In Memoriam

Chris Lightfoot, 1978-2007.

Chris was splendid, and one of the few bloggers whose contributions to the world stretched far beyond blogging. (Some details over here.)

Two trivial details: he’s the only person I’ve ever successfully identified in a pub, having only seen their South Park version of themselves ahead of time; and he will always be remembered at the Virtual Stoa for writing the code that powered the Melanie Phillips Naziometer, which used to adorn the sidebar.

UPDATE [6.3.2007]: More links, over here and here.

Welcome to the New-Look Stoa!

Welcome to the second incarnation of the Virtual Stoa.

I’ve finally left Blogger, after five-and-a-half years, not because it was irritating me, as it has irritated so many thousands of other bloggers in the past, but for a couple of other reasons. First, the old Enetation comments system that I’d been using was running very slowly indeed; and, second, I was approaching the limit of my quota of disk space on the Oxford University server, and would have had to do something before too long, anyway. I could have just republished the whole thing on, I suppose, and enabled the Blogger comments system, but instead I’ve decided, at long last, to experiment with a different software package for running these pages, and WordPress was the one that everyone I spoke to seemed to recommend.

I hope the transition is a reasonably smooth one. It’s going to be far too much work to move all the discussions from the old comments sections over to this site, I’m afraid, so if you’re weird enough to want to spend your time reading old Stoa comments threads, you’ll have to do it back at the old site, and you’ll just have to put up with slow-opening comments-boxes.

But I have imported the old posts to this site, to create the illusion of continuity, and I’ll tidy up these archives a bit in the days and weeks to come. (If you scratch around in them, you’ll see that the bulk of the posts have numbers instead of titles attached to them, and the foreign diacriticals have gone haywire.)

Thanks a lot to all the bloggers I emailed over the last few days with technical questions of one kind or another: I hope I wasn’t too troublesome, and the advice you all gave has been extremely valuable in helping me get my bearings in the adjustment to post-2001 blogging technology. (You know who you are.)

I expect I’ll be fiddling with the site design a bit, so don’t worry if the appearance wobbles around a bit from day to day. I’m quite pleased with this general look (or ‘theme’, as WordPress insists on calling it), but do drop me a note if it looks ghastly on whatever browser you’re using to view the site.

Sponsorship Opportunities, #2

Fellow blogger Nick Barlow is walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the Brain Research Trust by way of a memorial tribute to his brother Simon, who died far too young. He’s made it through Scotland relatively unscathed and is heading South. Masochist that he is, he’s planning to add hundreds of miles to his route by following the Devon and Cornwall coastal path all the way around, when he could just nip down the A30. So good luck to him, and you can sponsor him over here. Won’t take a moment.


It may be a false dawn, but it looks as if the chaps at Harry’s are finally catching up with the rest of the world with the realisation that George Galloway’s not very important, over here .

(For the depth of the obsession, use this link.)

This may be premature, of course. The very next post is Galloway-themed, and H’s P isn’t terribly good at getting over its habits – Harry said he was quitting blogging not so long ago, but he’s posting as much as anyone these days. But we live in hope.