This is the news.

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I’ve spent most of the day wondering quite how the Daily Express would respond to the publication of the Operation Paget Report, a 3-year investigation into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, which concluded that her death was, in fact, an accident.

The Daily Express is a little obsessed with DianaPoW. This year alone she’s graced their front page 53 times, mostly on Mondays. The Wikipedia article on the Daily Express uses my all-time favourite DE front page:

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I like how it neatly ties together the Express’s two main themes. Love Diana, Hate Darkies.

The Daily Express is truly industrious in its exploitation of the death of DianaPoW. Just when you think they’ve covered every angle of the story, they’ll find an old one to rehash. Even the BBC, a stranger to wit and irony, has found cause to mock:

And what’s this? It’s a Wednesday and there’s Princess Diana smiling prettily from the front page of the Daily Express.

Are they messing with our minds at Desmond Towers? For she was on the front page on Tuesday too. That, thanks to the Bank Holiday, was the first day of the working week, so Tuesday was in effect Monday (a day on which the paper found room for its favourite princess on the front page, as tradition dictates).

So, how did the Express choose to cover the publication of the Operation Paget Report? Let’s turn first to another fine newspaper, The Sun, for some relatively objective coverage:

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And now the Express, bastion of the middle classes, and the first British paper to carry a crossword:

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First, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that the Express won’t stop asking the key questions. Phew. And then let’s ask one of our own. Why do people buy the Express anyway? My brother has a theory:

There’s probably a few hundred thousand little old ladies living in Greenwich with Alzheimers who buy it every day and don’t even realise it’s a different paper every time. Groundhog Day for middle-class colostomy baggers.

Which reminds of a story a Kentuckian ex-girlfriend once told me, about when she visited her Grandpa who was suffering from Alzheimers, and saw he was reading a three-week old newspaper, and said, “Grandpa, that newspaper is three weeks old.” To which he replied, “It’s news to me.”

*Images kindly provided by the Notwelshman, and his merry band of dribbling idiots.

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NORMAL SERVICE WILL RESUME AFTER THE WEEKEND

[you guys know there’s always a groovy video behind that picture link, right?]

More from PKD:

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The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Parmenides taught that the only things that are real are things which never change… and the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that everything changes. If you superimpose their two views, you get this result: Nothing is real. There is a fascinating next step to this line of thinking: Parmenides could never have existed because he grew old and died and disappeared, so, according to his own philosophy, he did not exist. And Heraclitus may have been right—let’s not forget that; so if Heraclitus was right, then Parmenides did exist, and therefore, according to Heraclitus’ philosophy, perhaps Parmenides was right, since Parmenides fulfilled the conditions, the criteria, by which Heraclitus judged things real. I offer this merely to show that as soon as you begin to ask what is ultimately real, you right away begin talk nonsense.

and

Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans. It is just a very large version of Disneyland.

via :

Stick figures in peril – Hayulp! Hayulp!

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Today I encountered the astounding world of stick figures in peril. I have two theories on this: the first is that sign designers have pretty monotonous jobs. There’s almost no way to make a No Left Turn sign interesting. But ask a graphic artist to make a sign involving stickular representations of people, and I can see the thought bubble plinking into existence over their heads saying: “Hilarity must ensue, or my life will have amounted to nothing. Nothing!” And, according to this fine map the most profligate designers of subversive signage live in Germany. Who’d have thunk? None live or work in Portugal. Such frivolity there would be punished by a stiff beating with a shard of bacalhau.

My second theory is that at some point in the past or future, evil scientists [or possibly fish] develop a raygun capable of removing the third dimension from a discrete chunk of space – a body, for example. Deprived of their third dimension and all the joys that allows- sex, food, music, smoking, hitting stupid people with a pointed stick – these people have gradually withered, and become simpler, straighter, stickier. And these signs that surround us are their art, their theatre. The remains of their lives. They have much to teach us, if only we could decode them, for example:

“Looks like Napoleon fell off his bike again.
Lesson: Never fight a land war in Asia on a bicycle.”

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via Isoglossia

In other news, it’s a clear cold night in London, and I can see Canary Wharf twinkling in the distance.

Bark at the Moon – final assault.

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So, this weekend I’m heading to Beckenham, and while there I’m finally going to conquer Guitar Hero’s evil overlord Bark at the Moon on Expert, I swear to God and Holly Hunter.

However, I’m going to need some assistance.

Geoff – could you print this out in readable form for me?

and if you can figure out a way to print this chart, that would be grand too : [right click save-as-ing should get the whole thing.]
{and yes, that here is 1200-ish notes in just under 4 minutes}

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Armed with these tools and ungodly amounts of tea, I will conquer the beast.

UPDATE: 97% … Grrrrrr.

Constihill as drawn by the Notwelshman

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So, the mighty Notwelshman has finally bitten the biscuit and drawn me. In his own words –

“I merely invoked how I view you when you’re not around – cross legged, blue jacket, rolling up, evil smirk!”

Though of course now I’ve given up smoking it’s out of date, and so he’ll have to do another one… 😛