July 30, 2012
Lord Shambolic Coe
Lord Coe dismissed the growing concern over on-going issue of empty seats and denied that calling in the military appeared “shambolic”...“I don’t think there is a single person out there would thinks it is shambolic",...
Ah hem, over here Sir, there is a man raising his hand...
Ve Vant Out
More than half of Germans believe that their country would be better off leaving the euro.
The poll in Bild Am Sonntag, which showed that 51 per cent thought it was time to revert to the mark, was published as Angela Merkel and Mario Monti affirmed their willingness to “do everything” to save the single currency.
The newspaper’s poll also showed that 71 per cent of Germans wanted Greece to leave the euro should it not live up to its austerity promises.
Senior German politicians echoed this sentiment. Philipp Rösler, the Economy Minister, said that there were “considerable doubts whether Greece is living up to its reform promises”.
Athens is struggling to find a further €11.5 billion in savings to fill a budget black hole while international inspectors continue to examine progress towards reforms needed to justify bailout payments. Their audit report will determine whether Greece will receive the next instalment, worth €31.5 billion, in September. “The implementation [of the reforms] is faltering,” Mr Rösler said. “There is still no functioning tax office. Also, almost nothing has happened in terms of the promised privatisation of public assets.
“If Greece does not fulfil its obligations, there can be no more money. Then Greece would be insolvent.”
BEST vs CET
The Central England Temperature series is well known and respected so i wondered how the BEST UK figures compared - obviously the areas covered are different. But interesting never the less. More data diving can be done from the links.
July 27, 2012
Olympic Prison Camp
Just in time for the Olympics - a Prison Camp has been built on Salisbury Plain. Who can it be for?
UPDATE - Silly me - of course it is just a "civilian population compound" - probably.
I Think I Am An Academic Lesbian
Give sport a chance. You might even enjoy it | The Times
You’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of sport about this summer and you’re probably aware that there’s going to be an awful lot more over the course of the next 16 days. And perhaps you dislike sport. Perhaps you rather despise sport and the people who enjoy it. Perhaps sport simply overwhelms you with a baffled indifference. Perhaps you believe, along with Miss Jean Brodie, that for those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.
This could be the moment to realign. This could be the moment to give sport a chance. So now, as the Olympic Games are about to get into their ineffable stride, I present my cut-out-and-keep guide to sport. Let’s call it “How to enjoy sport even if you’re a woman, an intellectual, gay or any combination of the above”.
Thanks Simon - I prefer to consider myself as just not stupid, gullible and ovine.
Olympic Opening Ceremony Video
July 25, 2012
Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right. An estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. Photograph: Nasa
No. A slight sheen as warm air blew over it does not mean it has all melted.
How Much Is A Priceless Painting Worth?
How much is it worth?
Like you I wouldn't want it above my fireplace, but tastes differ.
Part of the assemblage is a stuffed Bald Eagle - so it is illegal to sell or buy it. So it is truly worthless. You can't exchange it for a bent penny. But some lucky people have just inherited it.
But apparently Bob the Painter is considered famous so the IRS appraised its value at $65M.
The federal government forbids the owner of Canyon to sell it, and forbids anyone to buy it. But the tax for inheriting it? Plus a penalty for daring to declare it worthless? $29,200,000.
Indy Wakes Up To Wind Farm Reality
There are few trickier conversational no-go areas in civilised, metropolitan circles than the subject of onshore wind energy. Express the view that giant turbines, while playing a part in the energy mix for the future, should not be located where they affect human lives or industrialise much-loved landscape, and invariably a glazed, defensive look will settle on the face of the listener. To liberal opinion, opposing wind farm development is the moral equivalent of denying global warming or voting Ukip.
What is most noticeable about these reactions is how often convenient fallacies which have been peddled for years by those with a vested interest in development are accepted as the truth..
One day, people will marvel that so much self-serving propaganda was accepted without question by quite so many people.
July 24, 2012
Olympic Opening Ceremony Pictures
Audience for technical rehearsal told by director Danny Boyle not to tweet pictures...
Too late - it looks as though everyone will have to wear a Danny Boy ginger wig...
If Only America Was More Like Brussels
....It is surely indisputable by this stage that gun control would save lives. This has to be true everywhere, not just in America, and the stricter it gets the more lives would be saved....
Why does America so fear to be like us? It can’t just be the Second Amendment, regardless of what it is supposed to mean. True, the American tendency to treat their constitution as a holy text is baffling at the best of times. (Who cares what Thomas Jefferson meant in 1787? Maybe he hadn’t given people bringing semi-automatic weaponry into cinemas that much thought?) But this surely goes deeper.
Much as it might look that way, America’s debate about gun control isn’t really about being able to defend yourself (as part of a militia or otherwise) from the inevitable tyrannical government when the Muslims and/or Jews take over. It’s about freedom, and freedom of a very particular sort. It’s about the rights of the individual versus the greater good. America just doesn’t seem to do the latter...
When American politics sounds odd and alien to European ears, this is why. It is the sound of the clamour for individual liberty drowning out everything else.
On the American right even the desire to not let people do things — have abortions, marry people of the same sex — is today characterised as protecting the freedom of those who object. Right-wing America doesn’t want to give up its guns for the same reasons it didn’t want to be forced to have healthcare and doesn’t believe in global warming.
Opposition to gun control is this obsession at its purest. American liberty holds that the honest, decent gunowner should not be held responsible for the actions of a minority of criminals and lunatics.
European liberty starts by worrying about the criminals and lunatics and works backwards from there. Me, I’d rather be in Europe. But then, I am. In any political system other than the American one it’s unthinkable that popular outrage about a domestic problem that causes (let’s take that deep breath again) 31,347 horrible deaths a year could be so utterly dwarfed, every time it flares up, by popular outrage about the notion of any possible solution.
America could solve its gun problem in half a generation if it wanted to. It doesn’t want to. That’s a whole other problem it needs to solve first.
Firstly the Guardian (!) injects some facts into the gun debate here and secondly the notion that America would be nicer if only it was more metro-european and not so hung up on liberty and freedom and all that old-fashioned guff is so emetic that it has quite ruined my bacon and eggs.
July 23, 2012
London 2012 Summer Stasi
Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals, in a highly organised mission that contrasts with the scramble to find enough staff to secure Olympic sites.
Almost 300 enforcement officers will be seen across the country checking firms to ensure they are not staging "ambush marketing" or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and BP. The clampdown goes on while 3,500 soldiers on leave are brought in to bail out the security firm G4S which admitted it could not supply the numbers of security staff it had promised.
Wearing purple caps and tops, the experts in trading and advertising working for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand protection operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court action with fines of up to £20,000.
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including "gold", "silver" and "bronze", "summer", "sponsors" and "London"....
Just when my gut loathing of the Olympics starts to weaken a little another little nugget, like a floating turd, pops to the surface to remind me that it really is all shit.
UPDATE - Picture from Anoneumouse - remember, parody needs to mimic the original, at least to the extent the audience can perceive the original expression. Therefore, if one has to make the original expression unperceivable in order to avoid infringement, there is no way to create parody as a logical consequence.
July 21, 2012
Whose Words Are They?
Sir, It isn’t only language purists who will be incensed by the decision by Collins to allow members of the public to submit suggestions for inclusion in the online version of their dictionary .....
... Allowing that bulwark of definition, the dictionary, to become more democratic, can only lead to the proliferation of the view that words can simply be defined as one pleases and this in turn can only lead to greater confusion where one should strive for clarity.
Harrington Rory Booth
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.' 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'
July 19, 2012
Jerri Peterson screamed so loud, her whole floor rushed to her desk. Until it happened, she did not know she wanted to carry the Olympic torch, but once the possibility of it happening arrived, she was elated.
"It makes a dream I didn't even know I had come true," Peterson said.
Peterson, who is from Tulsa and now works in Atlanta, was nominated by her coworkers at InterContinental Hotels Group to be an Olympic torchbearer for the 2012 London Olympics. Holiday Inn, part of IHG, is the official hotel of the Olympic games, and 72 IHG employees from 17 countries have the opportunity to carry the torch.
"I always wanted to have a tattoo but I never quite felt passionate about any one thing to have it put on my body permanently.
"So when I was selected for this wonderful honour, I thought 'that's it - I'm ready to have my tattoo'."
She booked a session with a "really good" tattoo artist in her home state of Georgia, and took a friend along for moral support.
Initially she was delighted with how it looked and it was only when she sent a photo of the tattoo to a friend that the spelling mistake was pointed out.
She said: "I looked at it and I was so disappointed. I called my husband and he giggled a little bit.
"Then I started laughing about it and I've laughed ever since."
Road Safety - Forget the numbers let's get touchy feely instead.
Recording public perceptions of risk would give society a more holistic view on whether our roads are getting safer or not.....
.... the unquestioning acceptance of the conventional wisdom that road safety is defined exclusively in terms of casualty and accident statistics. A road is "safe" for cyclists or children if there are no accidents involving cyclists or children.....the Department for Transport doesn't measure perceptions, only crash statistics. It should copy the Home Office, which annually supplements its crime statistics by publishing the British Crime Survey, that measures perceptions. Then we might come closer to a more holistic view of whether our roads are really getting safer or more dangerous.
The author is bicyclist, the numbers don't match what he feels about roads so the numbers must be wrong...
Climate Change - Gypsum In The Sea?
Natural changes in seawater chemistry are a key cause of climate change, a new study suggests.
Experts at the University of Toronto and the University of California Santa Cruz have found that the impact of continental collisions and divisions over millions of years has a major impact on global warming.
The geological activity causes the dissolution or creation of massive gyspum deposits which scientists have found alters the sulphate content of the ocean and the atmosphere. That in turn affects the climate.
Researchers believe that “times of high sulphate concentrations in ocean water correlate with global cooling, just as times of low concentration correspond with greenhouse periods”.
Professor Ulrich Wortmann, of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study, said: “While it has been known for a long time that gyspum deposits can be formed and destroyed rapidly, the effect of these processes on seawater chemistry has been overlooked......
The research is being published in the journal Science this week.
July 18, 2012
Yes! The new DOGSHITE EP!!! OLYMPIC SHAME! ON 'YOUR FACE MY ARSE' RECORDS!!!
These guys Punking it right in the face of the Olympic Bullshit. based right in the thick of it and pretty fucked off with it already!
From some real London folk, they bring you this message from the capital!
Dog Shite's new 10" e.p out this week ...
July 17, 2012
Chilli Cook-Off Reminder - This Saturday 21st July
July 16, 2012
And A Big Welcome To Our Olympic Guests - Fuck Off Home Please
UK Open Access to Gov Funded Scientific Research Promised
The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.
Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.
Excellent news. There is a debate though on how to do this:
The Finch report strongly recommended so-called "gold" open access, which ensures the financial security of the journal publishers by essentially swapping their revenue from library budgets to science budgets. One alternative favoured by many academics, called "green" open access, allows researchers to make their papers freely available online after they have been accepted by journals. It is likely this would be fatal for publishers and also Britain's learned societies, which survive through selling journal subscriptions.
The journal publishers have been making out like bandits from publishing the research we pay for so I'm not enthused by the plan to subsidise them for their losses, as I always say, "Go Green !"
July 14, 2012
Drought the new norm for UK - Official
Tuesday 21 February 2012
Drought may be the new norm for the UK, with drastic measures including growing genetically modified crops likely to be considered as part of the solution, the environment secretary has said.
She said the UK had to look at how to make plants resistant to drought, pointing to an Australian project to develop drought-resistant genetically modified rice. "This technology, if used responsibly, may be one of the tools in terms of food security that we need going forward."
She said the most important counter-drought measure for the whole country was to capture the rain and store it, and pledged that changes to the planning system would make it easier to build reservoirs.
Farmers were changing some of their cropping patterns this year to cope with the expected drier conditions.....
What a difference five months make.
Top Gun Olympics
RAF Typhoon fast jets and Puma helicopters with snipers will be among the military aircraft patrolling the zone in central London, which comes into force from today.
As well as Typhoon jets based at Northolt, and Puma helicopters with sniper teams, at Ilford in east London, the MoD’s contingency plans include Army Rapier and Starstreak ground-based air defence systems at six London sites; Royal Navy Sea King helicopters at Northolt; and helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the Navy’s largest ship, on the River Thames in London as a base for helicopter operations as well as accommodation for personnel.
Flares and lasers could be fired by the military aircraft then, as a last resort, if an aircraft fails to comply with the directions of the military aircraft, it may be considered a threat to security, which may result in the use of lethal force.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:“I believe this will provide reassurance to residents of, and visitors to, London, and a powerful deterrent."
