December 31, 2004
David Campbell, of Visit London said: "We start out with a minute's silence in respect of all the people who have died and also remembering the people who have got a catastrophic life ahead....
Two minutes' silence will be held just before Big Ben chimes midnight as a mark of respect to those who died the Asian tsunami disaster...
More. A three-minute silence is to be held on Wednesday to remember the 124,000 known to have died...
Stop! One minute is enough to show respect - two minutes for Remembrance Day Services only, any more is just gratutious showing off as how "caring" you are.
The central element of Remembrance Day ceremonies is the one minute silence.
A Melbourne journalist, Edward George Honey, first proposed a period of silence for national remembrance in a letter published in the London Evening News on 8 May 1919.
The suggestion came to the attention of King George V. After testing the practicality of five minutes silence - a trial was held with five Grenadier Guardsmen standing to attention for the silence - the King issued a proclamation on 7 November 1919 which called for a two-minute silence. His proclamation requested that "all locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead".
I have a piece of paper in my hand
Update: Bugger, bugger, bugger - they were closed! So no playtime this weekend. Grrrrrr, and I can't even go and blast away my frustration.
Instant Reporters and Blogs
Belmont Club ruminates on Blogs and information flows...
But the mainstream media could console itself in one thing. It still controlled the primary newsgathering apparatus. Yet even here the rulebook was changing. The advent of cheap consumer digital cameras capable of recording sound coupled to the proliferation of internet connections meant that in addition to the analysis cells which manifested itself in 'instant punditry', the Internet was developing a sensory apparatus to match. To the 'instant pundit' was added the 'instant reporter' -- the man already on the spot, often possessed of local knowledge and language skills.
A friend who did some work for Aljazeera revealed how they obtained Insider Iraqi war footage - they just went round Fallujah beforehand giving out free Video cameras and prepaid postage bags - "if you see something interesting - film it and send it to us." Smart guys.
Honours for ....
From the horses mouth...
Honours Briefing: 11.45am Thursday 30 December 2004
Asked if General Sir Mike Jackson had received an honour for doing the Government's dirty work, the PMS said that General Sir Mike Jackson was a distinguished soldier who has had a long career in the military. The PMS said she would not go into timing of awards but people were recognised for the public service they performed. Put to her that the award given to Douglas Smith, formerly from the Child Support Agency, might be considered a reward for failure, the PMS said that he has had a long and distinguished career as a public servant. He had worked for many years at the Inland Revenue before we he worked for the Child Support Agency. Asked why Richard Bowker had been given an award given that the Strategic Rail Authority was considered by many to be a flop, the PMS said that awards were given on merit. Asked why John Gieve had been given a nomination given recent problems at the Home Office which had resulted in the resignation of David Blunkett has Home Secretary, the PMS said that if journalists cast their minds back to last week they would recall that Sir Alan Budd had said he had received co-operation from the Home Office and its officials. He had said that he didn't believe that there had been any attempt at a 'cover-up'. John Gieve has had a long and distinguished career.
December 30, 2004
Note to Lazy Journalists
I just heard yet again the House of Lords being described as being full of Land Owning Toffs - (this as is usual was connected with the debate about Fox Hunting). May I remind them that it has changed into what was meant to be a Poodle Parlour by Tony's bizarre piece meal constitutional changes - The fact the Lords assert their independence is one of the few Good Things of Government.
lords | Houses of Parliament
Following the House of Lords Act 1999 there are only 92 peers who sit by virtue of hereditary peerage. The majority of members are now life peers and the Government has been consulting on proposals and attempting to legislate for further reform of the Lords.
There were 666 peers in total on 1st March 2004.
10 a year
DIY electricians face big fines from Saturday but many are unaware of the new legislation, a survey suggests.
The new regulations mean work more complicated than replacing a plug socket or changing a light switch can require official approval.
Dangerously-fitted electrics cost the lives of an average of 10 people a year,..
The government opted for legislation because of a rising number of deaths due to amateur electrical work.
No! They legislated for the same reason a Dog licks its balls - because they can. I could easily make a case that DIY electrics save more than 10 lives a year - a heater to keep Granny warm, a mains powered smoke detector - moing a socket to a safer place etc.
And on the subject of ten deaths a year:
Thousands of deer are killed or injured on the UK's roads every year, with 10 motorists dying in crashes involving deer.
Proposals to control wild deer numbers are being published by the government. ...
Defra is heralding the strategy as the first modern framework for tackling the management of wild deer.
The(y) say that despite the role of the government, the primary responsibility for deer control will remain with landowners.
Sorry - what role has the Government got in this? Or are they going to be handing out the ammunition....
FOXNews.com - Views - Straight Talk - 2004: The Good News
So take heart. As we head into a new year, both the U.S. and the world are growing safer, healthier, and less violent. Most of the world is getting freer. It may not seem like it, given the images we're seeing on the news, but man on the whole is making himself better.
Go read the whole thing as suggested by Instapundit.com -
A fine blog - and another pig fan!
Cependant, laissez moi risquer une hypothèse, cher frères et soeurs Croisés : ai-je raison de croire que la plupart d'entre vous n'a jamais envisagé d'ajouter un mignon petit cochon à la scène ?
Et diable, pourquoi pas ?
The official Great Britons of 2004
The Telegraph presents a list of contenders for some Great Britons award and I have tried to help you identify them - not being a proper journalist I couldn't be arsed to do any research - but I think I have got them right (if not apologies).
Sir Bill Morris - last of the Trade Union leaders and black so gets the Guardian vote.
John Peel - Dead Disc Jockey so gets middle age trendy nostalgic for punk vote.
Lord Deedes - Reporter who is very old - gets nobody's vote.
Ken Loach - Arty film maker - luvvies vote.
Philip Pullman - writer of teenager books - but they won't vote.
Sir Simon Rattle - wild haired conductor - gets bus users vote.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Geek candidate - but is old news now.
Roger Penrose - sued toilet paper makers for using his patented pattern - ubergeek vote.
Jane Goodall - cuddly chimp botherer - gets the Ahhh! vote.
Benjamin Zephaniah - black poet - gets the Hackney vote.
Jane Tomlinson - Should know but don't.
Matthew O'Connor - No idea.
Gurinder Chadha - No idea but can guess whose vote this person will get.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Haven't we have had him already?
Lord Foster - Trendy architect - Gherkins and Bridges. Dahling vote.
Lord Browne - Sorry mate - don't know who you are.
Sir Paul Smith - a clothes cutter another Dahling vote.
Perween Warsi - from Star Wars?
Ellen MacArthur - has to sail around the world on her own probably because of personal hygiene issues. Transatlantic sailors vote.
Kelly Holmes - runner or jumper - gets the sporting vote.
Tanni Grey-Thompson - another runner or jumper but in a wheelchair so gets the sympathy sports vote.
December 29, 2004
It isn't just the UK taxpayer Tony mulcts:
Downing Street has confirmed that Tony Blair is to pay for his family holiday in Egypt out of his own pocket.
The stay at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik three years ago had been at the Egyptian taxpayers' expense.
The Prime Minister still faces an investigation into his stay at a tobacco entrepreneur's French chateau.
Just like Blunkett then, when you are found out if you then pay it is all OK!... try that excuse with the Tax inspector: (Are free holidays a "benefit in kind"?)
Something to remember this New Year
"The empty Millennium attraction, which cost over £700 million to build, was costing taxpayers £189,000 per month to maintain."
Everytime Tony's Gang bang on about their competence , remember this fiasco.
December 28, 2004
Boxing Day scenes
BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: Christmas Hunt The BBC website has done a good job of presenting the various Boxing Day hunts - it is always photogenic!
For myself, Mr Free Market very kindly took the son and heir out for his first pheasant shoot - a great time was had by all (except maybe for a couple of brace of pheasants). And driving back across the Plain it was a joy to meet the Hunt hacking home.
EU shit laws
EU Referendum reports a graphic example of EU environmental madness...
we learned that Scottish Water was in trouble with its sewage treatment plant at Daldowie outside Glasgow. Here, a plant costing £65 million had been installed to turn 50,000 tons of sewage sludge each year - nearly half of Scotland's entire sewage residue - into pellets.
For four years, this had been feeding Scottish Power's giant 2,400-megawatt power station at Longannet in Fife with a "carbon-neutral" equivalent of 42,000 tons of coal, enough to provide electricity for 30,000 homes. But it was then the subject of a legal action awaiting judgment in the Scottish courts, this whole process is threatened with disaster.
Last winter the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) ruled that the sewage pellets were not "fuel", but "waste". When the EC Waste Incineration Directive (WID), 2000/76 comes into law at the end of the year, Scottish Power would no longer be allowed to use the pellets to make electricity.
This set Scottish Water a huge problem. Under other EU laws it cannot dump sewage sludge at sea or in landfills. It is becoming all but impossible to use sewage sludge as fertiliser on farm land. On Sepa's interpretation of EC law, the only practical means of disposal was to burn it at great expense in incinerators - but only so long as these served no useful purpose, such as generating electricity.
