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Had much fun chatting with a newly returned mycroftb and lazerus101 over in a quiet nook of the Lost Furest, in between sim crashes. ^_^ The ornj one had just been upgraded (but not in that way, though I would like to give that bit of avatar design a try), with some enhancements to the venerable Luskwood bunny. A really good time, spent chatting about many things culinary, and scripting/building possibilities and achievements. Okay, so I'm a bit of a food geek, so I found chatting about the wonders of balsamic vinegar and different styles of Bolognese sauce fun. Is that so wrong? =:)


"DRM as we know it is over." - Paul Birch, member of the executive committee and main board of the International Federation of Phonographic Institutes (IFPI) as well as the BPI Council and Chairs International. The day can't come too soon. All DRM ever accomplishes is penalising legitimate owners, restricting their use in various additional ways (only working on certain platforms, requiring the original disc be present, breaking after a certain OS version, never to be fixed as the company's long since gone, etc).

A report of free hugs in San Francisco. ^_^

Via orona_red, there's a petition (hosted, you'll notice, on the Prime Minister's subdomain) to remove the ban in the UK on blood donations by gay/bi people. Open to British citizens and residents.

I found this simultaneously encouraging and regrettable - heartening in that he'd come that far, yet only to find the power brokers against him. The Christian Coalition's new president elect, 'The Rev. Joel Hunter, of Longwood's Northland, A Church Distributed, said Wednesday that the national group would not let him expand the organization's agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage.

This is the latest setback for the group founded in 1989 by religious broadcaster the Rev. Pat Robertson. Four states - Georgia, Alabama, Iowa and Ohio - have decided to split from the group over concerns its changing direction on issues like the minimum wage, the environment and Internet law instead of core issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Hunter, who was scheduled to take over the socially conservative political group Jan. 1, said he had hoped to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment.

"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said. "They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base.'"'

Fun costuming project.. Cerberus is making a raccoon mask in the style of that Seeed video. ^_^ (Complete with LED eyes, of course)

An interesting look at how Asperger's Syndrome plays out positively in SL.

 
 
 
 
 
 
there's a petition (hosted, you'll notice, on the Prime Minister's subdomain) to remove the ban in the UK on blood donations by gay/bi people

I agree with the sentiments, and certainly support an end to the automatic ban, but I'm not all that convinced by the wording of this particular petition.

The report that came out from the Health Protection Agency the other day showed that the number of new cases of HIV in men who have sex with men was at its highest ever, that MSM make up 80% of the syphilis epidemic (yep, the HPA used that word) and that gonorrhoea was rising among MSM but falling among heterosexuals. Uncomfortable as it may be, there's considerable evidence that MSM are at greater risk overall.

Now, as I say, that doesn't affect my overall view that the outright ban is unfair. It just means that I have some difficulty with some of the supporting text to this particular petition. (And it also used "your" when it meant "you're", which is unforgivable on something that actually matters!)
Here, I feel, we're at modest risk of not seeing the woods for the trees - the matter distills to whether or not an automatic ban is justified, and we're in agreement, it seems, that it isn't.

I'll be wanting to follow this story, I think. Such a ban is wretchedly unfair, not to mention a terrible waste, considering the degree of need the service sometimes has in times of urgent demand. But petitions are all too easily ignored - even large scale demonstrations can be brushed aside, as we saw in the run-up to Bush's decision to invade Iraq regardless of the country's irrelevance in the WTC attacks, or in international terrorism in general. Still, both would seem essential components of a healthy democracy.

I might even be able to overlook the misplaced possessive, though it will be difficult. Perhaps I can mask its presence by re-reading this particular example of mangling of the English language, not to mention pummeling the precepts of logic.
I didn't even read the More Details bit. I really should look before I leap.

So France accepts gay blood but not British blood, eh?
Actually I've already written to the government myself protesting at the automatic ban: your description of the ban as "wretchedly unfair" is absolutely accurate. In any case, I'm banned from donating blood myself because of being epileptic, something I (and my GP) believe is unfair, so I suppose you could say I have a personal interest in the subject in that sense.

My point, which I didn't get across too well in my initial reply, is that if you're petitioning on a subject like this, it's really important to stay focused on the precise matter in hand. Drifting off to one side a bit as seems to have happened with this petition gives an obvious get-out for the govt, since they can attack those bits and ignore the main point. And the easy one in this petition is the implication that heterosexuals are at no less risk of having infected blood than gay/bi people... which in many cases is not actually true.

It's a bit like in the Commons, where MPs persist in asking long-winded, multi-claused questions that can easily be wriggled out of by (prime) ministers, where a simple "X is unfair because of Y. What are you going to do about it?" would be a lot harder to escape. In other words (and I'm a fine one to say this!) don't waffle in the supporting text, because it makes your point easier to ignore.