May 28 2008

Scientology IS A Cult

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 11:58 pm

And a dangerous one at that…

For expressing this opinion (which some country’s courts (including Britain’s) have confirmed is a valid statement), a 15 year old boy was threatened with court action by the City of London’s police force (not to be confused with the larger Metropolitan Police Service). Because he refused to remove the word ‘cult’ from his poster at a demonstration, the police decided he had broken the law, specifically Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 (harassment, alarm or distress”). They took his placard, gave him a summons, and thought that would be the end of it.
It would appear that he had done his research beforehand, as he quoted a Judge’s ruling that the CoS was a corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult, and therefore his “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult” poster broke no laws. The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) advised the City Of London Police Force that they were wrong, and should approach these demonstrations in a different manner in the future. This may have disgruntled those officers who are known members of the Church of Scientology, but at least there is now one less avenue for them to try and curtail legal demonstations. Check out the WikiNews article for more information…

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May 22 2008

A Wee Wait To Get Into Wimbledon

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:00 am

Some twelve or thirteen years ago, a friend and I had decided to go down to London to watch some Wimbledon matches; now obviously we were just going to be queueing up for normal admittance. As we were still in school, we didn’t have the funds available for proper Wimbledon debenture tickets, but we were still happy to be there, and just to sample some of the atmosphere, even if we couldn’t necessarily get to see any of the big stars.

Anyway, we left Cheltenham at about half five/six in the morning, hoping we’d at least get in a good afternoon’s viewing. How wrong we were! When we arrived, a massive queue had already formed, with little movement discernible. We’d thought to bring along some food and drink, and got chatting to a couple of Australian students who were next to us in the line. At some point, someone passed a long a fat, loosely-rolled cigarette (what else would students produce ?), which helped matters go with a swing. Anyway, there were two toilet stations within the long queued-up roads, but past these, you were herded into barriers that stopped people from easily moving in and out of the queues. Seriously overestimating just how much capacity my bladder had, I ended up almost doubled up in pain, unable to risk leaving the queue after so many hours, but seriously wondering if it was possible to ‘tie a knot in it’. When I had finally turned a strange colour, my friend told me that despite only being some twenty metres from the gates (but no movement for a while), I should just… well, water the plants. This led to the odd scene of my friend and one of the Aussie girls standing with their backs to me, to provide some decent cover from others in the queue, but directly in front of me was Wimbledon itself, with all the people who’d already got in, milling about. Anyway, several minutes later, with all matters resolved, we moved on, and eventually got into the grounds. It was now 4.45pm, and so we had spent most of the day queueing up. We managed to walk around and see a few matches, but the alcohol had effected us enough that we didn’t really remember who was playing who. The moral of the story? Book your tickets in advance, and don’t drink too much if you do need to queue to get into Wimbledon 😉

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Apr 14 2008

Congrats To Con

Category: FriendsChrisM @ 5:26 pm

Conrad Robbins (aka Hydrophonics) made most of us laugh when we heard he was planning to take part in the London Marathon this year. There was even a facebook group set up specifically for people who didn’t think he would make it.

Well, he did. I don’t know the exact time Scratch that, click here for his official result – 4 hours 57 minutes and 4 seconds !

You can still donate, and if you are a UK tax payer, the charity can claim some extra money from the government.

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Feb 20 2008

Further IMPROVement

Category: VideosChrisM @ 7:45 pm

Following on from the earlier post, we have some more videos connected with ImprovEverywhere.

First we have another pre-arranged freeze, over at Waterloo Station (London). I could be wrong, but I think the British ones were organized via a Facebook group. I had a quick look and couldn’t find one for Kazakhstan yet. Can’t imagine there being many takers here, and flash mobs may not go down to well with the authorities…

Something a little different here – “Look Up More” – this is the extended version of the video, showing the arrangements and co-ordination planning before hand, intermixed with the final result. A lot of effort seems to have gone into this piece of performance art…

Finally, to ensure no claims of favouritism can be made, we have a ‘freeze’ video, taken from Canada’s CNBC news program, with a report on the shopping mall freeze.

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Feb 20 2008


Category: VideosChrisM @ 4:49 pm

Came across these (thanks to ‘Boner’ over at VDF) and though some people would like to watch them…

If you have heard of flash mobs before, you’ll already know the sort of activity these people carried out.

The first ‘freeze’ in this post took place in Trafalgar Square (London)

Next we have the first No Pants (trousers for any overly concerned British readers) improv on the subway

Finally (for this post at least), we have another ‘freeze’, this time at Grand Central Station

If you want to read more about the organization, head here & you can find their YouTube channel here.

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Dec 19 2007

Ira’s London Pictures

Category: Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 5:48 am

I was originally going to post a selection of the photos Irina took whilst in Britain, but realised her work colleagues might not appreciate having their faces plastered all over this site. Anyway, her hotel room was apparently quite nice, and you can also see the newest addition to our flat back here in Astana – another cat, though this one doesn’t seem to require feeding 😉

We have yet to think of a name that we both agree on, so any suggestions would be welcomed. (The maid actually placed the toy on the bed in the hotel room, after making the bed, which was a nice touch 🙂 )

Nameless Cat On London Hotel Bed

Named Wife In London Hotel Room

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Dec 19 2007

Irina Is Home Again :) :) :)

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:15 am

OK, she actually got back on Monday, but we have been busy today sorting a new PC for her mum. Anyway, her trip to London seemed to go well, and in just 3.5 days, we will all be heading back to Heathrow again. Whilst she was away, I met up with David, his wife, and another Chris. David and Chris work for a western company here in Astana, and should be here for a while. Anyway, more on that later on. It is really good to have Ira back in my arms again 🙂

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Dec 12 2007

Irina Leaving In 4 Hours

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 1:45 am

Ira will be driven to Astana airport, where she will fly to London, via Austria, for a meeting KMG has. The kittens have enough food in the cupboard, there is juice and water, the bills have been paid, and I’ve promised to not set fire to anything. Fingers crossed, all will be well 😉
Seriously, although my dearly beloved will be away, I have enough work to do, to keep me occupied, and I’ll be meeting up with David and another Chris this Friday, as David has arrived in Astana. (I say that, but the last I heard, his flight from Almaty was delayed. On a positive note, it turns out Almaty airport has free wi-fi available, so at least I know for the future that I can distract myself next time we fly through there.)
I hope Ira has a safe journey, a not too stressful time in London, a safe return, and that I manage to keep the flat in some semblance of tidiness…

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Dec 10 2007

It’s News To Them…

Category: Friends,In The MediaChrisM @ 4:29 am

My thanks to David (I really need to confirm if he is a David or a Dave at some point), who is a nice man from Australia who has a Russian wife. He is moving to Astana, and has so far made it to Almaty, with his Astana arrival due this week. Hopefully more on him to come in the future, but for now, check out a site he passed on to me – The Daily Mash, which seems to take current news, and create a spoof story from it. The quality seems to be of a consistently higher level than the similarly themed The Onion site. Anyway, check out this “London Bomb ‘Not Scary Enough’, Brown Tells Mi5” article as an example.

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Dec 10 2007

Irina Is UK Bound…

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 2:39 am

Even earlier than we expected. As previously mentioned, we and her parents are already going to Britain just prior to Christmas. However Ira’s work have now decided to send her to a meeting in London, which means she will be on 8 different flights within 10 days. I hope her journey goes well, and that the meeting is not too draining. I have offered my services as her personal luggage handler, but she does not seem to think her company will pay for my ticket, as it is an ‘un-necessary expense’ or something 🙁 LMAO

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