December 24, 2004
For the last couple of days I have thought in this season of goodwill if I haven't got something nice to say about someone I shouldn't say anything at all - so I have said nothing.
To all of you wherever you are, have a very Merry Christmas and we will have a fantastic New Year - your interest and comments have made this a wonderful and interesting year!
December 22, 2004
The Saint, the award-winning tabloid student newspaper at the University of St Andrews, has been banned by the student union..
I gather from Bishop Hill that once the staff have "staff have undergone diversity awareness training" they will allowed to publish provided that "the editor should in future send each issue to
the university's press office to check that it is not in breach of discrimination policy before the paper goes to the printers.".
All for joking about dyslexic Welshmen or something!
Students just don't get Free Speech do they?
It wasn't much different 25 years ago when I nearly got rusticated from College for allowing the Sports Editor of the newspaper to pad out his column with the results from the "Rape a Whale" contest (No rape actually occured or animals hurt during the contest) and the "Knock a Rabbi Out of Bed Tournament". Seemed harmless to me.....
Got a text message from an old Guitarist friend who is in New York - "Saw Les Paul yesterday - and today bought myself one".
Ain't it often true that the best presents you get are the ones you buy yourself.
And I bet you were like me and didn't realise that Les Paul born June 9, 1915, still performs weekly in New York City. He often remarks at shows "When I introduce myself to people, they are always surprised to learn that I'm not a guitar and I'm not dead!".
"If you are going to over-eat at Christmas, it would be worth considering going for a good long walk first - as this at least can undo some of the damage the over-indulgence is about to cause"
Professor Peter Weissberg, British Heart Foundation
Well in that case I'm definitely going to walk down to the Pub for a half (Gallon) before lunch then - only doing it for the good of my heart, Dear!
December 20, 2004
A must read Article
So you think you live in a free country?
You really think that? Well, let me tell you that you do not. On Saturday night, 11.35pm, I had two uniformed policemen at the door, threatening to kick it in unless I opened it. When I opened the window to talk to them, one pushed the window fully open, sweeping the china onto the sink, and climbed into the house.
Were they attending the scene of a serious crime? Forget it - that takes days. Were they dealing with a serious criminal? Well you judge that. While the usual Saturday night mayhem was breaking our in Bradford centre, stretching police resources to breaking point, these policement were out debt collecting - on behalf of the state...
Proud to be a "woolly Liberal"
Full speed ahead on ID cards that are 'good for you'
CHARLES CLARKE today accuses critics of identity cards of “liberal woolly thinking” and spreading false fears as he pledges not to waver from David Blunkett’s controversial plans.
A spokesman for the civil rights group Liberty said: “If opponents of identity cards are woolly liberals, what does that make George W Bush? He has ruled out ID cards in the US on the grounds that they will have not one iota of effect on terrorism and will seriously undermine civil liberties.”
In an attempt to placate opponents Mr Clarke says that the legislation will not make it compulsory to carry a card, and will not give powers to the police to stop individuals and demand to see their card.
So what is the point of them again?
Baroness Thatcher was also reported yesterday to be strongly against ID cards. She told a private meeting that they were a “Germanic concept completely alien to this country”. The Lib Dems oppose the Bill.
I always knew that Thatcher was a Woolly Tofu munching sandal wearer - Just like Bush!
Clarke says "It would be profoundly civil libertarian because it promotes the most fundamental civil liberty, the right to live free from crime and fear."
He says critics are “woolly” and spreading fears when they claim that cards will erode liberties and usher in the Big Brother society or a police state."
And the clocks struck thirteen....
December 19, 2004
Free the Bradford one!
Dr Richard North is missing:
Just before midnight he was arrested by two police officers, described to me as “verbally aggressive” and carted off to the hoosegow, a.k.a. Bradford Central Police Station. I tried phoning (01274) 376459 but under the Data Protection Act they wouldn't tell me if he was being held!
Healing the nation
And as Americans, we must ask ourselves: Are we really so different? Must we stereotype those who disagree with us? Do we truly believe that all red-state residents are ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying roadkill-eating tobacco-juice-dribbling gun-fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that all blue-state residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing communist latte-sucking tofu-chomping holistic-wacko neurotic vegan weenie perverts?
December 17, 2004
A note to carry at all times.
With the insatiable desire of the state to impose On the Spot fines I have produced a little note to carry in my wallet - a copy is in the extended section - thanks to the usual suspects for the text an remember I'm not a lawyer so don't blame me if it all goes wrong and you wake up with a sore head and facing fifteen years.
Drunken revellers caught misbehaving face on-the-spot fines during a festive crackdown on binge drinking in 180 town and city centres.
Police in England and Wales will be handing out £80 fines to people caught fighting, urinating or being sick in the street, the government has warned.
Response to request for an "On the Spot "fine
You are asking me to pay '................' for an alleged offence.
I do believe that Your Authority .................... is attempting to extort money from me in an unlawful manner. I refer you to the Bill of Rights 1689, enacted and formally entered into Statute following the Declaration of Rights 1689. I draw your attention to this section:
"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."
This clearly states that a conviction is necessary before a fine can be imposed. Therefore, you have no authority to demand money for an alleged offence unless it is dealt with by a Court of Law and your actions are unlawful.
I would be grateful if you could also clarify the nature of the alleged offence committed by myself and provide a copy of the section of the relevant statute and whether it makes any reference whatsoever to expressly repealing the Bill of Rights 1689.
As stated in the 'Metric Martyrs' Judgment in the Supreme Court of Judicature, Queen's Bench Division (18th February 2002) by Lord Justice Laws and Justice Crane :
62 "We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were 'ordinary' statutes and 'constitutional' statutes. The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are Magna Carta, Bill of Rights 1689, The Act of Union, the Reform Acts etc."
63. "Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not..."
As you are no doubt aware, Sunderland City Council went to quite considerable lengths to achieve the Metric Martyrs Judgment and the precedent set by Lord Justice Laws is clear and unambiguous. In highlighting this You and Your Authority can now have no excuse for ignorance in this matter.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that the ultimate legal responsibility not only lies with the Chief Executive of your Authority, but also with all the elected members of Relevant Overseeing Board and I would be grateful if you could confirm that you will advise the relevant officers that they are breaking the law by attempting to claim powers forbidden to them.
Therefore, please accept this note as formal notice that I require any allegations against me to be specified and referred for trial in a proper and orderly manner, should you wish to proceed against me for the alleged offence.
The US Mail - Big Brother
Some of my colonial readers may have noticed the USPS is introducing self-service kiosks to make life easier - but not just easier..
"US Postal Service self-service postage machines take portrait-style photographs of customers" - No warning or notice of this is displayed. It is part of the "Intelligent Mail" program. "A report issued on July 31, 2003 by a Presidential Commission on the Postal service called for the USPS to "explore the use of sender identification for every piece of mail, commercial and retail" as part of a broader plan to introduce Intelligent Mail."
So they want to know your Christmas Card list - for your own good of course!
EPIC Postal Privacy Page
Pupils at a South Gloucs. school have been banned from wearing tinsel to a non-uniform day because teachers say it could cause litter and be dangerous.
Staff at Chipping Sodbury school say the tinsel could cause injury if pupils tried to strangle each other.
Children were sent home with a letter citing "health and safety reasons" for the ban.
South Gloucs Council said the day was "far from being against the spirit of Christmas"
Actually the pupils have been taught an excellent lesson which will serve them well in the future - Petty tyrants are everywhere and will use the excuse of "protecting you" for banning things!
December 16, 2004
King Billy's quiz time again!
KING WILLIAM’S COLLEGE
ISLE OF MAN
General Knowledge Paper
2004 – 2005
“Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis,
ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est.”
1. In the year 1904, who or what:
1 – insular reef was struck by Capt. Gundal’s vessel?
2 – was uncovered by Gustafsson beside Slagenbekken?
3 – designed Tea Rooms opened in ‘The Alley of the Willows’?
4 – began a reign which, with one slight hiatus, was to last 55 years?
5 – made a post-mortem journey from Badenweiler to the Novodeviche Monastery?
6 – after a fiasco in Milan, received seven curtain calls in Brescia three months later?
7 – celebrated its centenary with the opening of new HQ in Vincent Square?
8 – city followed Paris and was itself followed in 1908 by London?
9 – tragedy befell the Knickerbocker Steamboat Company?
10 – Midland Railway initiative took place on 15th June?
1 – who was the albino Vicar of Altarnum?
2 – which zealous High Churchman gained preferment?
3 – who was joined on the footplate by the Bishop for the run to Mallingford?
4 – which Rector of Hunsford was a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man?
5 – which Minister gave the appearance of having a good deal of train oil in his system?
6 – who was the Vicar of Tredannick Wollas, with whom Mr Mortimer Tregennis lodged?
