how does one say bail in flemish?

Because C██████ and myself may well be arrested this weekend. Why? Well here is the story:

Early last summer, (boy that seams like a long time ago!) C██████ and I were listening to the radio one morning when the DJ, Elliot from DC101, said he would pay $1000 to anyone who could get a picture of the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels wareing an “Elliot in the Morning” tee shirt. So come the end of summer, after much headache, and busy phones, C██████ got ahold of Elliot and told him that She was going to be in Europe for the year, and if he would send her a tee shirt she would try to get him his picture, he said he would still pay $500 for the pic and he would send the shit to her. One FedEx box latter C██████ packed an “Elliot in the Morning” tee shirt into her luggage and hopped a plane to Europe.

Now its been a couple of months since that happend, but this weekend C██████ and myself are going to Brussels to run amok and try to put the DC101 Shirt on the Manneken Pis. However having done some homework, I have learned that the statue is fenced in. So we may have to get completly trashed in order to try this (no problem, its Belgum, they have lots of beer!) Anyway there is a possablity they we could get arrested, in which case that $500 may come in handy, and the ability to say “bail” in flemish may be a required skill…

Wish us luck!


anti-war rally.

Ok, I cut short my beauty sleep this morning to go stand in the cold drizzle all day and listen to people speek out against the war in Afghanistan. I figured that I missed the civil rights movement, and the anti Vietnam war protests, so I should get my protest march experiance while I can.

It was interesting, the crowd gathered at Hyde park by the marble arch at noon, and listend to a bunch of speekers for a while. The interesting thing about these speekers was that half of them where from one or another branch of the Socialist/Marxist party, and they spend as much time bitching about the British government in general as they did bitching about the war. There where some interesting speekers in the park though, a profesor from Cambridge, leader of the Association of Muslim Businesses in the United Kingdoms, who spooke about the racist backlash. The only problem was that he focused more on the Palistine question than the war in Afghanistan. Speeking of the Palistine question there was A LOT of talk and shouting about that today. About a third of the signs people where holding up were anti-Isrial or at least pro-Palistine signs. There was also a lot of talk about the US not signing the World Court treaty, and a lot of intersting reasons for this where given, my favorite is the one about not signing it because Henry Kissenger would be the first one tried for his crimes against humanity in the Vietnam war. Another good one is the one about Arial Sharon being one of the first to be charged should the Court be approved (it has been ratified by some 40 countries but needs better than 60 to go into effect.)

After leaving Hyde Park, the protesters marched down Park Lane to Trafalger square where the line up of speekers got much better; two members of Parlement, an exmember of the Labor party, Yvonne Ridley the jurnalist who was taken prisoner by the Taliban, and the leaders of some Muslim organizations (sorry I can’t say the names, much less write them down form memory)

A lot more speeches followed, many of them very infalmatory, with little fact just a lot of “I’ll tell you why…” Some of my favorite where the ones to do with the reasons for the war, like “America wants cheep oil,” or “the economy is bad, start a war.” There where a lot off good points made about American and British society, and the problems the governments have caused in the world. But after a while the speeches broke down into America bashing with everyone saying the same thing, (of which “America needs to fix the problem in Palistine…” was interesting, and “Why are the rights of wemon in Kabul so important when the wemon of Saudi Arabi are just as repressed? I’ll tell you why, Oil!”)

The crowd was quite intersting, a lot of Muslims of all ages, quite a few ex-hippies, many college students (read new-hippies) and more middle aged people than I expected. The march from Hyde Park to Trafalger Square was filled with interesting slogans being chanted; “Hey Bush, we know you! Daddy was a killer too!” along with a lot of recycled hippy slogans.

Call me strange, or just a sucker for different cultures, but I thought the coolest thing all day was when the guy got up to sing the Prayer to Allah, or call to the faithful at sunset to signal the end of the fast and the time to pray, for all the Muslims who where fasting on account of it being Ramadan. The other really cool thing was one of the speekers talked about the talk in the newspapers about how Islam was an alien culture and religion to most people in the UK, but he said if any of them did their homework, they would know that the name Trafalger comes from an Arabic name, Tarf el garb which means “cape of the West.”

Anyway, it was an interesting day, and I took some pictures, they did not burn anything which disapointed me but oh well. I can tell my kids years from now that I was one of the 100,000 people in Trafalgar square protesting the bombing of Afghanistan.


bomb? what bomb!?!?!?

Well it apears that my last post did not make it, oh well it was not that good anyway. However I do have some quite intertaining news. It apears that at 11 am this morning a World War Two bomb was unearthed in a builing site which is right next to my dorms! And somehow I missed this! Damn it, I was sleeping in my networks and communications class! Ah, I would much rather have been evacuated, I would have much rather stood in the street hopeing that the whole block would go up in a giant firework! (do I pass all my classes by default if everything I own goes up in a 60 year late explotion?)

