Twitter sinks further

I shall avoid calling it by that stupid new name for ever if possible.

Twitter under Musk has seen hate speech rise rapidly. His answer to this isn’t to rebuild the team that used to deal with the problem, but to sue when people investigate it.

He really is a pathetic little man. Even worse, he has me rooting for Zuckerberg, hoping the uncanny valley mannequin who thinks he’s a real boy will beat Musk to a pulp in this cage match they’re pretending to have.

The Twitter End?

I’ve decided I’m staying on the bird site until Musk’s stupidity destroys it. That looks even closer this weekend, with the stupid plans to throttle access. It’ll be a disaster, and Musk will reverse the decision quickly, but the damage is done, and there probably won’t be the resources to fully recover.

My week in tweets

Not all the tweets. I’ll leave out the automated posts, most of the promo tweets, and the argument with the guy who blamed everything on immigrants and sharia law, but got offended when I told him he was being racist.

Twits with pictures

In the past, I’d take interesting photos, then share them here. More recently, I’ve been sending those images to Twitter. So, here are Tweets with pictures from the last month.

A Twitter trip to Trumpton

So, Donald Judas* Trump has cleared the number of delegates needed to become the Republican nominee for US President. Which keeps Sounds of Soldiers relevant, and means it stays at 99p/99c at least until November.

To get a feeling for Trump supporters, I’ve been conducting an experiment for the last couple of weeks. I’m following the Twitter stream of one, vocal Trumpeter, highlighting bigoted tweets or retweets from him. I didn’t just pick him at random. In fact, he picked me. I have a twitter account for Garth Owen, and when I put something out on there that mentioned Trump, it got a follow from this guy. He mostly goes on about how awesome Trump is, rather than spewing almost constant racism and hate, as I’ve found others doing within one or two retweets of him. So I haven’t gone out of my way to find the worst example possible, before anyone starts accusing me of that.

What sort of stuff have I found on his timeline? Let’s see-

One remove from my test subject, I found this intelligent commentary. (Update having revisited this account, it now looks more like a parody)-

“Not one of us” What could that possibly mean?

And that’s not including the extended conversations I go into, which included gems such as-

This is just a scratch of the surface, and a few of the tweets I’ve seen this week. I’m going to keep watching, because it’s car-crash levels of compelling. It’s going to be a long, darkly comic and worrying run up to the US elections. Expect irregular trips back to Trumpton.

*What does the J stand for? I recently rewatched a lot of Red Dwarf, so sticking Judas in there is the natural reaction.

The government is reading your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Tell them what you think.

The Government is extending its market research spend to track trends on social media and get feedback from it faster.

Some people see this as spying and worry about its effects on free speech, eg- The government is about to start spying on your Facebook and Twitter feeds a lot more | Vox Political

I’m not so paranoid (about this particular announcement, anyway). I save my worries for the Snoopers’ Charter and other measures the Tories want to bring in. This sounds more like paying someone to see what’s trending, so they can have a better idea of what’s likely to become a talking point.

Vocal opposition makes a difference. Even this government will change (or, at least, water down) policies if it realises they are hated. So, the more people declaring their anger at stupid policies, the better. The paranoid types who see this as a reason to clam up in the feeds are going to have the opposite effect to the one they want.

So I joined the Green Party

Very early on Saturday morning, after watching the Tories start to dismantle several of the best things our country has ever done (opportunistically using the deaths of six children to try to justify actions which will probably kill many, many more), the LibDems help them and Labour do nothing*, I came to a conclusion-

I didn’t do anything about it over the weekend. But then @thegreenparty went and retweeted it yesterday, and it got a few re-retweets and favourites. I didn’t exactly explode over the internet, but it’s the most attention one of my tweets has ever garnered. So I’d sort of been guilted into getting my arse into gear by a retweet.

