Another day, another super-virus. Clever Scientists, in the name of Global Understanding – which has capital letters, so must be both good and true, have recreated the Spanish Flu virus which killed an estimated 50,000,000 people in 1918, in the hopes that it might help folks understand what caused it, and how we can combat it. To further this cause, they’ve uploaded the details to our own internets, in case some backyard biologist can rustle some up and solve it. Hopefully before we catch it from them and it, you know, kills another few million.

Iraq. Still no win yet.

Christmas is coming. I am, apparently, living in a country where I can buy mince pies, advent calendars (I intend to buy three. One so I can count down to November 5th, another to count down to the day Advent starts, and a third to count down to Christmas), but not neither pumpkins nor fireworks. It’s also reminded me that if I intend to start this multipart story for Advent I really should be writing it now. Only 80 days to go…

The Conservative party are entertaining us once again with their autumnal show at the seaside. It never ceases to amaze me how we employ such multi-talented people, to spend their year governing the entire country and still have time to rehearse and perform these exquisite examples of the traditional English farce every autumn. This year, the Tories are once again riffing on the theme of an out-dated and moribund political party desperately searching for a leader to rail against a dangerous and politically dodging and weaving opponent. It’s not an original theme for the troupe – they performed a similar show a little while ago, and again before that – but they’ve spiced it up to pantomime levels this year with a host of overplayed stereotypes each dodging the actual problem. A fine show, though I was beginning to find some of the characters a little two dimensional towards the end, a little more realism would have been nice.
I didn’t see a box-office number, but if you can get tickets I’m told it’s playing all week.

We have a black archbishop, who is advocating gay priests and female ones. America will get him fired shortly.

Which? magazine (UK Consumers Association organ) did a study on computer reliability. Apple won. Film at 11.

Cillit Bang are hastily backing down after their marketing campaign hit a virus checker last week. A representative of their advertising company was posting comments in weblogs from the perspective of their (fictional) spokesperson. This is not really a good thing in itself, but when they followed up one of Tom Coates’ heartfelt essays on his search for his father with one of these advertising tricks, they were justifiably shouted at. They are – or employ – morons. Avoid them. (Full disclosure: I met Tom in a bar once. I also met Bobbie Johnson – who wrote the story for the Guardian – at another, different bar once. Both were UK-Bloggers gatherings, so it’s not much of a coincidence, really).