7 – which black marble clergyman classed Consistency as the first of Christian duties?
8 – who was the Vicar of Ploverleigh who favoured three spoons to the teapot?
9 – who preached about racial equality in the Free Kirk at Kirkcaple?
10 – who was the perpetual Curate of Hoggleswick?
1 – where does Molly display her long legs?
2 – who lived at the fictitious 30 Kelsall Street?
3 – who are represented by Murphy in Church Street?
4 – what replicates a memorial in Edinburgh to the Keeper of the Signet?
5 – who created two ornithological oddities and was later interned on the Isle of Man?
6 – what link between James Street and Hamilton Square was opened by the Prince of Wales?
7 – who was the American Consul who lodged at Mrs Blodget’s at 153 Duke Street?
8 – where, miserably, did Priestley buy himself a good cigar?
9 – where did 25 perish beneath the collapsed tower?
10 – where was Fix fixed with a right and left?
4. Who poisoned:
1 – John Russell with phosphorus at Windy Nook?
2 – his wife Cora with hyoscine at 39 Hilltop Crescent?
3 – Jane Taylor with antimony at 22 Royal Crescent, Glasgow?
4 – Matilda Clover with strychnine at 27 Lambeth Palace Road?
5 – his wife Margery with arsenic at Milford Sanatorium, Godalming?
6 – aided by Anne Turner, Sir Thomas Overbury with an enema of mercury sublimate
in the Tower of London?
7 – Percy John with aconitine at Blenheim School, Wimbledon?
8 – Frederick Biggs with thallium at Bovington, Hertfordshire?
9 – his son Terence with quinalbarbitone at Portsmouth?
10 – his wife Katie with morphine at Hay-on-Wye?
5. What was damaged by:
1 – Merle?
2 – Tayjack?
3 – Christiana?
4 – Marlborough?
5 – James & Jessie?
6 – Port Royal Park?
7 – Prince Leopold?
8 – Foudroyant?
9 – Ovenbeg?
10 – Europa?
6. What is the connection between:
1 – Sälen and Mora?
2 – Zermatt and St Moritz?
3 – Chepstow and Prestatyn?
4 – Edale and Kirk Yetholm?
5 – Page’s Park and Stonehenge?
6 – Vohwinkel and Oberbarmen?
7 – Shannon and St Petersburg?
8 – Wallsend and Bowness?
9 – Cheriton and Sangatte?
10 – Horta and Cornella?
7. Which reigning or future English sovereign was married to whom in:
1 – Norway?
2 – a two-letter town?
3 – a Hampshire Abbey?
4 – a Northamptonshire village?
5 – the Queen’s Closet at York Place?
6 – the Monasterio de Santa Maria la Real?
7 – the Cypriot Chapel of St George?
8 – a south coast Naval Base?
9 – the Palace of Kew?
10 – York Minster?
8. Who or what:
1 – slew Gessler?
2 – would have chosen to be Henry IX?
3 – was originally known as Middle Plantation?
4 – in a work dedicated ‘Absit Oman’, discovered the National Debt?
5 – fishery research trawler was renamed and launched to combat whaling?
6 – stretch of water received 257,000 barrels of North Slope Crude on Good Friday?
7 – formerly feared that incessant inversion might cause cerebral injury?
8 – what was Miss Lamburn’s posthumous publication?
9 – may have been felled by Walter Tirel?
10 – is Dianthus barbatus?
1 – what is in the affirmative?
2 – what has a shady glen on its steep steep side?
3 – what, far to the eastward, rises in pearl-grey air?
4 – where, in summertime, do the bells sound so clear?
5 – on what summit does the Oratory recall the navigator saint?
6 – from what shaggy side do three streams in three directions glide?
7 – where does a Bristol merchant’s folly take it to 1000 feet?
8 – what dread name is derived from church and storms?
9 – under what bare head is Drumcliff churchyard?
10 – where did twelve fair counties see the blaze?
1 – did a Mass for JFK?
2 – did nudes for the BMA?
3 – introduced waterproof mascara?
4 – related his story to Capt Robert Walton?
5 – took receipt of Devereux’s halberd at Eger?
6 – developed his early theories in the Patent Office in Berne?
7 – was credited with the best film ever made?
8 – established a grand factory in 1856?
9 – had Knewstub as a middle name?
10 – launched Winter Gale?
11. Which conflagration:
1 – was depicted in A Rake’s Progress?
2 – coincided with the confinement of Olympias?
3 – has been dubiously attributed to imperial arson?
4 – led to the decapitation of Marinus van der Lubbe?
5 – coincided with the performance of an interesting play by Pinero?
6 – obliged the proprietor to write to customers that “….in the consequence of the above premises
being burnt down, your orders will be delayed in the execution a day or two.”
7 – was followed by Kaiser-assisted rebuilding in Jugendstil?
8 – saw the debut of Braithwaite’s steam fire engine?
9 – prompted a fatal confession from Robert Hubert?
10 – began in Patrick O’Leary’s cowbarn?
12. Who achieved, superlatively:
1 – 18.29 m?
2 – 16 min 19 sec?
3 – 68 – 27 – 90 – 19?
4 – 66-68-69-64 – 267?
5 – 38 – 26 – 12 – 0 – 73 – 26 – 90?
6 – 1,315 – 61,237 – 106 – 316* - 50.65?
7 – 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (16-18), 8-6?
8 – 2 hr 15 min 25 sec?
9 – 3 min 59.4 sec?
10 – 127.68 mph?
13. What on 198:
1 – is also Antifer?
2 – embraces Man?
3 – is Mendelssohnian?
4 – acknowledges 21st October?
5 – replaced an exchange for Zanzibar?
6 – is a two-masted Dutch fishing vessel?
7 – is a surgical textbook with Love?
8 – recalls Mutt and Jeff?
9 – is Puffin Island?
10 – recalls Beagle?
14. Who or what:
1 – is Thecla betulae?
2 – is topped by Abdon Burf?
3 – was the small curé from Cobhole?
4 – condiment can be parliamentary or paternal?
5 – was not enamoured of the Dean of Christ Church?
6 – was opened by members of Byron’s staff in the year of Victoria’s accession?
7 – was hanged at Charlestown after Harper’s Ferry?
8 – began at Calle Nuño de Cañas in 1919?
9 – was Single-handed in the States?
10 – were the Sturmabteilung?
1 – what is Georgia?
2 – where did the moon stand still for Gene Autrey?
3 – what part is played by the third party at a lovers’ tryst?
4 – the eastward deviation of what was decreed by Teburoro Tito?
5 – what is the translucent legacy of a Cornish barber with premises in Gerrard Street?
6 – which President overlapped the premierships of Lisulu, Mundia and Musokotwane?
7 – who rode on the Great Wheel at the Prater with Rollo Martins?
8 – what is a hydraulic crane with a terminal railed platform?
9 – who produced his first number on 17th July 1841?
10 – who managed Jardine’s bodyliners?
16. Which first name is shared by these neighbours:
1 – Leer and Rouse?
2 – Abbots and Grey?
3 – Bohune and Bruce?
4 – Dayrell and Lovell?
5 – Bowdler and Carbonel?
6 – Beauchamp and Harcourt?
7 – Cheriton and Newton?
8 – Bishop and Butler?
9 – Priors and Hersey?
10 – Abbas and Stoke?
1 – what comes before golf?
2 – who was Zinneman’s Jackal?
3 – who was Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure?
4 – which athlete features in a 33-letter pangram?
5 – which of Aesop’s fables encourages presaltation inspection?
6 – what was the subject of a 1785 account by a Birmingham physician?
7 – whose foundation appeared to be an amiable association?
8 – what was Seton’s tale of maternal devotion?
9 – who designed an airborne rugby team?
10 – what is Te Morka o Tuawe?
18. In 2004:
1 – who reached Hill’s Antwerp summit?
2 – where did 100 x 824 occupy 9 hours 15 minutes?
3 – what flightless new species recalls Pyrrhocorax in its colouring?
4 – what centurion has continued to advocate knowing where to look?
5 – who, uniquely, included Count, Dave, Jabba, Bomb, Polar Bear and Jughead?
6 – whose passing recalled defeat for the All Blacks and brought sadness to many former schoolboy
7 – who, having started on Christmas Day, broke all records in getting to 102?
8 – what statistical compendium omitted to include the Principality?
9 – what preceded Frances and Ivan on their trip to the Peninsula?
10 – who was trailed rapturously after Betsy?
The flag was spotted by a disgruntled resident who complained to the Council about the "foul emblem", which apparently offends him when he has to walk past it. The Council ruled "The EU flag is not a national flag and thereby falls within the same category as any advertising-type flag. These require advertising consent from the council."
A quick hurray for a Council Enforcement Officer - never thought that before!
And guess what the Lib-Dems think...
Councillor Bob Smytherman, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the council, said he was appalled.