Have they gone completely mad?
Physician Heal Thyself
Cigarette-style images would help public understand excessive drinking's link to diseases and violence, says health body
Might be fairer to put health warning on Doctors first....
The Press Association: 'Needless' hospital deaths revealed
Almost 1,000 patients are dying needlessly in hospitals every month due to errors in care, research has suggested.
Each year there are 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England, the study found.
July 13, 2012
Olympic Five Ring Special - Awaiting The Reply
You never got back to me when I phoned so I thought I would double check by email that we are all good to go.
As you know we are publishing a special Five Rings edition of Anal Lovers Weekly. Our make up artist is really pleased how well the five model’s “rings” have turned out in the different colours. A full diversity of buttholes ready for pleasure! I’m sure many of our Olympic visitors will enjoy the spread! I would love the opportunity of presenting a framed photo to Seb Coe, I could probably get some of the models to turn up as well, and stay on afterwards…
Thanks for your help, do you want a credit in the mag and on the website?
From: Harry Graham [mailto:Harry.Graham@london2012.com]
Sent: 21 March 2012 11:11
Subject: [work] LookBook Access
From: #LOCOG LookBook Team
Sent: 21 March 2012 11:09
Subject: LookBook Access
Thank you for your request to view the London 2012 Look Book. Unfortunately your e-mail address does not match our approved list. If you are a Local Authority, Business Improvement District or Port of Entry please reapply using your official e-mail address.
If you do not fit into one of these categories please reply to this message letting us know your reasons for requesting access to the LookBook.
Brand and Marketing
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd
One Churchill Place
London E14 5LN
Direct Line +44 (0)20 3 2012 856
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 3 2012 000
Fax: +44 (0) 203 2012 001
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited
A company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LN and registered number 05267819
This E-mail is confidential. If you are not the addressee you may not copy, forward, disclose or use any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please delete it and all copies from your system and notify the sender immediately by return E-mail.
Nothing in this message or its attachments is intended to create legal relations between us unless there is an express statement creating such relations or this message contains an authorised purchase order.
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(It wasn't addressed to me so I'm free to copy etc it.)
July 12, 2012
Dellers Spot On Olympics
Eu Just Don't Understand.
Britain would be reduced to the status of Norway or Switzerland if it left the European Union, the President of the European Commission has warned.
In a provocative intervention over Britain’s increasingly difficult relationship with Europe, José Manuel Barroso said he found it “curious” and “a bit ironic” that Eurosceptics in Westminster were effectively campaigning for Britain to have a diminished international role.
“Sometimes when I look at the debate in the UK, I ask myself, ‘How is it that this country is so open to the world, and apparently so closed to Europe?’ It seems a contradiction.”
Climate Change - The Shakedown Plan
The climate may have changed this week. Not the physical climate, but the climate of the climate change debate. Tuesday marked the publication of a series of papers examining the factors behind extreme weather events in 2011. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except, if all goes well, this will be the first of a regular, annual assessment quantifying how external drivers of climate contribute to damaging weather.
This week also saw a workshop in Oxford for climate change negotiators from developing countries. Again, nothing remarkable about that except, for the first time, the issue of "loss and damage" was top of the agenda. For years negotiations have been over emission reductions and sharing the costs of adaptation. Now the debate is turning to: who is going to pay for damage done?...
The only institution in the world that could deal with the cost of climate change without missing a beat is the fossil fuel industry:
And where does the fossil fuel industry get its money from? The magic money well? Or consumers?
Cavity Search For Sebum Coe
Many of the troops assigned to the Games are Afghan veterans. They will be ordered to carry out rudimentary security work including bag searches at venue entrances.
Commanders are particularly angry about the conditions in which Service personnel are being required to work.
Troops who arrived at Olympic sites this week for security duty were said to have been left without basic facilities including toilets.
One senior military officer said the Olympic work was “demeaning” to Service personnel.
"It is very demeaning that highly professional soldiers and Marines who have served two or three tours of duty in Afghanistan now find themselves doing bog-standard security checks because the Olympic organisers can't get their act together,” he said.
Locog, the organising body for the Games, said: Locog said: "We would be surprised if there are concern being raised about the involvement of military personnel as all parties have signed up to the security plan. The allocation of military personnel was based on clear agreement of their roles and responsibilities."