Another tweet from yesterday cemented my resolve. In amongst all the chatter about Thatcher I spotted-

The person who sent this obviously believes it to be a good thing, but it’s actually chilling. That the three main parties in the country (and those also-rans, the LibDems) can be said to be practicing slightly different shades of the same political philosophy can only be a bad thing. Even somebody who thinks that Thatcher’s policies weren’t awful should be able to see the problem. The woman’s most famous because she shook up the system and aggressively went against the flow, taking the ire this provoked on the chin, yet some think it’s a good thing that none of the party leaders is brave enough to do the same to what she left behind. Even if the natural progression of Thatcherism that we’re seeing wasn’t so appalling, religiously rehashing the same dogma would still lead to stagnation and decay.

I believe the Green Party can provide the strong, principled opposition to the status quo that is needed. Some people are going to say that they’re a one-issue party (I picked up one in amongst the reactions to my tweet), but so is the buffoonish media darling that is UKIP. Unlike UKIP, the Green’s “one” issue is a genuine problem, and solving it won’t leave us a bland, alienated country reminiscing about how we were once great and blaming everyone else when we were the ones who could have solved our problems. Creating a sustainable, low carbon economy will create more jobs and wealth than reducing our options to starvation wages or just starvation. Making not just the country, but its citizens, energy independent will be a greater act of libertarianism than anything Farage could ever dream up.

For these reasons, and more, I joined the Green Party this morning (possibly twice, thanks to some problems with the Direct Debit page).

*The Government rushed through a law retroactively making the illegal and truly immoral Workfare scheme legal. Labour’s official line was to let this pass.

Captain’s log, week 488

I read about weeknotes in Wired and thought they might be something interesting and useful to do. I can give you an update of what I’m getting on with and leave reminders to myself of what needs to get done. Of course, it’s taken me a few weeks to get around to starting one.

I’m going to fiddle around with the structure as I do more of these. In future I’ll probably open with a rundown of what I’ve achieved from previous weeknotes. For now let’s leave this bit empty.

To be done in the next week

I need to get at least one page of Point of Contact done for publication on Monday. The next page is one of the ones I didn’t thumbnail, as was this Monday’s, so I have to do a little more work than on other pages. It’s also the last talky page before a load of action pages that will round out part 1.

There were three bikes in my project queue for this week. I’ve already got the first one out of the way, it was in quite good shape and just needed cleaning and a little fettling. I’m left with a BMX build and a Raleigh Nova shopper. The Raleigh was missing the pull chain for its hub gears and had no brakes. Replacement brakes were more expensive than the gear parts, which is annoying. I need to source one more item from the parts pile and I should be able to put this bike back together. The BMX has already had a replacement fork fitted. I’ve bought new cable for the detangler kit and just have to pick the replacement handlebars and brake levers and it should go together no problem. They should get done on Friday or Saturday. The bike trade looks like becoming a good mini business. I’m planning to get a bike trailer to make collecting bikes and bits easier.

Events in the next week

Screenfields is back in Spinningfields. This week’s film is Cocktail, which I can happily miss, but in a fortnight it’s The Italian Job (the original one, not the “remake“).

Eurocultured is on this weekend. I haven’t been to that the last couple of times.

Longer term and deadline free projects

Bob Time, the footage for which I shot in October of last year, needs to be finished. I now have a computer which is up to the job and, after comparing a couple of trial versions of video editing software, have ordered Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9. It’s not as fully featured as some of the packages I’ve used in the past, but it does most of the stuff I want. I should write a comparison review of Vegas and Premiere Elements, and there’s a tutorial on matte keying which needs to be done because none of the ones I found were all that clear.

Lulu have lowered the prices of some of the formats for their print on demand books.. I think ilt’s time to do an omnibus of my three most recent novellas- Sounds of Soldiers, Global Weirding and So Much To Answer For– and some other stuff. Just a straightforward job, I may just pour the text into a word processor and let it do most of the work rather than lay out the pages in a dtp program.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Magcloud before. It’s another print on demand service, but this time for magazines rather than books. I’ve ordered a few of the magazines on their list and they’re very nicely finished, printed on decent stock and quite glossy. As with any POD service, some of their range is stunning and some of it….. isn’t. I hope to produce a magazine that’s nearer the stunning end of the collection. Working title is Somewhere Else and the first few issues are going to be dedicated to photos. I’m going to go back through my architecture wanders and retouch the best of the photos to create the first one. Then I’ve got all my photos of ghost signs to look through. And I know quite a few photographers, maybe I can work with them on something.