He said: "The Lib Dems are the pro-European party. I don't see a problem with the EU flag. I think we should fly it from the town hall personally.
Oh I don't know Councillor Smytherman! I can think of a much better use of the townhall flagpole - I'm off to get the piano wire....
RGBW to split back into DERR and GLOSTERS then merge with D and D who
then merge with LI and DERR merge with PWRR
The Cabarfeidh Pages has full details of the madness - far too complicated for me, but then so is so much this goverment does these days, I'm just against it.
More on Kennet Council
KENNET councillors are assured a very merry Christmas having given themselves a whacking 52.4 per cent rise in basic allowances.
Opposition groups were astonished when the ruling Tory group proposed raising the basic amount to £4,000 from £2,625, despite the Independent Remuneration Panel recommending a much more modest 2.8 per cent rise.
..Council leader Chris Humphries said the increases had been put forward by the Independent Remuneration Board.
Coun Humphries said a recent national survey had showed he is the poorest paid leader of any local authority in the UK.
Either the Review recommended 2.8% rise or we believe Coun Humphries and believe they recommended a 52.4% rise - which is it? Councillor Humphries complains he is the poorest paid leader in the country - following my little spat with Kennet Council and judging by his bizarre, illogical and petulant letter to me I would guess he is seriously overpaid for his abilities.
A reader sent me an appalling tale of some parking company try to extort money from them - I have covered using the Bill of Rights to try and protect yourself before but the great man himself Neil Herron is pursuing it again. One day we will get an answer!
Sign me up to the 1952 committee
The England Project going to try and keep track of previously pro-Tory bloggers who have decided not to vote Tory because of their support for ID cards. Because any such list demands a name I'm calling it The 1952 Committee. I believe that this was the year in which the Churchill government ended post war ID cards
I could be persuaded back if they came out as a proper low (flat?) tax party, demanded ID cards were like other emergency terrorist legislation and the law had to be renewed each year, took a much stronger line on Europe and arranged the public hanging of Ted Heath, Chris Patten, Ken Clark, Leon Brittain......
L'Ombre de l'Olivier - Di2.Nu weblog points out where Polly Toynbee, Charles Moore, Norm Geras, Samizdata and Melanie Philips all agree..
So do I.
Take that you interfering Quakers, Shakers, Musselmen, Papists and Shylocks.....
Christian Marxist Aid at it again.
You may recall Christain Aid spunking money away on some bizarre ads against Free Trade Visit the link! Now they are campaigning against some cosy textile agreement coming to an end.
Christian Aid condemned the move, saying it would see almost a million jobs in Bangladesh alone being axed.
However, supporters of the change claim it will mean increased efficiency and lower costs for Western consumers.
It will also see more jobs created in India and China, advocates argue.
Christian Aid added that with few employment alternatives available many sacked garment workers could end up in far worse jobs - with some of the mainly female workers forced into the sex trade. Source
Where to begin with the economics of this? How about the idea that if the country is ruined by the collapse of its textile business then there will suddenly be enough wealth to provide employment for maybe half a million more sex workers? A touch implausable maybe?
December 15, 2004
Welcome to the new Home Secretary
With Blind Lemon Blunkett gone to spend more time with other people's families there has been a cabinet reshuffle and we welcome the new man:
'A vivid and truly vile creation'
The lovably loathsome character is coming to the small screen in a mix of live action and animation and will ooze with fun for all of the family!
Learn to draw Fungus the Bogeyman. It is fun for the whole family!
And what is Fungus' background? - my well thumbed copy of The Socialist Worker has this to say about him:
CHARLES CLARKE, chairman (unelected) of the Labour Party, last week declared his love for the US under George W Bush. In his youth, he admitted, "I was a strong opponent of the foreign policy of the US," and campaigned over issues such as US support for fascist states in Greece, Spain and Portugal, US support for dictatorships in Latin America, and the use of US troops in Cambodia and Vietnam.
But now, says Clarke, things have changed. Now we must all consider the proposition that the US is "a force for good". I knew Charles Clarke in his youth. I vividly recall my first National Union of Students (NUS) conference in Scarborough in 1975.
I was a bewildered first time delegate. Clarke was the NUS president. He had been elected as a member of the Broad Left. Just like now, this involved him ignoring the record of a brutal superpower. The only difference is that now the power is the US-then it was the USSR. The Broad Left was dominated politically by the Communist Party. Under Charles Clarke, the NUS was sucking up to Stalinist bureaucrats from Russia and Eastern Europe.
I remember an eye-opening debate about Chile (this was less than two years after General Pinochet had seized power). Instead of building solidarity with Chilean workers and students, the NUS had jointly organised an expensive seminar with the Russian-run International Union of Students on the issue.
Chilean revolutionaries (who might have criticised the Communist Party) were barred from this gathering. The fake Czech student union (a puppet of the state) was allowed to attend.
So Clarke's story is partly an old one about a man who went from admiring Stalinism to backing US imperialism. But perhaps there is another twist. At the same time as he was NUS president, Clarke was also chairman of the World Youth Council. This had well documented CIA links.
Captain Euro - Superhero!
I thought I would catch up with the latest thrilling adventure of Captain Euro as "one brave man maintains perpetual vigilance" defending "the shining symbol of strength through unity". "In this climate of constant change The European Union, a union of prosperity and innovation, has emerged as a global superpower". Golly Gosh - can he save us from the evil Dr D.Vider (gettit?)...
To see the animated adventure you have to register - and so far they haven't sent the password to "bollockstotheeu - at anenglishmanscastle.com" If they do I will share it with you - it also asks for suggestions on the registration page - I left a couple I'm sure you can as well!
Happy Christmas from my lawyer
As it is that time of year, please accept with no obligation, implied
or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially
responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter/summer solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyabletraditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures, and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish
at the sole discretion of the wisher.
Happy BoR Day
When Tony Blair and his fellow heads of government met in Rome on October 30 to sign the new EU constitution, they were not putting their names to the document itself because it still didn't exist. Only (now can) anyone be able to read the text of the constitution set out in full in a single document thanks to an independent publishing venture run by an 89-year-old former brigadier from a small office in the Cotswolds.
There have been so many amendments to the constitutional draft agreed last summer that the EU itself will not be publishing a complete text until early next year. At the moment it still consists of 844 pages scattered across its websites. But thanks to a remarkable feat of detailed research by the British Management Data Foundation, run by Brig Anthony Cowgill and his son Andrew, a 47-year-old tax expert, it will be possible, at last, for members of the public to read precisely what the EU's politicians have agreed to in their name, to see what is new in it, and its wide-ranging implications.
The BMDF has consolidated the EU's 844 separate web-pages in just 270 printed ones, showing all 448 articles of the constitution (that of the USA contains only 26). It also adds supporting documents, invaluable analysis and a proper index (copies of The European Constitution in Perspective can be ordered on 01452 812837 at £27.50).
Compare that with this simple solid document - thanks to Kim du Toit:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Which would you prefer?
We are all criminals now.
The legacy of nuLabour is summed up in this article:
Times Online - Sunday Times
A leading statistician has warned there are now enough speed cameras to ensure the average driver can expect to face three driving bans in their motoring career, writes Jonathan Leake.
The study found that a typical driver "someone who normally obeys the rules but occasionally lapses" should now see occasional bans as almost inevitable.
In a research paper published in Mathematics Today, Rose Baker, professor of statistics at Salford University, says that with 4,500 cameras in Britain "the average driver will face a driving ban every 15 years".
Baker also says that, far from habitual speeders being singled out by the cameras, being caught is "a lottery".
According to her formula, the average driver can expect to clock up a speeding offence every two years. However, no driver will accumulate offences at exactly the average. Some will be caught for several offences in a short time, others may go for years without speeding near a camera.
This random variation means a quarter of drivers will get enough points to be banned every seven years. At the other end of the scale the randomness means about 9% will get through their motoring lives without a ban at all.
“All these motorists would be driving in an identical way, perhaps breaking the speed limit a bit but not often,” said Baker. “The reason for this effect is simply the growing number of speed cameras.”
In another article Jeremy Clarkson says: "Every single day there is a small piece in the papers that announces the introduction of a law banning something which you thought was harmless. And here’s the thing. You raise your eyebrows momentarily and then you turn the page.
It’s only when you add up the number of new laws that have come along since His Toniness grinned his way into No 10 that you realise just how much of our freedom he’s tried to erode in the past seven years.
Last week Boris Johnson told us that you may not legally fix a broken window pane in your own home unless you are a qualified broken window mender and that when the work is done you must get it inspected by a broken window inspector from the local council. Furthermore, it is against the law to change or tamper with the electrical sockets in your own kitchen.
....To be honest, however, none of this interference is going to make any difference to my life. That’s why I’m not whingeing, because I shall continue to call people while driving, and tell them stories that Cherie Blair would find offensive.
