more intellectual! What's worse, I then said out loud that I should have chosen something more intellectual.

Given I wasn't sure what to think of the set before the interview (there isn't much information out there) but that I now really like them (quicky, in a good way :)) I really hope to get this one.

Fingers crossed, eh?

(Whilst I came out feeling somewhat positive about how I ha performed, the more I think back, the more errors and mistakes I realise I made. Wish I could stop the mental dissection!)

24 July, 2008


The Boy came back with a wii-fit yesterday.

It's even more fun than I had expected! Whilst on the BVC, I used to walk the journey to and from uni about 50% of the time and its about a 2. 5 mile walk. Now, I spend all day in front a computer convincing myself that reading blogs and playing Civ IV counts as career research and jobs applications and all the typing I'm doing *must* have compensated for the complete lack of leaving the house and walking.

Hmmm, the bathroom scales begged to differ so lets see if the wii-fit can do better!

22 July, 2008

Jibjab- 2--7

And on a similar theme, the same people bring you 'In 2007'...

The iphone bit is great :)

Love this video :)

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

18 July, 2008

Marriage benefits men more than women

I agree with Megan McArdle's analysis of marriage in this article.

To add to what she has said, in the bigamy statistics for about 200 years there were 176 incidents of bigamy record by the old bailey. Only 6 of these cases were women and in one case where it was a woman, she had been sold by her first husband.(here).

Now, ok, these statistics may be somewhat out of date. The institution of marriage has thankfully gone through a number of significant changes since then.

17 July, 2008


I recommend this post on the banning of offensive words in the hope that they will change attitudes.
"but the point is that the amount of hatred behind the word defines its offensiveness, rather than the word itself."

Grammar Schools and the Working Class

I'm a supporter of Grammar schools in general, but this is probably the best argument I've seen as to why they might not be so good for children of working class backgrounds.

Instead of just screaming 'class war' and bursting into tears, it gives a very good argument for how the demise of grammar schools may have accounted for the level of entrepreneurship in British society. Definitely worth remembering for the future.

15 July, 2008

BVC results

Well, just picked up my results today, less than an hour after getting off the plane!

Overall I'm a solid very competent, which is nice.

Very surprisingly, I did significantly better in Employment than I expected. Had I been given the two options marks without their labels, I would have thought I would have scored far better in PI.

Even more suprisingly, I have a certificate stating that I scored the highest mark in professional conduct out of the entire year having got 98%. I'm in one of those odd moods where I wonder where those missing 2% went as they would have been nice to have - but hey, who's complaining! It boosts the average wonderfully.

The only marks I am disappointed with are my advocacy marks. Whilst the scores for A2 and A3 were still VCs, I wish they were higher.

All in all, VC (Very Content).

14 July, 2008


Has an interview! - obviously not wholly retarded on OLPAS.


(Don't know when)

06 July, 2008

Texas update

Just spent the weekend sailing and saw dolphins :)

Our GPS looks more like an etch-a-sketch as it shows us going though the same piece of sea 6 times. Every time we passed through, the dolphins played alongside the boat - was most fun :)

Off to San Antonio tomorrow to see the Alamo etc

01 July, 2008

Zimbabwe past or present- which evil to chose?

This is an interesting article by Megan McArdle where she asks whether Zimbabwe was better as Rhodesia 40 years ago than it is oday.

As she points out, it's a bit like observing that it would be better to slit a baby's throat than burn i to death, but neither option is appealing in the slightest.

I recommend visiting the page to read the comments, but I'll stick with using the same quote which she did (from Timothy Burke):

There remains little that most outside interests can do. Even most sanctions don’t strike me as being potentially effective. I had to really stifle a thunderbolt of rage at one posting on a scholarly listserv that I read when one scholar proferred the argument that although Mugabe is a tyrant, it’s really the fault of the United States and Great Britain, and that the real political challenge is to keep them from interfering. That’s a tragic case of stupid addiction to old dogma, dogma that was analytically wrong-headed in the first place. If I could think of a way for the US and UK to usefully interfere beyond what they’re doing already, I’d encourage them to do it. Western intellectuals and scholars concerned with Africa often still treat sovereignty as an obsessive and magical political objective, as if its mere fact insures a better world.

Or more dubiously, treat some African states today as if they have yet to achieve sovereignty. I think it’s perfeclty fair to say that there are postcolonial states in Africa who have never had a functioning government, nor have ever achieved any kind of central control over the territory marked for them on the map. Zimbabwe is not one of those states. The people in power now, who have been in power for twenty-eight years, have long had a great measure of control over their territory. Zimbabwe is the opposite of the conventional “failed state”: its rulers have very significant capacity for violence and political control across most of their national territory, even with the economy in tatters. It’s demonstrates perfectly that the mere achievement of sovereign power and strong governmental authority guarantees nothing, improves nothing. When some contemporary Zimbabweans mutter that the last twenty years or so of Rhodesian power were preferable to the last decade of independence, it’s hard to disagree. That this statement alone is more likely to horrify concerned Western liberals than any number of ghastly utterances by Zimbabwean authorities in the last decade says a lot about the limited perspectives of those liberals. It’s not that we should have to choose between Smith’s Rhodesia and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: the former was forever stunted, the latter an unending disaster. The problem is with those who believed and sometimes continue to believe that the mere fact of succession by Mugabe over Smith was progress in its own right.