it’s a smallworld

This is something that everyone should try out. When you register for Smallworld, you’ll get a mail back with the details of a random person. The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use your social contacts (throughout the world) to try to reach to this person through as few contacts as possible. It’s run by the University of Columbia Department of Sociology. So, if anyone knows Christopher Schrader in Munich, let me know!

stop the war

I’ve just sent a fax to Jane Griffiths, MP for Reading East. Apparantly MP’s don’t read emails – a bit technologically advanced for them. Anyway, I wanted to know her opinions on the potential conflict with Iraq and questioned her about the state of the Middle East in general. The site reckons she replies to 70% of faxes within 2 weeks, so hopefully I’ll get a response from her. For anyone who doesn’t know, there is an “Don’t Attack Iraq” protest march on Saturday in London at 1pm. It’s organised by the Stop the War coalition and the Muslim association of Britain. I’ve never protested about anything before but I feel that this isn’t the best way to remove Saddam from power or to free the Iraqi people of a decade of US-led sanctions. So I’ll see you there at the weekend.

ikea IKEA Ikea

I took a trip to Ikea yesterday in Bristol. 180 mile round trip. Why did I travel such a vast distance to buy products which have been made out of wood in Sweden, shipped to China and then brought back to the UK via a distribution centre probably in France or Germany? Well it’s cheap I suppose. And generally the stuff is cheap because it’s made in bulk and sold all around the world in bulk. Go to an Ikea in the US, Spain, Australia or Japan and they’ll all have the stupid sounding Swedish names. This is what I don’t like. I’ve been to probably half a dozen houses where people have exactly the same upstanding light in the lounge. I also have one (well two actually..) – everyone has the same mats (like the one in the Big Brother house) – and those triangular plastic lights are scattered across student digs nationwide. The homogeneity is a shame really, but as we know the economics of globalisation hold no enemies. On the positive side, it has made the British public more innovative with home furnishings so that can be no bad thing. We don’t want the floral sofas and curtains of the 70s again…

friday evening

I spend most of the week not working quite as hard as I possibly should and then on Friday afternoon have the exciting task of installing a new piece of Oracle software (no, it doesn’t get more rock and roll than this). Friday night. I want to be out drinking with my new housemates, not sat in the office. And to make it worse, I’m going to have to come in tomorrow – our jobs may depend on it…. More about that next week. For now I have to supplement the beer for tea and the music to Radio 1 off the internet 🙁 – oh, and the blog appears to have stopped working.