Furthermore, I’ll carry on calling two people who share body parts Siamese twins. I will eat as much cheese as I like and I will still give my dog a whole packet of prawn-cocktail-flavoured crisps whenever she rips a rat to pieces.
This evening I’m thinking of smacking the children. For fun. And then, when I go to bed tonight, after I’ve altered all the wiring in my kitchen and drunk two bottles of wine I’ll leave the outside lights on. And dream about the glimpse of G-string I saw in the office last week.
In other words, in a single day I will break 14 laws and seven social taboos that simply didn’t exist before Tony came along. And I shall do so with impunity because there’s no way in hell he can possibly enforce all his Big Ideas."
In other words the law has become a lottery and lost respect. If everyday decent people have to break the law to live normal lives what chance is there for an orderly society? Combine that with a zealous zero-tolerance brigade and you get random and vicious prosecutions for acts everyone is doing.
It is breakdown of traditional British society - we all go in fear of the police and prosecution all the time.
What a state we live in!
One upside is that I predict that Hunting will continue as before, with the careful use of actions to provide a cover of legality - see:
More than 250 hunts will meet to hunt legally in protest at the hunting ban on 19 February, the day after the Act comes into force
December 14, 2004
Tough on Illegal immigrants
A former Army officer who served in Iraq and Kosovo is being denied a British passport, his family has said.
Zimbabwe-born Captain Warwick Strong was turned down because he was out of the UK on duty, his father Colonel Jeremy Strong claimed.
Passport applicants must have lived in the UK for five years, without leaving for more than 90 days in a year.
It seems to me Blunkett would be better sorting outrages like this out rather than bitching about colleagues, dreaming up more schemes and snarking* round the Home Office.
Snarking - Verb - Originally sniffing bicycle seats - Now extended to sniffing recently vacated office chairs for sexual pleasure.
Otis - I'm not a sheep
Otis Ferry, a former Eton pupil and joint leader of the South Shropshire Hunt, said: "I have no regrets.
"We have done nothing wrong beyond the obvious which was to stand up for our rights and not act like a sheep".
Sensible lad with the way the Police are treating errant sheep these days! And remember it took "four vans of officers and dogs, three marked cars and two unmarked cars" to search his home and remove a couple of legal guns he used as tools of his trade.
"Disorderly Conduct" is pretty low on the scale when originally they were threaten with burglary, treason, regicide etc. Hope they get off!
What to buy your Gran
Doctors have known for some time that smell is one of the first things to go when someone develops dementia.
The Alzheimer's Society is funding a study at Oxford University looking into a person's ability to smell lavender.
I have never understood why little old ladies cover themselves and their houses in vile Lavender smelling scents but I do now. They can't smell it properly!
Mind you my Dear Old Mother was as daft as brush in her declining years but she never went into the Lavender syndrome - her problem was she remembered the war years and had a certain frugality of mind. So no sense of smell and a reluctance to throw food out meant her Fridge was a minefield. If the milk could be got out the bottle it was still alright! I'm sorry to say I didn't have cup of tea with her for a long time.
December 13, 2004
You're not from around here are you?
A long-awaited challenge to the open housing market is about to be launched across a swath of Northern England, after robust backing from a government planning inquiry.
Virtually all new housing in the Yorkshire Dales will be limited to needy locals and incomers taking existing jobs. The radical plan has been drawn up by all-party and independent members of the National Park authority.
Peter Watson, the head of planning at the park authority, said: "There is no logic in meeting open-market demand in the National Park because we can't build enough houses to bring prices down to levels affordable for local people without destroying the landscape. The obvious approach is to build homes only for people who work here.
Calling all Austrian Economists - can we have some help here please!
Forget all the other arguments against this madness all you are doing is developing Rural Slums where the happy home owner has the rung above him removed - if you are stuck in a cheap locals house how are you ever going to build up your capital to move to a proper grown-ups house?
Of course soon I expect to see Travel Permits and Work Permits having to be shown as you cross the border into the Park - "Your Papers Please"....
The Official Explanation of the Ordinance against the Possession of Weapons:
We have already mentioned what the term "weapons for hitting or stabbing" means. Even though the legal provisions are clear enough, we shall list such individual weapons one more time: daggers and stilettoes; swords, sabers, bayonets, fencing foils and students' rapiers; sword canes and defense canes (canes with metal spirals, wire cable or truncheon); clubs, steel rods and horsewhips; brass knuckles, iron rods and fighting rings; weapon rings, deer knives, and hunting knives. It will depend on each individual case whether lockable folding knives or fixed knives that cannot be folded have to be considered weapons. Knives with a handle will then have the nature of a weapon when their size and design show that they were meant to serve the purpose of a dagger.
The Jews must be warned that they should interpret the new ordinance and the already existing Weapons Law strictly. Otherwise they will have to expect severe penalties pursuant to § 4 and, if applicable, protective custody. When following the order spelled out in § 1 of the new ordinance to immediately turn over all of the weapons and ammunition to the local police authority, the Jews must make sure that no weapons whatsoever are left behind with them.
It is particularly encouraging that today, when we are reaching the end of the year 1938, we were able to extend the prohibition of weapons possession by the Jews to the Ostmark and the Sudetenland regions. The protection that we are able to offer to our German brothers in the regained regions becomes particularly clear in § 6 of the ordinance of November 11, 1938.
Dr. Ehaus, Senior Executive Officer
Where is Mr NBC when you need him?
I faced the annual Treacle Danger tonight as I popped the lid of the Black Treacle tin - best before June 2001 - ignoring the dire warnings not to even open an out of date tin and to dispose of it safely. Not so much as a hiss - still the tin is only half used so maybe by 2008 it will have started to react.
Christmas cake made - now 11 hours in the bottom oven of the Aga - should be lovely and moist!
(I know it should have been made bloody weeks ago but I've been busy - at least we have last years Xmas pudding to rejuvenate with spirits - that should be mature now. What do you mean "Best Before"?)
More on that Sheep on a Roundabout.
AFTER a four-hour stand-off in the middle of a busy roundabout, armed police sparked controversy yesterday when they shot their victim dead for refusing to move..
Of course I'm old enough to remember when a sheep tied to a lampost on a roundabout was THE leisure centre for Swindon...
The words of God Save the Queen sung in Hebrew reverberated round the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue in Gibraltar as part of a weekend of celebrations commemorating the rock's centuries-long role as a haven from anti-Semitism.
"In the dark times of expulsion and inquisition, Gibraltar lit the beacon of tolerance,"
Strangely the Treaty forbids "Papists, Moors and Jews" from living on The Rock but this condition has always been soundly ignored leading to the most diverse integrated community in the world. Shows what a bit of common sense can do.
Welcome The Bishop
Bishop Hill is a new boy on the block. Go and say hi!
Getting the Rap
The Sunday Herald Sun said the Detroit-based rap group linked to rap music supremo Eminem said an immigration staff member had told them they must obey certain behaviour codes if they wanted to enter the country when they arrived in Perth on Saturday for the first leg of their Australian tour.
Eminem accused the Federal Government of taking Australia back to the dark ages by reading the riot act to his rap crew members.
An immigration department spokeswoman said today it was standard procedure to ensure anyone entering the country on an entertainment visa met appropriate standards of behaviour.
Sounds Fairy Nuff to me.
I was musing over Mr Eminem's melodic talents at the weekend as a combination of some thirty something successful writer was praising him yet again in the paper and the young people's television started showing his latest "Smash Hit". I have never "got" him at all - what is there to like about his music? I admit his latest had some almost acceptable drumming in it - though if I wanted a decent rat-a-tat-tat I would off to The Union Jack Shop for a CD of the Boys. Other modern Beat Combos are quite acceptable in the background, and others are quite decorative on the screen but Rap - No sorry, I don't get it.
The same goes for Ballet, Electronic Organ Music, Prog Rock, Bruce Springsteen and U2...
So what do I like? - Here is one list of my Desert Island Discs - it would proably be totally different if I wrote it today.
December 12, 2004
I can sleep safe in my bed at night now.
"A decision was made to deploy armed police officers - The sheep was a "danger". say police
December 11, 2004
Talking to the Good Colonel and Mr FM I was surprised they were strangely ignorant of the art and science of "Boning". I am sure you, dear reader, being a "man of the world" aren't, but as a bit of fun, for which trade does the following appear on their website?
TREES are more or less essential because of the "boning" process.
Horace Batten Bootmaker (LTD)
"BONING" is a traditional polishing method whereby best quality black wax polish is liberally applied to the boots with a cloth and then brought to a high gloss finish by vigorous rubbing with a deer bone.
December 10, 2004
Don't bring a rifle to a tank battle.mpeg
From German For Beginners
Note to Glorious Freedom Fighters of the world. If you want to impress the ladies by firing off a couple of rounds from your rifle, don't choose a tank as a target and then nonchalantly wander off. It's positively unhealthy.
