Sunday Roast: build a better mousetrap and the terrorists will build a better mouse

This weeks title bears no real relevance to the Roast at all, I just liked it and wanted to use it. It appeals to my sense of the absurd (and if you’re wondering, yes it is a quote from our dumb cousins across the pond) – come on, terrorists are using mice now? Robot mice? What are they going to do, eat all the cheese?

Anyway, enough American mocking because, fun though it is, for some reason large numbers of my readership normally fail to see the funny and get all annoyed at me. I don’t want hate mail – it’s no fun 🙁

Yes, Cas is in a silly mood today. And talking about herself in the third person which is never a good sign…

Curly Durly always made some pretty groovy cakes for birthdays when we were growing up – my favourites were the tipper truck where the truck bed actually tipped and cascaded sweets all over the table and this beautiful piano cake – but even she never made something as impressive as this Discworld wedding cake. The Discworld doesn’t scream matrimony to me as much as the traditional white with two figurines on top, but still – good cake.

Lelia is one hell of a lot braver than I am. I saw MySpace and ran away in screaming terror. She saw MySpace and like any good anthropologist would, decided it needed investigation – read her field notes.

How to survive a plane crash. Doesn’t really need much more introduction, does it?

There is now a penguin robot in existence. Do I have to spell out how freeking happy this makes me? 😀

I’ve played with the idea of creating an online shop a time or three (what’s stopped me is that I have nothing really to sell – the jewelry, notebooks and quilts I make, I make on a commission/request basis) and the instructions for Shopify and PayPal integration always scared the crap out of me. These instructions to mod WordPress into a shop seem (slightly) less scary and have the benefit of using WordPress which we all know and love.

See, it’s not just my American readers who don’t like my US-bashing, it upsets the Federal government as well!

I like science when it proves something I already believes: scientists have shown that black tea really does calm you down. I’d always thought it was the combination of the act of taking a break, making the tea, and holding the warm mug, as well as what was in the mug in the first place. Nice to know that millions of British people haven’t been party to a mass generational cultural disillusionment.

In the latest reported case of politician foot-in-mouth syndrome, Jack Straw announced Muslim women should not wear veils which cover the face.

Yes. I think you can work out the response from there on your own, don’t you?

Not just a good minion, but a talented photographer as well. What I want to know is how you got that cat in there in the first place Jay! Is it a habitual haunt, or did you just block it in with books?

Which five bloggers would you love to meet?
A question impossible to answer without offending the people I didn’t mention. Suffice it to say, if you comment on the blog I’d love to meet you. I’m not going to list you all because you know who you are. Plus I know I will forget people, not because I don’t love you, but because, well, I have the memory retention of a brain injured goldfish.

Because it illustrates why I am actually happy in my new job and enthused about the work I am doing: five tales of the trouble former prisoners have on leaving prison. Hopefully, the new team that has been set up (and which I work for) is going to be addressing just these sort of problems.

Apparently I’ve stolen Moose’s blogging mojo. Entirely unintentional, I assure you! I’m not really sure what I can do to remedy the situation either – I can hardly be blamed for being so wonderful now, can I? I considered taking a break from blogging, then realised that you can probably take altruism too far. I refuse to feel guilty however, refuse I say!
And she also assures me in no uncertain terms that her site is *not* pink, it’s a nice lavender colour. It looks pink on my screen…

And on that note I shall finish and run away to buy a new VCR before Moose comes chasing after me with an unripe banana. Have a lovely Sunday everyone 🙂

14 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: build a better mousetrap and the terrorists will build a better mouse

  1. To be fair to Jack Straw, what he actually said was that women wearing the veil “make relations between communities more difficult by highlighting the differences”, or words to that effect, rather than the more dramatic “Muslim women should not wear veils” as has been widely reported.

    Americans would find themselves a lot more popular if they got rid of Bush. Whilst the US is always going to be hated in the Middle East due to its support of Israel, it’s interesting to note how unpopular it has become in Europe — something that simply wasn’t the case in the Clinton era. It is basically all the fault of US foreign policy — its ridiculous “war on terror”, the legal loophole they use to keep the prisoners in Cuba (if it was on American soil, then the prisoners would be afforded the protections the US constitution offers against detention without trial, cruel and unusual punishment, etc — and we can’t have that, can we Mr Bush?), the with-us-or-against-us mentality, the way they misused the world’s sympathy after the 11th of September to go after Saddam (who had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks)…. I could go on.

