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Halal meat?

About a month ago, Sarko banned Halal meat in France.

Well, that's far from true, but some of the screamies made it sound like that. More specifically, he has come down upon meat killed in the Halal tradition being sold to unsuspecting Frenchies. Actually, the slaughtering process is called Dhabihah and it means that the animal is blessed in the name of Allah, killed by a knife slitting the throat (pretty much all of it except the spinal cord) and then the animal is hung up upside down to bleed out. Do I agree with this practice? Not really. However, there is something very important to consider before we think about how we slaughter an animal.
My favourite drink is tea, specifically Tetley. My second favourite is milk. Semi-skimmed. But what is milk? Essentially it is a nutrient drink for baby/young animals. Somewhere along the way, humans have evolved to consume cows milk, except for those who are lactose intolerant.

But wait, where are the baby cows? I see fields full of adult cows, udders at bursting point, and not a calf in sight. It's a clever blend of hormones and chemical rubbish to keep the cows producing. Essentially, how milk is produced is a story where a little ignorance is a good thing. So these cows spend years on the fields with oversized milk sacs and tender udders hooked to a machine twice a day. When that job is done (the animal starts being less productive), it is killed in whatever method, its flesh is stripped off, pounded into pulp, and served up in McDonald's. Essentially, a cow is not a living creature, it is a commodity. It is seen by those who look after it in terms of profit and loss. If ever we have given an entire species a reason to hate humanity, our treatment of the cow is surely sufficient?
And Sarko and his right wing cronies are freaking out over Halal (Dhabihah) slaughter? Oh, please!

Let's cut to the chase - if it wasn't for those horrible horrible Muslims blessing the animal in the name of another God, you know, few people would care. It's something the majority do not think about. Beef is this shrink-wrapped packet on the shelf of a supermarket. The fact that we are enjoying masticating on chunks of dead animal, that's gross. We talk about pepper sauce and the best shallots to cook with it. We don't talk about how we treat animals like shit for their span of life. So really we shouldn't get that het up about whether or not it is slaughtered to Islamic rules. It was alive, now it isn't. Few people think beyond that.


Android compiling

Never had much success getting an Android SDK set up. I just don't have the space and resources for several hundred megabytes of rubbish. Yet, strangely enough, AIDE manages to give you a usable environment in around six and a half megabytes. And it runs straight from your phone. Perfect for cutting code on the train, doctor's waiting room, or any other place where otherwise boredom would set in. Half of the (Psion 3a) OPL apps I've ever written were put together in waiting rooms.

The problem, however, is that it manages the keyboard itself and is a little quirky. Shift does not lock, I must hold Shift while pressing a letter. The symbol key pops up a list of common symbols, while the blue key can be used to access symbols and numbers (but again, it doesn't lock so must be held while pressing another key). It isn't bad, but it is a bit different to how it is usually handled on this phone.

Here's the development environment, which features (believe it or not) pop-up autocomplete:

MyApp running

And here is the app running on my phone. The dev kit compiles, gets all the Java-y bits together, builds the APK (sort of like a zip file for Android apps), signs the file, then offers it to the installer. It is simpler than it sounds, fairly quick, and kinda cool for learning how to program the phone on the go.

MyApp running


Useless but fun!

ASCII Cam. It is a dose of retro, and it is exactly what it says on the tin. See:
The house, rendered as lovely ASCII art


The house from the other side, as ASCII art


Isabel, as ASCII art

It had crossed my mind to slip in some ASCII porn, but... well... not with this body. Any offers? ☺


Yahoo! FAIL!

While I'm on the subject of phone screenshots, please observe:
Burkina Faso spam
Burkina Faso spam Burkina Faso spam
Burkina Faso spam
Burkina Faso spam Burkina Faso spam
Burkina Faso spam
Please, for God's sake, Yahoo, please... I know you are using SpamGuard (the "[bulk]" prefix), but if the message mentions:
  • Dollars
  • Burkina Faso
  • transaction
  • beneficiary
then just DELETE IT.



Over the weekend, while not stuffing myself on chocolate, I tried Skyping mom. The difference, I used my mobile phone. Actually, it worked quite well. Her pictures to me were a little jerky, but my pictures back were fairly fluid. This was, of course, performed on WiFi!
Here's a screenshot:
Skyping me, Skyping you...

I had wanted to Skype to Mick (in London), but with his work hours and my god-forsaken work hours, it's been a difficulty getting us both free at the same time and knowing when. So, Mick, still look forward to trying this out over a longer distance!


Age concern

Mom found this on Amazon while looking for cookbooks:

Old Age No Teeth Cookbook? Recommended for ages 8 years and up!?!?!?


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