Not Hunting - just flushing!
A HUNTSMAN was today cleared of breaking Scotlandâ€™s fox hunting ban.
In what was considered a test case, Sheriff Kevin Drummond ruled Trevor Adams, 46, had not broken the law introduced in 2002.
The court ruled that the former master of the Buccleuch Hunt was searching for foxes and not hunting, when he led a party chasing them with a pack of dogs. The party had gunmen ready to shoot the foxes when they were cornered.
Countryside Alliance reports.
The ink is barely dry on the Hunting Act but Labour MPs have already moved on to the next item on the animal rights agenda - game shooting. In its report on the draft Animal Welfare Bill, published yesterday, the Labour dominated Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee launched an attack on the rearing of game birds
For this and the whole raft of madness see the report Apart from shooting just skimming through it gives a horrifying insight into the minds of these people. Every concievable activity needs to have reports, official opinions, inspections regulations and more laws...
A Mighty Declaration of Peace
IRA guerillas yesterday said they would never be "humiliated" by the photographing of their final acts of disarmament - the last sticking point in an Anglo-Irish drive for a Northern Ireland political settlement.
The outlawed group, one of Europe's oldest and deadliest guerilla forces, has destroyed some of its weapons since violence subsided in the British province, but only in secret.
It will allow two local clergymen to join an international monitor to witness the final acts, but says there can be no photographic proof - a formula unacceptable to its Protestant political foes led by 78-year-old preacher Ian Paisley.
"We restate our commitment to the peace process," said a statement from the Irish Republican Army, which draws its support from Northern Ireland's Catholic minority. "But we will not submit to a process of humiliation."
Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA's political allies Sinn Fein, said the statement was "a mighty declaration of peace", creating an opportunity that should not be missed.
In other words just "trust us OK" - Bollocks - why would anyone trust anything the lying toerags said without proof? Yet again they are manipulating the Media in to portraying them as being the poor hard done-by good guys in this and Paisley et al as the unreasonable bigots who are standing in the way of peace.
Waste of time
Two days of talks on the future of Gibraltar begin at Jack Straw's country residence later on Wednesday
Does it really take two days to say "Oi, Spain! Sod off and keep your noses out of it!"?
Christmas is coming
First of the Xmas dos last night - this morning I'm suffering - and today promises lunch time with Mr NBC followed by drinks tonight, probably with the Good Colonel and Mr FM, and then the weekend starts. But we mustn't complain - so as my Xmas gift to you I present below a handy cut and keep guide to hang on the back of the outhouse door. As you are groaning in the morning it is important to be scientific about these matters.
|The Bristol Stool Scale (drawn up by a team of gastroenterologists)|
|Type 1:||Separate hard lumps, like nuts.||Are abnormally loose (ie constipation) and result from a slow bowel transit time. These seem to be linked with an increased risk of gallstones.|
|Type 2:||Sausage shaped but lumpy|
|Type 3:||Like a sausage or snake but with cracks on the surface.||Are described as perfectly normal bowel motions|
|Type 4:||Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft|
|Type 5:||Soft blobs with clear cut edges||Is poorly formed, soft and verging on abnormal.|
|Type 6:||Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool.||Are abnormally loose (ie diarrhoea)|
|Type 7:||Watery, no solid pieces.|
Bowel Habits (according to a study they did involving almost 2000 people)
The commonest bowel habit was once daily with 40% of men and 33% of women enjoying a regular 24-hour cycle.
7% of men and 4% of women had a regular twice or thrice daily bowel habit.
33% of women defecated less that once daily.
1% defecated once a week or less.
Only 61% of men and 56% of women had what were defined as normal stool types - ie least likely to provoke symptoms.
Most people in the study defecated in the morning with the commonest time being 7am - 8am for men and an hour later for women.
December 8, 2004
Interesting how the Self Defence against Burglar bandwagon is gathering steam:
And I have a feeling that "disturbing-out-of touch-with-reality" blogs have helped tip off the wonks and Journos as to the public concerns.
Eurabian Times brings us this - from the Indie
And apologies for stealing it - but it is worth making as available as possible.
THE STALINIST WING
Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary Former Broad Left president of the NUS; branded "a troublemaker" by the Foreign Office when, on an NUS trip to Chile, his "childish politicking" aimed at embarrassing his right-wing opponents, was "nearly disastrous" for Anglo-Chilean relations.
Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education Former Broad Left president of NUS; led demonstrations for higher student grants, and was, he admits, "a strong opponent of the foreign policy of the USA".
John Reid, Secretary of State for Health Former Communist and researcher for the Scottish Union of Students. Claimed he joined the CP because it was the only non-Trotskyist political group on campus when he was an undergraduate student at Stirling University.
Peter Mandelson, European Commissioner Former Communist and chairman of the British Youth Council. Led a BYC delegation to Cuba in the 1970s.
Trevor Phillips, chairman, Commission for Racial Equality Former Broad Left president of NUS, led sit-ins, went to Cuba with Mandelson's delegation.
Alan Johnson, Work and Pensions Secretary Says he was close to the Communist Party in his youth, and gets agitated if you suggest he might have been a Trot.
THE TROTSKYITE WING
Gordon Brown, Chancellor Showed political colours by choosing to do his PhD thesis on James Maxton, the leader of the rebel Independent Labour Party in the 1920s and 1930s. The ILP was accused by Stalin of being a Trotskyist front.
Alan Milburn, Labour's election planner
Before joining Labour Party in 1983, Milburn was the manager of a socialist bookshop in Newcastle, and a CND activist, described, by Roy Hattersley, as "incapable of writing an election manifesto without drawing the battle lines of the philosophical struggle".
Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Former left-wing rebel. Once called on Labour Party to "have the guts to support workers who have the guts to fight Thatcher".
Denis MacShane, minister for Europe Former left-wing NUJ leader, arrested on picket lines in the 1970s, once alongside Arthur Scargill. Led the NUJ's biggest strike.
David Blunkett, Home Secretary Former leader of Sheffield City Council, which was known as "the socialist republic of South Yorkshire".
Margaret Hodge, Minister for Children Former leader of Islington Council where she had a bust of Lenin installed in the town hall. During her tenure, it became known as the "Socialist Republic of north London".
NEITHER ... NOR ...
Tony Blair, Prime Minister Not known to have believed in anything when young, except God.
Big Brother is in your car
When a traffic crash reconstructionist wanted to know the speed of a car in the seconds before it crashed into the side of a school bus, he found that information, and more, in the car's Event Data Recorder (EDR), a feature quickly becoming standard on all cars. The recorder, a four-inch square metal box, is currently installed in most recent GM vehicles and select 2000 and later Ford vehicles.
List of all vehicles with an EDR on board.
Originally designed to improve air bag performance based on the severity of the collision, the event data recorder can tell traffic accident investigators about the car's speed, engine RPMs, how far the accelerator pedal was pressed, if the brakes were applied, whether the driver’s seatbelt was buckled and what warning lights were on - all from about five seconds before impact.
December 7, 2004
It is time to make sure that a round of Stilton is getting ready in the larder, so I looked in Waitrose who claim to be experts on Stilton.
Bollocks - some nanny label on the back saying - "Purchase before 26th December; Best before 27th December - Once opened eat with in three days".
"At home, keep your Stilton chilled in its original packaging until about two hours before you intend to eat it and serve at room temperature. Once opened, either wrap in greaseproof paper or kitchen film, ensuring no open air can get to it and store chilled."
How wrong can you get - the bloody thing is a living beast - it needs to be kept at Larder Temp, not in a bloody fridge and allowed to breathe, not get all sweaty in plastic. And if you can't scoop out the runny centre it ain't ready!
Mrs Englishman doesn't allow it in the kitchen as it smells so bad, so the the boys and I sneak out to the Back Kitchen for snacks. I refused to buy it from Waitrose so must go into town tomorrow for some.
Mind you what do you expect of a store with acres of "Feminine Freshness" products on display? Apart from little old ladies who stink of piss, what the hell do women buy them for? A daily scrub with Coal Tar soap is all you need - if you are unhappy with the Mouse Ears being "real" and "animal" you are never going to enjoy life!
And talking about "The scent of a woman" - one great film - can I admit to the tiniest bit of sympathy for Blunkett. The visual delights of the opposite sex (your mileage may vary) are one of the great joys of life. If you have never enjoyed that, when an attractive woman falls into your lap it is perhaps understandable why you act like a teenager from a single sex school. But he should have grown up by now.
December 6, 2004
Trying to earn a few honest bob by flogging a couple of Boxes of Cuban cigars on Ebay.co.uk to people in this country and I find that I can't:
eBay UK: Help : Community Standards : Policies and Guidelines : Embargoed Goods and Prohibited Countries
EBay.co.uk Policy on Items From Cuba - As a subsidiary of a US company, US government trading restrictions also apply to eBay.co.uk.