    [Incidently, how can one declare war on an emotion? Coming soon: “War on Jealousy, live on Fox News!”]

    Oh, and let’s not forget the completely bonkers notion of ignoring all the world’s scientists and teaching schoolchilden the origin of the species as it occurs in a 3,000 year-old book. No wonder people think Americans are stupid.

    As to the robot penguins, that gives me an idea. Poor Colin has been staring at a corpse for too long…

  2. I’m beginning to enjoy this Sunday Roast (not that I didn’t before, it had just passed me by somewhat, somehow).

    It’s funny the US Government needs to develop software to see what the world’s sentiments are regarding their current policies. Um, weren’t the burning flags all over the Middle-East and even the softer-hearted protestations from the EU not sufficient clues? Oh, well, I love those Yanks in a funny way. They’re like children, really – silly, creative and adoringly unaware, but also cruel, annoyingly ignorant and with highly unstable tempers. Who said children are to be seen, not heard?

    As far as the penguin goes: to me it looked more like a squid foetus after an abortion, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.

  3. LOL
    That was a small bookcase right behind my sofa and there was a gap in between the two. Plus those were pocket books, so that gave him even more room to squeeze himself in there! He often slept behind the sofa there, but that was the first time he decided to perch himself on the books like that, I just had to take a few pictures! 🙂

    That Discworld cake looks fantastic, a real piece of art… but it doesn’t look like the most eatable thing out there. Not very appetizing-looking to me… just made me think of soup!

  4. Dear US Government,
    I can tell you exactly which overseas newspapers and publications are publishing negative comments about you… all of them.
    That will be $1 million in consultancy fees please.
    Thank you.

    Cute kitty, but slightly worrying book titles – Encylopedia of Mass Murder? The International Murderer’s Who’s Who? Is there something you’d like to tell us Jay??

    And my blog is lavendar, definitely not pink!

  5. Tristan – I look forward to your next Bright Cast ideas. It’s been a while and I was starting to wonder what was happening on that front!

    Napfisk – I’m glad you’re starting to enjoy the roast 🙂 And an aborted squid foetus? Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d write on this blog. Just goes to show… I’m having some really unpleasant mental imagery right now. Thank you *wince*

    Jay – I second Moose (see her comment) – those are some worrying book titles your cat has chosen to perch behind. Perhaps it was really reading the books to get ideas, but saw you looking and quickly acted cute so you wouldn’t suspect. Cats are sneaky like that…

    And yes Moose, your blog is now lavender, but it WAS pink this morning. Well, pinkish. Kinda 😉

  6. Hehe, those were my ex-wife’s books, actually. I was starting to wonder how long it would be before someone pointed out the titles. I purposely chose that pic for exactly that reason, I had a few more of the cat in there where you couldn’t really read the book titles. 😉

    The ex had a penchant for reading up on serial killers before we met.

  7. Since I’m in Australia, I think that makes me one of your dumb cousins across ANOTHER pond. You take a left at the fork in the ocean, rather than a right now.

    The thought of my tax dollars going toward finding out who is pissed off about the United States is just bloody hilarious. It also makes me want to stick an ice pick into my skull. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I was helping pay for roads that are in eternal construction hell because of all the damage 18-wheelers cause, or that I’m paying for some weirdo-politician’s agenda to give rapist schmucks in jail the right to have porn, I now have to help pay for the US Gossip Meter (I hereby claim that name). You know, some taxes are good and they help get things done, but I can tell one sure-fire way to cut back unnecessary taxes: STOP FUNDING SHIT LIKE THIS. Simple.

    The whole Big Brother issue is getting way out of hand–both the national issue and the reality television.

    The other problem is that, though our worldwide popularity may increase (oh joy! maybe we’ll get a date!) once Bush is shoved appropriately under the living room rug (to be eaten by rabid dust bunnies, of course), the next dickhead–I mean, “president chosen through the democratic voting system”–will be screwy, too. Perhaps in more subtle ways that most people beyond our country won’t care about (or that even half of our own won’t notice–the dumbasses), but sure enough, he or she (if that ever happens) will stick it to us as well. They’re power hungry politicians; it’s like part of their resume to be jerk-offs that screw us over, little by little.

    Now that I’ve had my little rant (that doesn’t matter, unless, of course, it’s picked up by THE US GOSSIP METER 2000), thanks for linking to me. My MySpace testing is “that other thing” that makes me want to put an ice pick through my head.