That Was The Week That Was in tweets. I used to have something running which dumped each day’s tweets to Spinneyhead, but I got complaints about it and its often recursive nature. Here are a few of the sillier and/or wittier things I’ve Tweeted in the last week or two.

Avatar would have been much more interesting if the Na’avi were based upon the Tree People from Cannibal Holocaust 11:23 PM May 11th

In a cafe, designing robots for the comic. Later I’m going to a demo of 3d tv, so more scifi. 4:23 PM May 12th

Shall soon be learning about 3d tv. Is it more than just an expensive way to self-diagnose photosensitive epilepsy? 6:48 PM May 12th

How long until someone sues their parents for passing on bad genes? 9:13 AM May 13th

Why do I have the impression that the first Lib Dem/Tory cabinet meeting started with them all throwing their car keys onto the table. 1:48 PM May 13th

The bus I was on nearly mowed down a load of lamb dressed as mutton. 6:54 PM May 14th

I am not a care bear! 8:51 PM May 14th

“This one time, at Sex Camp.” 9:29 PM May 14th

Just saw the pink panther cross Oxford Road. 2:51 PM May 15th

“Crabs. They’re like battle spiders.” 6:00 PM May 15th

It’s never nice when the bike you’re working on draws blood. I’m worried it’ll get a taste for it and I’ll be responsible for a vampire BMX. 11:56 AM May 17th

Conversation at the back of the bus- “I’m telling you this in confidence.” after mentioning 1 name I recognise. Wish I could hear more. 10:46 PM May 19th

Heading east until I end up somewhere I don’t recognise. Then I shall explore. 2:04 PM May 21st

Always wake gnome with coffee. 9:56 PM May 22nd

I’ve not seen a single episode of Lost. Would tonight’s be a good place to start? 6:34 PM May 24th

Is that #cashgordon or #crashgordon ?

A day can be a long time on the internet, and I’m two days late with this…..

In last month’s Wired there was an article about how the Conservatives learnt not to be afraid of the internet and craft themselves sophisticated online campaigning tools. (I can’t find the article on the Wired site, they do keep some stuff back so those of us who buy the magazine get something out of it.)

On Monday, however, the Tory web strategy didn’t prove all that clever. The latest creation was “Cash Gordon”, aimed at drawing attention to the money Labour gets from Unite and make a big deal of it. The site invited Twitter users to have their say and add the tag #cashgordon to their tweets, all of which would be displayed on the front page. The feed was unmoderated and quickly filled up with as many, if not more, anti-Tory tweets than the intended anti-Brown ones. Not only that, but it seems you can hijack this sort of feed with tweeted code that will redirect the page. Cue Rickrolling, porn and the Labour website appearing instead of the intended attack site.

Perhaps more embarrassing is the news that the Conservatives paid £10,000 for the site, and got something which came out of the box broken.

Space Family Moody

After putting out a call via Facebook and Twitter for volunteers I had a few people willing to give their family names to characters in Point of Contact (previously referred to as “The Space Comic”). Moody won the coveted position after four of the character names through being suggested first and twice (that’s a little unfair on everyone else as I think the Moodys are the only siblings in my friends list, but that’s the way it goes). Please bear in mind I thought of the forenames before putting the surnames out to tender.


Dan Moody. I’m never going to hear the end of this, am I? Dan is married to Alice and father of Sally and Martin. He starts the story with a broken leg, which is one of the factors that decides the roles everyone else plays. However, I may never explain how he broke his leg. I know what happened, but it may not need revealing.


Alice Moody- wife of Dan, mother of Sally and Martin. This is the design I’m least happy with. I’ll get better at drawing her as the series goes on.