If you Yanks want to have a hissy fit over some smokes in your own country that is up to you - but over here we can smoke what the hell we want to - well almost.
Where is that Stars and Stripes so I can burn it? Sometimes it is easy to understand why Anti Americanism is popular.
Anyone want to buy some cigars?
25 Cuban Romeo y Julieta Churchill Cigars
Three packets of 5 Sigolov Cohiba.......
Recipe of the Day
Ever so often I look through where visitors come from to this Blog - it is an interesting way to find new places. This link looked interesting so I went to it:
300g lyst rørsukker
2dl Lyle's Black Treacle (svarteste sirupsasfalt som er)
minst 1 teskje svart pepper
minst 1 teskje ingefær
minst 1 teskje kardemomme
4 teskjeer bakepulver
ca.700g (14dl) hvetemel
I know I'm a monoglot but usually I can work out roughly what something means - but in this recipe all I can see is two eggs, Black Treacle and Black Pepper, Cardomen and Baking Powder - what in the name of all creation does that make?
The state knows how to spend your money more wisely than you do.
Thanks to Burnt Pig for this.
The Observer | Business | Labour to raid 'dormant' cash
The government is set to raid £15 billion lying 'dormant' in Britain's bank accounts to raise enterprise and skills in some of Britain's hardest-pressed areas.
Assets are regarded as dormant when they are unclaimed in bank accounts unused for at least a year.
Using the billions of pounds languishing unclaimed in financial institutions is to be a key part of Labour's plans to transform run-down inner cities.
Wonderful - you build up a bit of FU money and don't touch it for a year and Robber Brown has had it away! I presume he gives it back if you ask, or does he?
Sorry Guys - the host disabled comments and I have had to do some tweaking. All should be working again now so please get commenting again.
I didn't get any notice from the host but I found this somewhere else....
If you are seeing this web page it's because Moveable Type comments have been disabled on the server your site is hosted on. The server was hit so hard by Moveable Type spammers that either the load on the server is out of control or it crashed and had to be rebooted. All mt-comment.cgi files will be disabled until the spam attack stops.
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Uncomment the line (remove the '#'), then enter a new name for your comments script, for example, words.cgi or no-comments.cgi. The new line would look like this:
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Stanley Green lives
Some of my older readers may remember Stanley Green , the "less passion from less protein" man who died in 1994.
Stanley had paraded up and down London's Oxford St for the last 25 years carrying a placard warning against the dangers of lust and passion caused by "fish, meat, bird, cheese, egg, peas, beans, nuts and sitting", and selling thousands of hand printed leaflets entitled 'Eight Passion Proteins' at 12p each.
His spirit lives on..
BBC NEWS | Health | Red meat link to arthritis risk
The team also found that eating more protein overall, including other forms of meat and plant protein, also increased the risk of developing RA, while eating fat did not seem to raise the risk.
An all too familiar headline
BBC NEWS | UK | Darling sends drink-drive warning.
Darling, I thought you were driving. Darling, I know you drove last time but Tom and Margret are MY special friends.
Darling, I promise to drive next time.
Darling, are you sure you are alright to drive? Don't forget you did have a couple at lunchtime as well......
Dr Madsen Pirie - nuts
As previously reported Dr Madsen Pirie at the Adam Smith Institute is worried about his Brazil nuts. He blames the EU for banning them. That was last year - this year I am happy to report they are available in Waitrose in Marlborough (The Sloane Square of The West). If they aren't available in the further corners of Westminster I will only be too happy to make up a food parcel and send him some.
The Adam Smith Institute Weblog has airbrushed his complaints out their history in true Stalinist style (or something).
December 5, 2004
The European Weblog Review aims to "provide a balanced and comprehensive look at new and thought-provoking content from the blogging community in Europe".
A bit late but I noticed this...
Apparently trying to make a pitch for the title of Europe's most right-wing blog, EURSOC brings us a passionate plea for a flat tax. Apparently it's a "truly cross-Atlantic idea". The only evidence that it has any relevance on this side of the Atlantic given is the assertion that some "central European EU members are said to be considering a flat tax policy". Which ones? How seriously?
To me that sounds like the comforting Tory myth that someone - somewhere - in (first) Scandinavia, then Southern Europe, and now Central Europe will agree with them and stand up for a British Eurosceptic shopping list. It's never happened...
The author Alex Harrowell rhul.ac.uk, ( maybe the same man who is the left wing The Yorkshire Ranter) obviously didn't try Google where for instance this comes up...
TCS: Tech Central Station - The Real Threat from the East
* Slovakia has enacted a 19 percent flat tax for both individual and business income,..
* Poland has dropped its corporate tax rate to 19 percent and also implemented a flat tax of 19 percent for individual business income. ...
* The three Baltic nations -- Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia -- all have flat tax systems. These nations also have pro-growth tax regimes for business income. Estonia, for instance, has eliminated the corporate income tax for reinvested profits.
These free-market tax reforms -- not the possibility of handouts and migration -- are the real reason why enlargement is a "threat" to Western Europe. Simply stated, market-oriented East European countries are going to impose enormous competitive pressure on high-tax welfare states...
All the same..
EU Referendum amonst all its usual wonderful stuff offers this spot-on critique of British Politics.
Perhaps the greatest error of the "Vote No" campaign, though, is in following the perceived wisdom of the political classes that campaigns are won and lost in the fight for the centre ground. This is why Conservative strategists have purchased their "voter's vault" software, which helps identify swing voters in the marginal constituencies, at whom most of the electioneering will be directed.
The thinking is that the core Tory constituencies can be ignored, as their votes are in the bag anyway, and the hard-core Labourites can be likewise ignored, as they will never be turned.
Thus, as the game plays out, what are laughingly called strategists devote their time to finding out what the key group of "swing voters" want, then devising messages which they believe will attract their favour. This is the "centre ground" and nothing must be done which will scare off the inhabitants, even at the risk of alienating the core vote.
This is not, incidentally, a strategy of which the much revered Margaret Thatcher would have approved. Despite being detested by the Left, she managed to turn constituencies on the Labour heartland, who were attracted to her brand of conviction politics.
But now we are in the grip of the "strategists", the result being the insipid, value-free politics that are, in fact, turning people off politics. It leaves the Conservative Party with a platform that looks, to all the world, as if they are saying, find out what Labour is saying and offer something just a little bit different – but not so different as to frighten the horses.
This is what it looks like from the outside, but the reality is that Labour is also playing the same game – appealing to the middle ground – so both the main parties are fighting over the same territory, trying to appeal to the same narrow group of voters. No wonder they all sound the same.
....the self-appointed "Vote No" campaign have completely misjudged the strategic need, and the mood of the people. In fact, the bulk of people do not give a damn about the EU – other than regarding it as a passing nuisance – and are certainly not going to weigh the arguments for and against the constitution in the balance.
But what they do care passionately about is those lying, thieving, cheating politicians – of all parties - who have been taking them for a ride, who took them into the EU without their permission, and kept them there on the back of lies and more lies. The referendum, in this context, will be nothing more or less sophisticated than an opportunity for the people to give the politicians a "good kicking". Voting time will be pay-back time.
Ooh - get her!
One of the UK nominees of the Weblog Awards has asked be withdrawn. Now the points that it is all rather silly is fair, and that it flattering to be one is also true. But the reason Wherever You Are: Weblog wants out is:
When I first clicked through to the UK Blog category listing, I discovered a list of sites that were entirely unfamiliar to me. I had certainly never read any of them previously, and only recognised a handful of titles. In the spirit of 'checking out the competition', I spent some time visiting each site in turn, and I found myself increasingly alarmed by what I found. It appears that all the other weblogs on the list contain varying degrees of right-wing commentary and views; some of the content I simply disagreed with, but other entries contained opinions that shocked and/or offended me.
Now I had never heard of Whateveryouare before and thought Hurrah! an interesting leftwing UK Blog - but sadly no. The other visible posts are a pop at Labour's "Proud of Britain" campaign - done here as well. A couple on Popular Beat Combos - mainly that the new Band Aid is not as good as when I was lad - proper music in those days - which sounds like a grumpy old reactionary. An amusing note on Milk cartons displaying "Don't Drink and Drive", - which wouldn't be out of place on this blog. And a note about the MSM trying to "get Blogs".
In other words despite the hissy fit just another typical blog. Of course it is better written than most and looks nice but it won't make it onto my blogroll. I want proper intelligent rabble rousing lefty blogs to amuse - but sadly because blogs are not paid for by the state and are done by people freely there doesn't seem to be any.
December 4, 2004
Stop reading this and go and buy a Paper
The Indy's Terence Blacker (£1 to read) mans the ramparts to defend the bastion of truth and balance that is the legitimate press from the "mad, ill-informed and rightwing" bloggers who don't properly recognise its authority and privilege under law.
