Thought, experience and memory from a brain in a jar, one that sometimes has control over a thirty-two-year-old Londonite.

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Location: Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom

07 December, 2007

The Importance of Incredulity

I received the following recently:

Do you remember February 1993 in England , when a young boy of 3 was taken from a Liverpool shopping centre by two 10-year-old boys? Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second, Jon Venables took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson. They took Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the way stopping every now and again to torture the poor little boy who was crying constantly for his mummy. Finally they stopped at a railway track where they brutally kicked him, threw stones at him, rubbed paint in his eyes, pushed batteries up his anus and cut his fingers off with scissors. Other mutilations were inflicted but not reported in the press.

N.B. :- Remember, a 3year old cannot possibly defend themselves against a 10 year old, let alone of 2 them.

What these two boys did was so horrendous that Jamie's mother was forbidden to identify his body. They then left his beaten small body on railway tracks so a train could run him over to hide the mess they had created. These two boys, even being boys, understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to make it look like an accident.

This week Lady Justice Butler-Sloss has awarded the two boys ( now men ), anonymity for the rest of their lives when they leave custody with new
identities. They will also leave custody early only serving just over half of their sentence. They are being relocated to Australia to live out the rest of their lives. They disgustingly and violently took Jamie's life away and in return they each get a new life!

Please.... . If you feel as strongly as we do, (and if you haven't already signed this petition ) that this is a grave Miscarriage of justice - Hit the forward button and add your name at the end, and send it to everyone you can !

If you are the 700th person to sign, please forward this e-mail to:

Now, whatever you may think about the anonymity that was granted to the two killers on their release, this kind of chain-letter is not the way in which to voice your protest.


If each person sends this message to only two people, then by the 700th chain there will be 2^700, or 5.2601359015483735072409898828801e+210. More people than in the history of the Earth. More atoms than on Earth. And that's just the number of lists, not the number of people on the lists. And what a surprise those 5.2601359015483735072409898828801e+210 people will have when they attempt to email the address given, considering it does not exist.

The body of the text suggests that Venables and Thompson are still in prison and about to be released. Not true. They were released (having served their time) in the summer of 2001.

Please please please, when you receive stuff like this, just try and establish, either by your own judgement, or Googling a choice selection of the text, whether or not the message is genuine, and what the genuine impact of completing the request is. In this case, the impact (other than spreading spam) is slight - a few people who may have written rather tardy letters to their MPs about the 2000 judgement fail to do so, so some deaf ears are spared. Other mails are more vindictive. One such message that does the rounds involves an initiation ceremony for urban gangs that requires its new member to drive around in the dark without their lights on, and on being flashed by another motorist, to fire a round into their car. The terribly important message that the email was trying to put out was that one should advise everyone one knew to *not* warn motorists that they are driving without their headlights on. How responsible!

02 December, 2007

The Eye of the Beholder

Big Eye Am
Originally uploaded by Simon Scott
So on Facebook I have a cropped down version of this image that I use from time to time as my profile picture. The reason I took it was because of a weird perceptual shift I sometimes experience when watching the TV. People generally aren't shown facing the camera, but are in a three-quarter profile, or thereabouts. If I'm tired, or mindful of the illusion, I find that these three-quarter people tend to have their faces dominated by the nearer eye. My depth perception (which is easy to manipulate considering I'm trying to make sense of a two-dimensional image) tends to give me the impression that they have one huge eye, and one small eye. I think this in part has something to do with the Quirk character that I've been drawing since my late teens, whose face was rather similar.

It was only natural, therefore, for me to try and recreate this illusion in a photograph, so a couple of photos and an award-winning Graphics package later and the job was done.

Although I was anticipating some comment on the image, I was quite surprised at the level of disgust people seem to have felt as a result of the picture. I used it as my Facebook profile throughout November as it was the image that I was using on the NaNoWriMo site, too. Having taken it down I've had three or four messages from friends thanking me for its removal; rather like a family member who confides in you after you've finished a relationship with someone "well I never really liked them any way". I'm kind of glad, in a way, that I've been able to create something that, despite being fairly ordinary, has had such an impact, but I do find it slightly discomfitting knowing that my boundaries are different to those of my friends. It's just a big eye!

Oh, and thanks, but I didn't actually do anything to the ear. That's just my ear.