Thursday, 30 July 2009

Me 'n' Me Mum

Apparently I can either smile or have my eyes open in a photograph, but not both.

And here's one of me with the BluesBerries, looking just a little less "chinny" than last time...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Cuteness Explodes

Lego Toy Story. I'm not going to buy any of this because my apartment couldn't handle the cuteness. But tell me this picture didn't make you go "awwwww".

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Back From Hols, For The Moment

Posting will be back to regularly slipshod as soon as possible, meanwhile, here's a pic to keep you going.

Also, am I the only person to find it odd that this British "report" on how making your own sandwiches can save you money is illustrated with a very Austrian leberkase semmel (which is mostly likely bought from a shop)?

Monday, 6 July 2009

Some Videos

A couple of things caught my eye recently and one or two of them may not have been blogged so much:

On the Jack Black problem, I also liked Kung Fu Panda very much. Perhaps he's better as a voice over artist where you can't see his perpetual mugging and the animators tone him down a lot.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Austria, Second Most Violent Country In Europe

According to the Daily Mail, from this report, the UK is the most violent country in Europe, with Austria coming second. Meaning, I guess, my life is slowly becoming less violent. I should perhaps move to South Africa next, despite, er, it not being in Europe. Here's the chart:

I'm not sure when Canada was part of Europe either, but when you've got a point to prove I suppose these things don't matter.

Interestingly, and slightly under-reported in the article, the UK comes 13th in Europe in homocides and if I had to choose between a beating, robbery or being shot to death I guess I'd choose being robbed then being beaten with death a somewhat distant third.

It also gives something of a lie to that South African thing:
While the UK ranks above South Africa for all violent crime, South Africans suffer more than 20,000 murders each year - compared with Britain's 921 in 2007.


As for the Austrian thing, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, which is something set up by Americans to protect Americans abroad says:

The crime rate in Austria is among the lowest in Europe. Violent crime is infrequent and is rarely directed against Americans. Most criminal activity is focused in large metropolitan areas.

And the American government takes the same tack:

Austria has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, and violent crime is rare.

The odd thing here is that the figures in the above report taken at face value do bear some of this out. In Austria, in 2007, 133,546 incidences of violent crime were reported in a country with a population of 8,210,281 does give you around 1600 violent crimes per 100,000 people or, approximately, 7 or 8 per day in Linz and one per day in Steyr. Anecdotes aren't evidence but I doubt anyone in Austria believes this.

This may be, though, because:

Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence.

Now that I can believe in. Austrians may not commit much crime, but they sure are willing to report it.