Blogs are, in fact, representative of a "socially harmful" phenomenon, perpetuating "the delusion that professionalism is a sort of myth used by the powerful to protect their own interests [which] is socially harmful." For Blacker, the preeminent example of this danger is the journalistic blog ( "the acme of amateur achievement," in his somewhat overblown but oddly flattering phrase). Shockingly, it seems that people are now getting information from non-approved channels; specifically:
"from their favourite blogger, no matter how mad, ill-informed and rightwing, rather than from a newspaper or the news on television."
Shocking - there ought to be a law against it, shouldn't there be someone to read through stuff before it is published, purely to be helpful, prevent inaccuracies or libels, protect the public, especially the Kiddies - we could call him a Censor or something. Mr Blunkett! have you got a minute, I have got an idea for you!
Back to Bed
I'm going back to bed - I must still be drunk because I swear I saw this, and it just can't be true...
BBC NEWS | UK | Met boss backs attacking burglars
People should be entitled to use any force necessary to defend themselves against burglars, England's most senior police officer has said.
Met commissioner Sir John Stevens said homeowners should be presumed to have acted legally, even if a burglar dies, unless there is contrary evidence.
December 3, 2004
A Frosty Friday tale
A brisk frosty morning - windscreen covered in ice. So while I leave the SUV running outside to warm up, a little tale I was reminded of this morning as I saw an ex-girlfriend drive by peering through a clear space in her windscreen.
Many years ago when she had Daisy Duke legs and had just turned 16 we met clandestinely in the Pub - pretending we weren't going out. She left a few minutes before me and settled herself in my Pickup truck. I walked out and started to clear the windscreen, it had frosted over during the few hours I had been in the Pub. Out walks Big Don on his way to the loo (real pubs all had their loos outside) - "You don't want to like that - let me do it!" and standing by the passengers side he unzipped and started to defrost the windscreen. I'm not sure who was more surprised as the screen cleared and the poor innocent girl was faced with the business end of his todger, or him as he tried to stop 6 pints of Best on its way out.
Ah, Happy Days!
Prudence no longer - just budget for the next election.
TAXES are certain to rise after the general election next year, economists forecast last night, warning that Gordon Brown's optimism would not be enough to save his reputation for financial prudence.
The Chancellor gave a relentlessly upbeat impression of Britain's economic prospects, insisting that growth next year will be between 3 and 3.5 per cent. The Bank of England says growth will be no more than 2.5 per cent.
Alan Clarke, an economist at BNP Paribas in London, said that Mr Brown’s determination to stick to his upbeat forecasts meant that tax rises are now inevitable.
"With his economic forecasts largely unrevised, his fiscal arithmetic continues to be based on unrealistic assumptions," he said. "Given this and the steady deterioration in finances so far this year, we believe that taxes will need to rise after the election to make the books balance."
The old old story, enjoy it now and pay later..
Now is the time to vote
2004 Weblog Awards: Best UK Blog voting!
At the moment the front runners are "a crude Yank crashing the Brit party" and a "bunch of sinister and heavily armed globalist illuminati who seek to infect the entire world". Dear Reader, is that what we really want to represent :
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
No I say - go forth and vote!
December 2, 2004
GM - this time it is personal
Light blogging today as I had to go to Oxford for a blood test - it looks like there is a 50% chance I have a rare disorder - Factor VII deficiency - (which is usually asymptomatic so it doesn't cause any problems - the possibility was picked up in a routine test on the Heir, results will come back sometime...). Obviously a little worrying in case it causes problems in any of my offspring - that is if I have it. So straight to Google and look what I find -
AR.net >> Genetically Modified Fish Produce Blood Clotting Agent
Researchers at the UK's University of Southampton and U.S. biotech company AquaGene have created a genetically modified fish which produces the human blood clotting agent factor VII.
Factor VII is used to treat a rare form of hemophilia as well as being used to treat gunshot wounds.
Currently factor VII is available commercially as NovoSeven -- an injectable factor VII made from genetically modified hamster cells. Unfortunately growing hamster cells is surprisingly expensive, and a single injection of NovoSeven can cost up to $10,000....
Interestingly, animal rights activists frequently claim that human beings are just too different from animals for things like NovoSeven or this new fish-derived effort to work. In this case, though, it is the difference between animals and human beings that makes using animals as a source for factor VII attractive.
Factor VII can be derived from human sources, but it requires expensive filtering to ensure that no human diseases are passed between the donor and the ultimate recipient. So far, there is no evidence that diseases can be passed from factor VII derived from hamsters or fish, making animal-based products superior to the human-based alternatives.
So while I have always supported GM technology in a general way - now it is personal and please feel sorry, very very sorry, for the first moonbat to start preaching the evils of GM to me. And using Hamsters or Guinea Pigs for medical purposes, which is current hot news in the UK - great by me!
(The Heir? - The problems come if you are homozygous for the gene - he is probably heterozygous and well in the safe zone for % so he should have no problems.)
Proud of Britain
attempting escape asks for help - and I'm always one to help students and his cause is a good one : nuLabour has some odious campaign called Proud of Britain, if so go to the Proud of Britain website so you can make your views known about how proud of Britain you are.
FYI this is an attempting to help with a Google Bomb on Labours new site http://www.proudofbritain.org.uk/. Proud of Britain.net is even now climbing up the google ranking and is above Labours site. Please help it get to number 1.
December 1, 2004
BBC tries to get Blogs
Blogs also proved very useful to both sides in the US election battle because many pundits who maintain their own journals were able to air opinions that would never appear in more mainstream media.
Speculation that President Bush was getting help during debates via a listening device was first aired on web logs.
Online journals also raised doubts about documents used by US television news organisation CBS in a story about President Bush's war record.
The immediacy of many blogs also helped some wield influence over topics that made it in to national press.
So BBC - so balanced - Bush wired speculation and then a mere "raising of doubts" about CBS - not Rather being found out.
Integrity - look it up.
I wouldn't be standing here and I wouldn't have had the support of the Prime Minister or have requested myself on Sunday the review if I thought there was any doubt whatsoever about my integrity.
I have spent 34 years building peoples' trust. I do not intend to throw it away
Yes shagging another man's wife is a mark of integrity, pursuing a "fragile" pregnant women with legal proceedings shows integrity. Trying to prove that two young children aren't the legal father's offspring is integrity. And as for building trust...
Bastard - his behaviour is bizarre and deeply repellent. He should have no place in public life.
You're never too old to learn, so the saying goes.
Until relatively recently this was little more than a hollow cliché for most retired people, for whom access to education was very limited.
But since the 1960s various movements - colleges, home-based courses and even a special university entirely for those of the "third age" - have started.
It is easier for pensioners, given a little effort, to learn than at any time before.
Hundreds of thousands are taking up the offer - there are now officially more than 600,000 learners over the age of 60 in England alone.
A Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman said: "They are overwhelmingly doing part time, non-vocational courses which don't lead to a formal qualification.
"There is a very wide range, from yoga and aerobics through to painting, ICT, modern foreign languages and basic literacy and numeracy."
And all very pleasent for them - I can sort of understand why we subsidise young students, they may contribute more to society eventually...But why are we subsidising this sort of stuff for wrinklies?
Wrapped in the Flag
A "patriotic vision" of Britain's future will be at the heart of the pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown has said.
"The theme of the pre-Budget report will be that the next decade can be a British decade."
Britain's "success and destiny" depended on building on historic strengths of stability, openness to the world, scientific creativity and world class universities, he argued.
He concluded: "So at the heart of the Pre-Budget Report is a patriotic vision of Britain's future as a country of ambition and aspiration.
"How we make Britain the best place to grow up in, the best place to study, the best place to start a business and to work - as we build a Britain that makes us even more proud to be British."
European Commissioner Peter Mandelson has urged Britain not to "gloat" about having a better economy than its European partners, in what was widely interpreted as a swipe at Mr Brown.
All good stuff I suppose - but I am reminded of an earlier entry here:
And so he worked towards his peroration - which, by the way, he used later with overwhelming success at a meeting of electors - while they sat, flushed and uneasy, in sour disgust. After many many words, he reached for the cloth-wrapped stick and thrust one hand in his bosom. This - this was the concrete symbol of their land - worthy of all honour and reverence! Let no boy look on this flag who did not purpose to worthily add to its imperishable lustre. He shook it before them - a large calico Union Jack, staring in all three colours, and waited for the thunder of applause that should crown his effort.
They looked in silence. They had certainly seen the thing before - down at the coastguard station, or through a telescope, half-mast high when a brig went ashore on Braunton sands; above the roof of the Golf Club, and in Keyte's window, where a certain kind of striped sweetmeat bore it in paper on each box. But the College never displayed it; it was no part of the scheme of their lives; the Head had never alluded to it; their fathers had not declared it unto them. It was a matter shut up, sacred and apart. What, in the name of everything caddish, was he driving at, who waved that horror before their eves? Happy thought! Perhaps he was drunk!
From The Flag of their Country - from Stalky & Co. - Rudyard Kipling