No room at the inn

No Vacancy sign

News is breaking – and being widely commented upon on the various social media – that Peter and Hazelmary Bull have put their £750,000 Cornwall, UK B&B on the market due to poor guest numbers and legal costs. This is the married Christian couple who would not let a double room to gay civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall at Chymorvah Hotel in 2008 because they believe in sex only between married couples. The gay couple sued and won. The B&B owners appealed and lost.

The Bulls claim in addition to this they have been subjected to a hate campaign; vandalism (they say their car wheels were tampered with), death threats, a rabbit nailed to their fence and an orchestrated “sting operation” by gay activists. Opponents say that comments on the trip advisor website concerning their B&B show the true reason for their failure; It’s a real shame because it could be a lot better if the rooms were cleaner/up to date and fresh and the people running the hotel more hospitable.
Continue reading

The Internet (Net) versus the World Wide Web (Web)

Morph waving behind 3 Ws

I expect you knew this, but I thought that Tim Berners-Lee was the inventor of the Internet. I was wrong; in fact it was Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.

Well, partly wrong because Tim invented the Web and it was actually my ignorance of the difference between the Net and the Web that was at fault.

The Net is the physical network of computers and hardware linked together and the Web is the collection of sites and information that the Net enables access to.

I know that I hadn’t appreciated the two sides to this before now – probably reflecting how seamless the whole experience usually is. Goes to show that you need both the means and the vision to make a real success.

He explains the difference below, although we are no further enlightened as to why he added the space within “world wide” or what the vision for this was. Maybe he did it just because he could.
Continue reading

Insomnia

Ship on a moonlit sea
I stare at eyelids,
Notice the pattern of blood vessels
Steer the ebb of floaters
On the Sea of Tranquility:

Moonlit reminiscences of
Night-time adventures.
I salute the voyage of the Dawn Treader
As she pulls into port.
 

Facebook life

Facebook thumbs-up
Counting the names on the list,
Of friends who virtually exist,
I find great worth
In noting the dearth
Of names I wouldn’t actually miss.

Refreshing the page of a post
I thought witty, refined, the most
Pleasure I get
Is to find it beset
By likes of which I can boast.

Threading through my timeline
All of these things combine
To bring me great joy
Yet it is but a ploy
To hide inside from sunshine.
 

Piano peaks

piano

I seem to have managed to learn playing 2 octaves with one hand whilst playing 3 octaves with the other on the piano! Probably doesn’t mean much if you don’t play the piano, but I’ve been trying to manage playing the 2 notes against against 3 rhythm for ages:-). Now to try for 4 against 3…

Happy Raksha Bandhan

Rakhi bracelet on a hand

Happy Raksha Bandhan everyone! I must admit I didn’t know of this Hindu festival before a kind friend gave me the Rakhi pictured. These sacred threads are given as a sign that you are considered a brother. We spent a lot of time together growing up and it’s wonderful to have friends we think of as family. Thank you, Lydia!

Morality, theft, and Netflix

Netflix logo

Theft is wrong. Most – although by no means all – of us can agree on that. We have an instinctive feel for what this means at the basic level; if someone owns something we shouldn’t take it from them if they don’t want us to. The law backs this up too; the most basic definition of theft under UK law tells us “A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.”[1] I doubt that the laws of most other countries significantly deviate from this.

So why do we hear so much of people “stealing” intellectual property on the internet; music, books, film, software, it seems that little that can be sent down a fibre optic cable is sacrosanct. If you know how, it is relatively easy to avoid paying for such items on the internet – certainly much easier than it would be to enter a shop and take the physical copy of these items. So has society lost its way? Has the spirit of morality died? I don’t think so. I believe that many people who might download a copy of their favourite movie for free if they came across it online would be shocked at the thought of going into a music shop and walking out with a DVD in hand unpaid for, so something else is clearly going on here.
Continue reading

Uses for the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail

Cat trays lined with the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph
It really annoys me when people slag off the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

I can honestly say that no other newspaper lines our cat trays so snugly as the Mail and that no newspaper other than the Telegraph has the necessary dimensions to fit on the floor beneath the trays to catch whatever may slop over.

Sochi 2014, Russian anti-gay laws, and Stephen Fry’s letter

Russian OMOH policeman reflected showing HOMO

Since Stephen Fry’s open letter to David Cameron and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) I have seen many misapprehensions from people defending the hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia (cough cough Daily Telegraph cough cough). The same arguments as to why the Games should go ahead despite Russia’s human rights violations go round and round so I thought I would list the principal ones I’ve seen and my suggested responses. I’m sure there are more around – please add your own in the comments!

There are lots of places which don’t respect human rights, why aren’t they complaining about Saudi Arabia and Uganda and just concentrating on Russia?” Well Saudi Arabia and Uganda aren’t hosting the Olympics! And if they were I would argue against that too.

We didn’t stop China having the Games and their human rights record is terrible!” True, and in my opinion the IOC shouldn’t have let them host the games. But two wrongs don’t make a right.
Continue reading