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This Blogging Month: August

Last month, I said a number of things… not least, that there wasn’t going to be a This Blogging Month post this month. Well, there is. I also announced some changes to site navigation which, to cut a long story short, have now been reversed, due to user comments. No more ‘Older’ and ‘Later’ posts links!

In terms of hits, they’re up slightly on last month, which comes as something of a surprise, given that I’ve not written that much – I’d really expected the hits to drop off, but clearly they haven’t. I now stand at just over 135,000 hits this month, and I also passed the million mark this month for hits since the site’s launch. Amazon revenues just about covered costs this month.

Towards the end of August, the site had a fairly big design tweak, with titles now in the current curvy-style things and basically all round reduction of the dotted lines that were beginning to take over the site. I’ve also slimmed the site to a standard width, with the aim of improving design and accessibility, and having the helpful side-effect of reducing line-length to the standard 9-10 words for maximum readability. And you thought this was just thrown together… Printing still works properly, and the print template has stayed the same. The website now looks a tad better in Firefox, thanks to some tidying of the CSS. As always, I’m open to suggestions on the site’s design, so feel free to contribute to the discussion. I ‘ve also made the upgrade from WordPress 1.5.1.3 to 1.5.2, which was made infinitely easier thanks to Swing as You are Dreaming‘s change log.

I think that’s about it for this month’s update – so a bit shorter than usual. Hopefully I’ll start to post a bit more regularly again now, as I’m back at uni with full internet access. Bet you can’t wait.

This 714th post was filed under: Site Updates.

Jack Bauer syndrome

A week ago, Johnathon Freeland wrote an excellent piece for The Grauny, comparing decision making in the TV drama 24 with the post-London-bombing decision making taken by the Government. He essentially concludes that, with respect to terror legislation,

Almost all of the Blair proposals are… superficially appealing, but on closer inspection either flawed or unnecessary.

It’s well worth reading, and I would’ve blogged it last week had I been near a Pea-Sea, but I was not. But it’s still relevant, very well-written, and makes its arguments in a very convincing way.

This 713th post was filed under: News and Comment.

France and Belgium’s banned airlines

It strikes me as odd that the lists published by France and Belgium should be mutually exclusive. One would think that they would use similar criteria to decide whether or not an airline was safe, and thus if it’s safe enough to fly over Belgium, then why not over France? And vice-versa? Surely one would expect at least some overlap?

This 712th post was filed under: News and Comment.

Pope to ban gay priests?

The Observer has a fascinating report this morning that The Vatican has drawn up an instruction banning gay men from becoming priests, but not due to some worry over the morality of homosexuality, rather because…

the presence of homosexuals in seminaries is ‘unfair’ to both gay and heterosexual priests by subjecting the former to temptation

It’s certainly an interesting angle to take, and not entirely the one I personally would expect from the Vatican, who I would expect to ultra-Conservatively condemn homosexuality as a whole. It smacks of a church with an attendance crisis, which can’t afford to alienate anyone, trying to couch their moral objections in flawed logical arguments to make them more palatable to objectors.

But, from a purely practical standpoint, how on earth do they plan to screen for homosexuals before admitting people to seminaries? After all, if they can’t even manage to screen for paedophiles with any level of success, one really wouldn’t think they have much of a hope screening for gay men. Plus, as the Observer article points out…

Studies show that a significant proportion of men who enter seminaries to train for the priesthood are gay. Any move signalling that homosexuals will not be allowed to join the seminaries, even one couched in the arcane language of the Vatican, could reduce the number of recruits to the priesthood.

It will certainly be fascinating to see where this one goes, and whether it does get published or just quietly forgotten about; I would personally be surprised to see this published any time soon, especially by this Pope.

This 711th post was filed under: News and Comment.


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