22 April 2007

Shameless Graphic Design Type Plug

Sarah Trentham, an aspiring graphic designer, has launched her own website, which provides plenty of her previous work, CV and contact information for anybody out there that wishes to hire her.

The reason for this seemingly random plug? She's my girlfriend.

20 April 2007

NUS Gather Around Their Sole Brain Cell

That great Labour training ground, the National Union of Students (NUS), have taken leave of their senses and elected current President of RUSU, Dave Lewis, their National Treasurer. It is, as he puts it:
"an opportunity that will help our NUS deliver reform, increased accountability and new national partnerships."
Or as I would put it:
"an opportunity to bankrupt the NUS, limit accountability as I did at RUSU, by decreasing the number of elected officers and taking away an independent oversight body* and create partnerships with China, who hold similar views about the freedom of the press as I do.
Not only... But also...

In vaguely related news, Bryn Landy continues to contest the RUSU election result and has set up an online petition to get a recount. He's also trying to organise a peaceful protest in June. I would say 'let it go Bryn', but then half this post is dedicated to someone I still have a bit of a grudge against over a year since it happened.

* The trustees now oversee themselves. The Charity Commission offers extremely limited oversight.

17 April 2007

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

I recently picked up John Perkins' book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Story of How America Really Took Over the World, for the shockingly low price of £3 at HMV.

Whilst the title (and the cover blurb) suggest that this will be a tell-all book about America's nefarious dealings in various under-developed countries, it's more about the author's personal journey towards (what he believes to be) redemption, after spending a significant amount of time conning countries out of large amounts of money and pocketing some for himself.

The book claims to be non-fiction, but the style and tone suggest otherwise, and some of the stories he tells should be taken with a pinch of salt, as I suspect they have been embellished to fit in with his narrative. The most obvious example is his conversation with an elderly Afghan man he had never met before near the World Trade Centre a few weeks after 9/11, which spurs him to finish this book.

He also sometimes misses key facts about some of the people he encounters - omissions which border on the negligent. For example, reading the book you would probably not know that Torrijos and Manuel Noriega (two of Panama's leaders) were military dictators.

Yet despite these shortcomings, I did enjoy reading it. It's only 250 pages and I finished it in four days.

16 April 2007

After Another (Exam Induced) Long Pause

A fantastic video that comes via an old friend: