Archive for October, 2005

“The Sun” teams up with Islamic Relief

My mate Alessandro from the Islamic Relief charity has twisted my melon and ruffled my paradigms by pointing out that moronic right-wing tabloid “The Sun” has joined up with Islamic Relief to raise money for the earthquake survivors in Pakistan.

Great news for the recipients. But – blimey! – what a strange pairing. Will we see the Page three girls with hijabs soon? (Link not safe for work, nor arousing for boys over the age of 11).

Future-proof your CSS with Conditional Comments

7 August 2008: It’s three years since I wrote this, and the browser landscape has changed considerably. A rewritten 2008 remix version is published on the Opera developer network: Supporting IE with conditional comments—please go there rather than read the article here.

The IE development team are calling on people to clean up their CSS hacks that might fail when IE7 is released, so I thought I’d tell you about how I did this for an emergency design I did for a punter a couple of months ago.

My plan wasn’t primarily to future-proof the code, but to remove as many css hacks as possible, as I’d been contracted to rewrite a small brochure site very quickly (a few hours), and hand it over to another developer whose experience and skill were unknown to me. The end result was to remove all but one hack. Another side-effect is (I believe) much better structured, more maintainable and more logical code.

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(Last Updated on 7 August 2008)

Pakistan earthquake and “Islamic Relief”

An old mate of mine from Wrox and glasshaus days, Alessandro Ansa, now works for the admirable charity, Islamic Relief who had lots of centres in the affected area. He wrote to me, saying

It so happens that the worst affected areas are all in places where Islamic Relief has major projects – Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Kashmir. We lost one of our clinics in Bagh, and the Islamic Relief health center in Kashmir is the only one around for miles. They have already treated thousands of people. The Pakistan projects team is amazing, their projects are exemplary – they don’t just dish out food, they really work with people to lift them out of poverty. A close colleague of mine visited there last year and the beneficiaries of the projects told her, ‘we know what we’ve got to do now, even if Islamic Relief were to leave us, we would be ok’. It’s all about ’empowerment’ i.e. showing people how to work their way out of poverty.

With this earthquake, all the major mainstream aid agencies elected Islamic Relief as the “lead agency”, that is, they will all be working underneath IR’s leadership and guidance. The UK government sent a plane load of tents and blankets to Pakistan and handed the whole shipment over to IR – the whole lot has been distributed already. If you want to donate anything, small or big, I’m chuffed to recommend Islamic Relief. I don’t normally do this, but believe me, the Pakistan projects team is absolutely solid.

Like Alessandro, I don’t normally do this, either – but now more than ever, we in the West need to show compassion and fraternity with muslims in Pakistan, particularly during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Please spare a thought for the untold thousands of bereaved and penniless people and consider sending a few quid Islamic Relief’s way.

(Last Updated on 24 December 2005)

Happy John Peel Day

It’s one year since the death of John Peel, who played the dangerous reggae and punk music that I used to listen to illicitly on my transistor radio as a schoolboy.

And as the BBC are broadcasting an evening of tribute gigs and archive footage, it’s an ideal excuse to show you the photo of when I meet the great man at a gig we played that he was compering.
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(Last Updated on 13 November 2005)

Gig reviews: Kate Rusby, Conquest of Steel

Big fat tatooed hippie staring straight to cameraHaving once upon a time been a musician, listening to music makes me happy – and, if it’s live music, even happier. So the lucky coincidence of being paid for a redesign and getting two consectutive nuptial late-passes (my stock is high due to not smoking for 4 months) meant I went to see the odd juxtaposition of folk-chick Kate Rusby and Metal gods Conquest of Steel last week.
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(Last Updated on 5 November 2005)