September 2006

24 September 2006
Why do we have the tapping-up rule? Gary Lineker, for one, can't see the point.

21 September 2006
Wiki progress

I am still moving over pages from my Wiki to what I am currently calling my Library.  The latest conversion is Against rail safety regulation.

You would have thought it was relatively straight forward to do these conversions but unfortunately it is not.  Firstly, direct conversion is altogether more fiddly than you might think.  Secondly, a lot of the pages really aren’t good enough and so, are undergoing something of a re-write.  This is particularly true of the rail-related pages which I am going through at the moment.  These were in many cases amongst the first pages I ever wrote and so lack many of the refinements and techniques I later developed.

09 September 2006
Oh yeah…

In 1883, we are told, a stall in Petticoat Lane was selling condoms decorated with the heads of Queen Victoria and Mr Gladstone.

Noel Malcolm reviews The Middle Class: A History by Lawrence James.

03 September 2006
Once more unto the breach

I appreciate that things have been a bit quiet on the Croziervision front recently but that should not be taken for a lack of activity.  Far from it.  I have been giving a lot of thought to the Wiki and a few other things and I have, more or less, arrived at a conclusion.

The main one is to abandon MediaWiki as the software.  MediaWiki, while being marvellous in all sorts of ways, is designed for collaborative projects.  The Croziervision Wiki is anything but collaborative.  There were some neat features with MediaWiki, such as versioning, but I have come to the conclusion that while neat they are not absolutely essential.  The really big drawback was the difficulty in commenting.  So, it’s back to Expression Engine, which can do all sorts of clever things including commenting even if it does mean porting the 100 or so existing Wiki pages to EE.  What fun.

All this begs a question about the name.  Now that it’s no longer a Wiki it doesn’t seem right to keep calling it a “Wiki”.  But then again it doesn’t seem right to call it anything else.  Well, it wouldn’t if it were not for the fact that during this hiatus I did indeed start calling it something else - ”The Croziervision Library” as it happens - and even went to the lengths of using the name for the banner, the templates, the directory and the blog.  So now I have two names for whatever it is, neither of which I am entirely happy with.

“Call it what it is.” I keep telling myself that and end up with Patrick Crozier’s reasonably up-to-date, reasonably comprehensive, library of pre-prepared viewpoints.  Hmm, thinks: “That’s not a bad description.  Think I’ll use that.”

02 September 2006
Can somebody explain to me the mysterious popularity of Magner's Irish Cider? Let me explain. Cider is made from apples. Apples come from apple trees. But in Ireland trees of any description, let alone apple trees, are about as common as snakes.

What, exactly, are they making this cider from?

Bad Lads’ Army

So we come to the end of yet another series of Bad Lads’ Army - British TV’s most subversive programme.

While the massed ranks Establishment would have us believe that there is nothing that can be done about the current crime wave, Bad Lads’ Army drives past delivering a well-aimed two-fingered salute. 

The programme (originally Lads’ Army) starts from the simple premise that there is nothing wrong with today’s youth that could not be solved by a month of 1950s-style National Service.

What happens every year is that some of the 30 or so recruits get chucked out but that most make it through to the end.  Along the way, a regime of physical exercise, kit inspection, psychological challenges, instant punishments, paltry rewards, ill-fitting uniforms and lots and lots of cold water tame their initial arrogance and cockiness and replace it with team spirit, pride and a respect for others.  For many of them passing out from Bad Lads’ Army is the first thing they have ever seen through.

Whether what the viewer sees is a true reflection of what happens (I think yes) and whether the effect lasts (I suspect not) is debatable - TV is such a liars’ medium.  But ITV is to be congratulated for devoting an hour of primetime to the idea that no one is irredeemable.