Martin Moody. Martin becomes the leader of the quickly formed “away team” in the first issue. A geek, but also into stuff like parkour.


Sally Moody. It’s been all I can do not to make the whole story about Sally and have her making all the cool discoveries and inventions. Originlly she was going to be sixteen, but I’ve aged her to just turned eighteen because there’s this solier she really fancies.


Geri Webster. Martin’s girlfriend. Shares a fascination with blowing things up with Sally, which means they’ve bonded when none of Martin’s previous girlfriends got on with his sister.


George Savage. Martin’s best friend. Martin’s had a falling out with his parents and they don’t talk much any more, so he spends a lot of time woith the Moodys when not at university.

There are a load of support characters to be designed, but I have the core and I have the layouts for the first twenty two pages. I really, really should get started.

Daily round up

Things tweeted today, including links to blog posts here and elsewhere-

23:05 Blog: Daily round up #

10:41 Lumber has been jacked. Now, buttered scones. Then more tree cutting, then wild flower pressing. #

12:43 Blog: Not a bad morning’s work #

17:43 This wednesday’s film will be Mesrine: killer instinct at Odeon (not amc) at 6.30 #

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Daily round up

Things tweeted today, including links to blog posts here and elsewhere-

23:08 Blog: Daily round up #

13:32 Does anyone have a spare 1994 UMIST Beerfest glass? I’ve got all the others from 1990 to 2000. #

17:36 Blog: Casa Spinneyhead should have a gun cabinet #

18:04 Blog: I’m in danger of becoming a bus shelter spotter #

22:52 What would an iGnome- high tech lawn ornament designed by Apple- look like? #

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Daily round up

Things tweeted today, including links to blog posts here and elsewhere-

23:35 Blog: Daily round up #

23:35 Blog: "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table." #

10:09 @samscam I’m not really at the MEN, I jut contribute to their blogs. If only they’d pay me to write about bikes. #

11:04 Blog: The Movie Titles Stills Collection #

13:45 About to head up to Cumbria to cut down trees and su chlike. #

21:33 Manchester model railway show is 3rd and 4th October. Must remember to in this year. #

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Daily round up

Things tweeted today, including links to blog posts here and elsewhere-

23:39 Blog: Tweets today #

08:47 I know it annoys some, but the daily tweet round up on Spinneyhead may be back. I’ll change the name of it to something less twee, honest #

08:57 Into town for an interview. It’s been a while. Suit was made for someone with skinnier thighs. #

15:54 Co-op bakery sells "Ambient sausage rolls". Sausage in pastry that you’re not supposed to notice? #

21:09 Why is your Walther aimed right at my testicles? #

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Tweets today

10:51 May be found in a corner later whimpering and babbling about manifold/non-manifold vertices. #

11:34 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I just want to be able to select and weld two bits why is it so fucking hard!!!! #

11:35 Blender tutorials seem to tell you everything except how to select the parts you want to work on. #

12:38 Bless you and bless me. Bless the bees. And the birds. #

15:36 Typical. Wait in until 2.30 for Amazon delivery. Give up and go out to post stuff. Delivery arrives in the half hour I’m out. #

20:11 Tomorrow’s film will be Inglourious Basterds at 6.15 at amc. A bit early, but the best option. #

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Tweets today

23:40 Blog: Tweets today #

03:46 Blog: Sounds of Soldiers – Passing Judgement #

11:52 Banquo’s Ghosts sounds like the exact opposite of Sounds of Soldiers #

12:47 This week’s Orange Wednesday film is Blood: The Last Vampire @ 7.20 @ amc #

15:30 Blog: How to take street portraits #

17:11 TwittGeek – Automatically follow geeks like you on Twitter #

19:41 Blog: The cherry stout experiment begins #

20:28 You write one mini chapter about shooting a man and suddenly all the ads on your blog are for bulletproof vests. What’s the world coming to? #

22:32 Fudoh – The New Generation was bizarre, bloody and very Japanese- death by quim propelled dart anyone? #

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