During my weekly catch-up reading session of professional literature, I stumbled over a small news item in the BMJ that profoundly upset me. Here a little extract:

"A growing number of pharmacists across the United States are refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, even in cases of rape. Some pharmacists won't fill prescriptions for oral contraceptives for moral and religious reasons. (...) The News & Record, a North Carolina newspaper, reported that some pharmacists were destroying prescriptions, giving patients speeches on morality, and stalling the patient beyond the point where emergency contraception would be effective."

This is of course just another sign that the battle of the religious right against their perceived erosion of moral values is slowly but surely escalating. I can't imagine what it must be like living in a country that has such a deep chasm between the tens of millions "believers", trying to convert their heathen fellow Americans, and the enlightened minority that finds itself surrounded by the encroaching medievalists that have taken over their society.


BMJ 2005;330:983 (30 April)

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Oh great. I sit down to node at a University Library PC and I get the one where you have to hit the keys really hard to make them work, the mouse wheel sticks and every couple of minutes the whole thing locks up for no reason for ten seconds. Oh well, let's do a daylog of unconnected wibbleness.

I'm currently polishing off a software project. I haven't really got a name for it yet but here's the idea:

A daemon runs in the background and every now and then it looks at all the processes you're running and works out what files you have open. By that I mean the usefull ones, documents you're editing and stuff, not the libraries. It does this occasionally and starts to build up a database of related documents that you often use together. Then, through some interface or other, it suggests files you might want to open given these past patterns.

I got the idea whilst doing a Uni assignment last year. I'd log on, and then open the same source files, man pages, websites, the course notes and the assignment specification and thought: "If I do this the same way every time, why can't the computer learn this pattern?"

I think of it a bit like E2's softlinks for your documents. It works pretty well, but needs to be able to recognise more running processes and find out their documents. It also needs a better interface. At the moment, when you open a document, it populates a directory with symlinks to related stuff.

I'm actually using this project as part of my degree, so I probably shouldn't release it until I've graduated, but look out for it one day soon. I'd love to hear from anyone regarding this project. Does it sound like a good idea? Is it the sort of thing you'd use? What else could it do? What sort of interfaces could be made? Want to know more? What could I call it? Msg me.

In a sort of follow up to my last daylog... My constituency of Torbay did a pretty good job of going the opposite way to the rest of the country in the recent general election. The whole country swings against Labour in the general direction of the Liberal Democrats and some minor parties. Torbay, however, saw Lib Dem candidate Adrian Sanders' share drop by 10% -- he still retained the seat, though -- with half of that going to UKIP and half to Labour. In a seat where Labour have only ever really stood half-heartedly, they're talking about campaigning properly next time round.

If recent spam is anything to go by, the world thinks I am in desperate need of a cheap mortgage and tickets to a U2 concert. Well, I wouldn't mind the former, but the U2 thing is pretty damn wide of the mark. I think I'd rather go to the dentist's.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film is having a positive effect on my writeup on that node. It's been getting a couple of votes here and there for the last two weeks and is actually now my highest-rated writeup. It's quite irritating when I've done much better writeups which fell off the bottom of ENN far too quickly to pick up anything. On the subject of the film, I went to see it myself last weekend. I've read many reviews ranging from angry rants at its utter shiteness to shovel-loads of very high praise. I'm not going to waste my time by throwing my own review into the bubbling cauldron, but I though it was really good. Not utterly unbelivably brilliant; just very good.

I was recently looking at EasyMobile, from the people who brought you EasyJet and EasyWhatever. You chuck them £10 and they send yuo back a sim card that you stick in your phone. After that it's a normal top-up phone where voice calls cost 15p a minute and texts are 5p. That's it. No peak/off-peak malarky. No different prices when you talk to different networks. I like that. Another cool thing is that you get to choose your own phone number. Still, you need an unlatched phone which I haven't got since I gave my old one to a friend. My current phone's latched to 3 and it'd probably be cheaper to buy a new one than to get the unlatching code.

This sort of reminds me of the days of Genie Mobile. Genie was great. It was owned by O2. You went to the site and bought your sim card and plugged it into your phone. What was fantastic about it, though was this: WAP and texts were free! Completely free. Later on, genie got sucked back into O2 and me and my friends started getting letters that said: "You have used 1254 texts this month. This is higher than our reasonable use guidelines allow and so we are restricting you to 600 texts per month". 600 texts became 300, free WAP became 300 minutes, then 30 minutes, then they started cutting you off if you didn't but ten quid on every month. Bastards. I've never found a phone deal that is even close to as good as that one was.

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The gas station: Day #3

Tonight I am once again closing the store. I have to be there at 9:00 PM so it won't be a long shift. I am not sure who I will be working with tonight though. It may be that Bill guy that I worked with last night or it could be someone else. I still do not know how much I am going to be getting paid, I do know that it will be more than $6.00 per hour. It will be much more than I am currently receiving on unemployment. Hopefully they got the credit card receipt printer un-jammed. I still am not quite certain of how it got jammed in the first place. It's 7:30 Pm right now, gotta grab some Pizza Rolls and get a shower.

Stuff that I will be doing tonight:

  • Taking out all of the trash and empty boxes.
  • Running the cash register. (of course)
  • Counting up all of the cigarettes.
  • Mopping the floors.
  • Eating free cookies.

All and all, I am really beginning to get used to the work place and my duties.

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