  8. I also have to mention that while universities always have their handful of absolute idiots of Academia, what US citizen in their right mind and with a grain of integrity would agree to help create this software? Obviously the price was right for these researchers, and that’s just sick. Personally, if I was one of the people who helped create it, I would not dare put that on my resume, because I can think of–well, just about everyone–not wanting to hire someone who’s been involved in that.

  9. Rabid dust bunnies? 😯
    That’s not a good thought.

    And I’m looking into the future a bit here – but what the frell is this shiny new piece of expensive American Big Brother software going to make of this humble blog post? If all suddenly goes quiet around here it might be because I’ve been bundled off in the night or something. Be on the lookout for impostors. There can be only one Cas!

    *Highlander Theme plays*

    Look on the bright side though. When was the last time a piece of expensive government funded software actually worked?

    And it was my pleasure to link to you Lelia 🙂

    On your ‘what right minded scientist would work on something like this’ question, I could probably draw parallels right now with the Manhattan Project etc, but I share a flat with a nuclear historian – whatever I said I would probably get wrong and she would take no small pleasure in setting me straight.

    Go badger Moose 😀

    Broad sweeping generalizations not withstanding, history is littered with cases of people who worked on things without thinking through the consequences. You’d think no one in their right minds would create sarin or other really rather nasty chemicals that kill instantly and indiscriminately, but they were created. A humble thought experiment gone wrong? Something invented with the purest of intentions being subverted to a use no one ever imagined? It happens. I wish to god it didn’t, but it does.

    It just falls to us with our heads screwed on straight to say “hang on a minute!” The blessing of the information age is that we can be made aware of these things, sometimes in time to do something about it. The curse of the information age is that we are made aware of these things.

    Ignorance is bliss?

  10. Lelia, as an academic myself I can confirm that we’re just not that bright (think of Homer Simpson dancing around singing “I am so smart, S.M.R.T.” and you’ll be close). Why would any self-respecting academic work on such an obvious civil liberties-curtailing project for a government hated the world over? Because they can. It may be about money, but not in the way you suggest. Getting research funding is like getting blood out of a stone, and you don’t worry too much about who gives you the money as long as you get to do the research you want to do. It’s not about making money, it’s about someone paying you to do something you love.

    The scientists on the Manhattan Project for example were involved for a variety of reasons, one of which was because it was the cutting edge of science at that time. It was exciting. Yes, they knew they were building a weapon, but that was secondary to knowing whether or not they could build it. One scientist said he worked on the Manhattan Project because all his friends did. It was the place to be in 1943.

    Also, to play devil’s advocate here, maybe the people working on this believe what they are doing is right. Judging by the comments here at the meadow I think most of us minions have a similar opinion about the Bush administration, but don’t forget that he was voted back into office for a second term by majority of your fellow Americans. We may think it’s crazy, but he has his supporters.

  11. I guess you two are right about people not seeing the consequences. It’s just not in me to fully believe that or be able to understand it. I tend to think a lot of it is just money that gets people involved with stupid stuff like this Gossip Meter.

    …but don’t forget that he was voted back into office for a second term by majority of your fellow Americans. We may think it’s crazy, but he has his supporters.

    I wasn’t able to vote in the last two elections–was too young–but had I been able to vote in the last election, I, too, would have voted for Bush. No one spear me yet, please. There were many who could vote who felt the same way I did. Kerry concerned me just as much as Bush; I felt like it was a coin toss. Kerry had a lot of things that sounded awesome in speech…until you really, really thought about them and realized they had no way of working (typical political speeches, in a way!). I think a lot of people misunderstand some of the voting for Bush. There were/are supporters, but I think there are just as many–if not more–people who just went with him because it felt more comfortable to go with an “idiot we knew” than an “idiot we didn’t know.”

    My family chose not to vote. I know a lot of people hate that, but when it comes down to “choosing the lesser of two evils,” that’s no longer a democracy anyway.

    Just my opinion.

  12. “My family chose not to vote. I know a lot of people hate that, but when it comes down to “choosing the lesser of two evils,” that’s no longer a democracy anyway.”

    but the US isn’t a democracy

    I’m not criticising you Lelia, I know it’s how most people think, but when you think there’s no choice that’s the time to get actively involved in politics, not to ignore it. Just my opinion.

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