Anyway, two of my friends where here and they tell it as a quite interesting story… Seams that every Wednesday morning is “fire alarm test” morning. R█████ uses the 11 am alarm to tell him it is time to get up and take a shower. So when the fire alarm when off he started to gather his towel and soap. Meanwhile Alax noticed that the alarm was still going off… strange as it usually only last a few seconds. Upon opening his door and seeing the cleaning lady, he asked her what was going on. She laughed and said that it would go off in a sec, they tested the alarms ever Wednesday. A minute later R█████ came out of his room to take a shower, and A███ sees him. By this time the cleaning lady was beginning to wonder so they all decide to go down stairs to see what was up. Dresses in boxers and slippers they reached the lobby and where ordered to evacuate the building by a police officer. Only outside, in the wind and cold did they find out that a construction crew next door had unearthed a World War two bomb, still intact.

Now that is an intersting story, and I missed it! What am I going to tell my kids years from now? That I missed the bomb threat because I was in class, sleeping? D’oh!


this one is for stephen…

I got to class today 15 minutes late, it’s not my fault, I woke up on time, and hit snooze on my alarm clock, little did I know that the snooze is set for 30 minutes here in England, not the normal 10 I remember from the states. So I sat in the back row of the auditorium (the doors are at the back) sans handouts and with the wide eyed, bushy hair mad scientist who just got up and is waiting for the coffee pot to finish brewing that all important first cup of life, which I did not get till after one since my class goes from ten to one!

Anyway, as I sat there in the neither realms of sleep deprivation and caffeine detox, I realized that I had just rushed out of bed, skipped my morning fuel stop to rush in late to a class that I know everything in (as it is basically a review of the algorithms and data structures I did in cs211 and cs310.) The first slide my eyes focused on began with the words ‘Binary Tree’

“Whoo! I know what that is!”

Oh, shit did I say that out loud? Half the back of the room was looking at me. Se la vie, thats what happens when you are not really concious due to lack of caffeinoglobin (a little known blood element, which the body cannot manufacture itself but needs in order for cells to fully function. Common signs of a deficiency include, droopy eyes, sudden unexpected overreactions to quite normal situations, temporary narcolepsy, and possible shaking)

While I pondered my situation class continued and I noticed how much like a muppet my teacher is. He jumps up and down on the balls of his feet and waves his hands in the air as he talked in a very soothing fatherly british accent. Not too loud, not too soft. He dresses like a puppet too; dockers khakis and plaid button downs everyday. And when he raises his hands, framed in the harsh light of the overhead projector, you can clearly see the perfect dark circles formed by perspiration at the junction of his upper arm and shoulder. The only thing that would make it even more hilarious was if he suddenly started saying things like “we love this stuff” and “oh… I don’t know!”

About this time the slide on the over head changed to a bunch of little circles connected by little lines. Inside the circles there where numbers. At the top was a 1 and it was connected to a 2 and a 3 in a kind upside down ‘v’ shape, and the 2 and 3 where connected to 4 and 5, and, 6 and 7 in the same fashion. At the bottom of the page where there line of numbers, each preceded with a word; PreOrder, InOrder and PostOrder.

“I can do that! Oh, I can do that too!”

“You said that with way too much enthusiasm.” the guy next to me whispered.

“It like seeing an old friend again…”



bombs over london — from the fornt lines of guy fawkes day

I am filing this report from the front lines. For the past four nights the sky’s of London have been filled with the sights and sounds of exploding rockets. Every few minutes a new barrage begins. Any direction you look you can see the explosions. The sounds of the rockets echo down the streets and allys forming a constant background noise. The air hangs thick with the smell of black powder smoke.

From my window, on the sixth floor of the City University halls of Residence in Islington I can sometimes see four or five explotions at a time. Late at night the flashes illuminate my room, and the blasts drowned out conversation.

This is Brain Beggerly reporting from London, England for Live Journal.

* * * * *

“What the hell was all that about?” I hear you ask. Well way back in 1605, someone buy the name of Guy Fawkes decided he wanted to blow up Parliament. So he got his tools together and tunneled under the buildings and planted his dynamite. Little did he know he was going to be unsuccessful, caught and charged as a traitor. He met an unpleasant end and continues to every year on or around November 5th. The 5th being the official day.

Also known as “Bonfire Night,” this is a holiday celebrated throughout England. There are local bonfires all over the place with firework displays, some have food stalls, and djs, and usually an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned (hence the continual unpleasant ending for him). Good fun is had by all and leading up to the day you may find children around town asking “Penny for the Guy?” so they can buy fireworks or such.

Anyway, for the past four night, starting at around 7:00pm Friday there have been essentially non-stop fireworks here in London. I have a nice view of them from my dorm room as I am on the sixth story and my building is the tallest thing for quite a long way in the direction my window faces (which is toward central London). Every time I start open my mouth after sundown I have to compete with the booms, snaps and whistles of roman candles. I am starting to think that London is being bombed and this whole Guy Fawkes thing is a cover. I feel like I am in Kabul…