First up, there's been a massive explosion at a fuel depot in Hemel Hemstead, and The England Project is live blogging the event. Tim Newman—who has some experience of these things—reckons that it caused by human error, but apparently there's a lot of smoke. And, as we all know, there's no smoke without fire. Also blogging, sort of, was the NewsWiki, which I think is a really interesting, and useful, idea. I don't know who's behind it, but as long as it's not Murdoch it can only be a good thing...
The big news this week, of course, was David Cameron's—somewhat inevitable—crowning as leader of the Conservative Party. But how did this relative unknown storm ahead so successfully? Well, some pretty good clues are revealed by Conservative Home in a detailed and well-informed post. Ex-Labour MP, Jane Griffiths (who should be familiar to readers of Private Eye), has a bit to say on this topic, but her whole blog is worth looking at. Finally, Strange Stuff takes on Neil Harding's assessment of Squit the Younger, whilst Owen Barder says "who?".
Scott Burgess has been working on a translation of The Project, that supposedly lays out a plan for an effective Muslim infiltration and invasion of the West. Neither Yusuf Smith nor Daniel at Crooked Timber are particularly impressed and, in fact, have some harsh words of condemnation for Scott having published it.
Another big story has been the withdrawal of the Jerry Springer The Opera DVD from Woolworths and Sainsbury's under pressure from Christian groups. The Inside Of My Head notices that he has made it onto the BBC over the matter (and points out that he's never in this Roundup. Well, now your wish has come true! Gosh, I feel like Father Christmas...). And keeping to the theme of religious loonies, bookdrunk has been commenting on gay priests and the Vatican.
Hilariously, Sony continue to have problems with the DRM on their CDs; Francis reports on the latest problems, which stem from SunnComm's system this time, rather than the First4Internet one. This is a big issue, not only because Sony are getting sued left, right and centre, having broken a range of laws in just about every country in the world and opened up massive security holes in people's operating systems (well, on Windoze anyway. Hahahahaha!), but also because it looks like they themselves are guilty of copyright theft. They stole software from the Open Source community, and are facing a possible lawsuit from the GPL licensing body. Excuse me whilst I stitch my sides back together...
Still, not all technology is bad, as the Grumpy Bookman points out: now you can publish your very own magnum opus for just a small sum...
The subject of torture is doing the rounds right now, and there's a good post from The Longrider on how, once again, the Lords have done sterling work, although Jarndyce points out that all is not what it seems in that department. Controversially, Clive Davis makes a case for torture, and I'm now very much looking forward to seeing the comments on that little lot!
Tim Worstall has a nice piece on Our Glorious Leader's total disregard for the law and increasingly fascistic policies. Perhaps Princess Toni should look to these famous public services, so that people like Clare don't get "taxed to BUGGERY" because of the inefficiency of public sector staff?
Diamond Geezer chronicles the demise of the Routemaster bus, whilst Mr Freemarket points out the reason that they were a good thing. Failing a bus, how about cycling in water? Crazy idea? Possibly, but Granny Buttons has the details.
Now, I don't know if you guys have noticed, but there's a new fad going around: it's called blogging, and more and more people are taking it up. Justin has completed his New Blood Roundup, and it's worth taking a look at them all. One of these is the World Weary Detective—who is—and he points out why the world failed to end when the 24 hour booze licensing kicked in. You English and your late licensing! I've almost got a reason to move back to Tonbridge now, if it wasn't such a shithole. Still, relevent to this blogging lark is this post on The Overgrown Path on remixing, blogs and prosecution. Finally for this section, The Englishman has a credo for blogging up: but can you name the author?
"An idea always lives in individuals. It seeks an individual to transmit its great intellectual force. It becomes alive in a brain, and seeks escape through the mouth. The idea is preached by individuals, individuals who will never be satisfied to have the knowledge remain theirs alone. You know that from experience. When one knows something one does not keep it hidden like a buried treasure, rather one seeks to tell others. One looks for people who should know it. One feels that everyone else should know to, for one feels alone when no one else knows. For example, if I see a beautiful painting in an art gallery, I have the need to tell others. I meet a good friend and say to him: "I have found a wonderful picture. I have to show it to you." The same is true of ideas. If an idea lives in an individual, he has the urge to tell others. There is some mysterious force in us that drives us to tell others. The greater and simpler the idea is, the more it relates to daily life, the more one has the desire to tell everyone about it."
You may be surprised.
Everyone's favourite idiot, Polly Toynbee, wrote an article on the Narnia film (which I saw on Friday and rather enjoyed actually. The film, not Polly's article) and too many people to cite ripped her into tiny pieces (although I think that Nosemonkey was pithiest). However, Liberal England has a rather more considered article up about the film, as well as finding some space—who doesn't?—to take a swipe at NuLabour. On the subject of reviews, My London Your London has a review of the latest Christmas horror story: The Super Slash Naughty XXXmas Story.
Now for the slice-of-life section: first up Laban Tall talks about cricket and his son's smelly trousers; how will he fare against all the posh kids?
Sadly, life is not all games and unwise laundry techniques, and Purple Elephant has a slightly distressing story of everyday chibbing folk and some truly extraordinary behaviour (and not in a good way). In Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere there is a whole other London below the one that we know: reading this beautifully written post by Robert Sharp makes one wonder if it's all true, but in Glasgow. Cynical Bastard (great name, crazy guy!) ponders on the future of the underclass, and, if you've ever wondered where the rest of the recycled rubbish goes, then Suz Blog can tell you: Indonesia apparently.
For Daily Mail readers, many of life's problems can be blamed on the high divorce rate, so Natalie at Philobiblion has come up with an alternative to marriage: it's a good idea, even if it feels a wee bit too... clinical for me.
In other news, Sortapundit is trying to raise money to enter the Mongol Rally to raise money for Send A Cow. All donations gratefully received...
Adloyada reports on how the AUT are trying to push ahead with their boycott of Israeli universities. Maybe if they saw more stories like this one about Palestinians militants executing a young boy they accused of collaborating, then maybe the universities wouldn't be so keen. Although I wouldn't bet my life on it. And, on a related note, Drinking From Home has the British Dhimmi Awards up: can you guess who won?
Finally, there's a pithy health warning from Inkycircus:
Moral of the story: don't invite your mother-in-law to the post-op party and if your husband/wife isn't prepared to be supportive when you've just spent a couple of days in the hospital, then not only are they a twat, they are bad for your health.
Well, that's it for this week, chaps. Thanks to Tim for allowing me to host this week's Roundup (it's quite hard work, you know!) and I look forward to next week's: please email your nominations to britblog AT gmail DOT com.
And remember, if you're bored, why not email Jo Brand at email@example.com and explain to her why she really shouldn't be soliciting cash for the Labour Party? Or maybe you'd like to submit the address to your favourite spambots?
Anyway, enough of this maliciousness: I'm off to Cloisters to celebrate bookdrunk's birthday,