This is Anton. Nice isn't he?

Every so often, I dip my toe into the strange mirror-world of internet dating. It ranges from Gaydar, which isn't so much about finding love as the quickest shag possible, to OutEverywhere, which is the exact opposite - an online community with the emphasis on comminity, with friendships a distant second, followed by relationships. And sex bringing up the rear, so to speak.

In essence, therefore, it's a gorified bulliten board, and therefore full of mindless drivel. Just like communities in the real world, I suppose.

There's Squirt, which manages to be even more direct than Gaydar, and the now defunct GQueer, which tried to avoid the extremes, and work equally as community, dating lounge and pick-up point.

GQueer seems to have been reincarnated as the cheesily titled Mand8 and Guys4Men.

I joined Guys4Men over a month ago, had trouble with my internet connection, and forgot about it. Today Anton sent me an email saying he liked my profile and is looking for good, strong love with a man like me.

There is the small detail that I never filled out a profile, and live half a world away, but it's a pleasant sentiment.

I wonder who Anton is. A lonely young man who deserves the happiness which eludes him? A manipulator playing the field? A front for an internet scam sending out scattershot snares in the hope that a few will be taken in? No, just another youngster discovering the paradox of sexual liberation combined with personal isolation.

TV news divided roughly equally between:
1) Inexplicable hot weather. Enjoy the record temperatures (36-40 deg C) by finding a beach.
2) Inexplicable war in the Middle East. Hezbollah (bad) bombing Israel (good but volatile) for vague reasons, followed by Israel overreacting slightly. 800 Britons evacuated so no need to worry.

There's a hastily arranged "emergency demo" in London on Saturday against the Israli bombings of Lebanon. The word has gone out that we should attend if we can, but the half dozen comrades I've spoken to have been too broke to afford the journey.

Interesting documentary in the Horizon series, about the risks of nuclear radiation. Interesting chiefly because the facts presented were obscured by the way they were presented, to support an unrelated conclusion.

The facts are simple. Low doses of radiation - less than 100 millisiverts per year - are harmless. One millisievert is equivalent to about five medical x-ray scans. Natural background radiation is 2.5 millisieverts. The radiation from Chernobyl was low-moderate - below 200. Hiroshima was "in the thousands". 10,000 causes death in weeks.

The implied conclusion was that, because low doses are harmless, public fear about high doses is unwarrented (huh?). We won't get nuclear accidents because the Chernobyl reactor was Russian and therefore rubbish (yeah, right). And because nuclear energy is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels (it isn't), the public must be educated before nuclear power stations can save the planet from global warming (it can't).

The programme noted that radium was promoted as a health-giving elixier in the 1920s. I remember an edition of Horizon a few years ago which noted the same thing, but went on to document the horror stories of people who used it. This time, we were reminded that some of the stories about Hiroshima were exaggerations - presumably indicating that it wasn't all that bad, really.

What a coincidence that, just as the nuclear lobby is gaining power with neo-cons, we should get documentaries on how nuclear power is safe and anyone who doubts it is ignorant and paranoid.


  1. Anton looks shaggable enough but I'd be wary of that bunker in the background.

  2. Ok so you've tried Gaydar, OutEverywhere and ManD8 but what about Man Central? Its a free gay dating site.