"all parties have signed up..." apart from the poor bloody grunts who actually have to do the work.
The Man On The Hill Writes
All homeowners will be forced to pay more for their house insurance to repair flood damage to properties in high-risk areas under government plans....
Critics claimed the proposal represented a “stealth tax” and said it was unfair that those “sensible enough” to live outside areas which flood should pay more.
I don't have flood insurance on my house, if the waves lap against my door then there should be a man with an ark floating by to rescue me.
So why should I subsidise the web-footed down in the vale? Will they subsidise the insurance I have to pay against my slates being blown off? Sharing risk is fine so far but not to idiots.
July 10, 2012
Advice to travellers - Please show your appreciation of officials by handclapping
Fed up with having to queue for hours at passport control at Heathrow on returning from holiday?
Then here’s the good news: there is a new way to jump the line and leave the airport faster. The bad news is that the new way to jump the queue is to get yourself arrested for taking part in a slow hand-clap in the arrivals hall, resulting in your being carted off by your collar in a Black Maria to a police station; with luck quite near your home.
Immigration authorities have grown so rattled by outbreaks of slow hand-clapping among frustrated travellers that they have told police to issue cautions, and even to make arrests, if they sense that the anger might suddenly boil over into a dangerous spasm of civil disobedience.
Of course the other option of actually doing their jobs quickly and efficiently isn't a possibility.
Cash Cameras Proliferate
There are actually more fixed speed camera sites in England now than there were in 2010, according to statistics gathered by the RAC Foundation from a Freedom of Information request.
But the number of cameras that actually take pictures has fallen from 529 in 2010 to 487 in 2012. Of the 32 administrative bodies that used fixed speed cameras and who responded to the request, 10 said they had made no change to the level of provision of camera sites.
Several others registered only small changes in provision over the past two years. In only two areas - Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire & Swindon - have all operational cameras been switched off.
As I very rarely ever leave the county I hadn't noticed as we are free of them, and there doesn't seem to be an outbreak of road carnage here . There is though a growing infestation of Speedwatch volunteers doing community monitoring of speeds through their little nimby villages. I always give them a cheery wave, and it seems to slow everybody down.
In other news:
July 9, 2012
Olympic Scum at Work
.... propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels convinced the Führer that the Summer Games would be an international stage for showcasing Nazi Germany and the torch relay would be its stirring opening act....
July 4, 2012
Dear Hugh - The Video
An old friend of the blog at play.
50 Reasons To Celebrate Today
July 3, 2012
Not Pro Bono
To be fair to Bono he is not wrong about everything.
Tom's blog is excellent - do bookmark it but this statement confuses me.
I no more study Mr Bono's pronouncement than I do the random dog turds I pass in the street but I can't recall anything he has even been near to being correct on, and as for saying he has written some excellent music when the turgid effluvium from his band of beat musicians manages to be uniquely the one Irish band without merit is beyond me.
Cats - For Mad Women Only
Women who own cats are more likely to have mental health problems and commit suicide because they can be infected by a common parasite that can be caught from cat litter, a study has found.
Toxoplasma gondii- nasty parasite, but "clever" as it alters behaviour in host species to make them more likely to pass it on.
Just look at the cat loving freaks you know.
Soya - Not For Men
Rich in plant hormones, or phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which appear to mimic the primary female sex hormone oestrogen, soya has been found to help provide hormonal equilibrium to women going through the menopause ....
.... researchers at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast found that soya consumption had a profound influence on male fertility....They concluded that the more soya a man eats, the more difficulty he will have fertilising an egg.
"soya is a mystery food we are beginning to understand. And its effects can be frightening.”
You just need to look at the soya freaks to see that.
July 2, 2012
Nazi Flames In Coventry
Parading a flaming fascist symbol through the firebombed streets was probably asking for trouble.
North Devon Sea Gull Mincer Plant Planned
If You Shag With The Lights On The Electricity Board Will Judge You
The Europe-wide rollout of ‘smart metering systems’ enables massive collection of personal information from European households, thus far unprecedented in the energy sector. The potential intrusiveness of collection is increased by the fact that data are collected, which may infer information about domestic activities: data may track what members of a household do within the privacy of their own homes.
And they give the power supplier the power to "tune" your consumption by turning on and off "smart" appliances.
Going off grid looks attractive.
Proud Independent Islanders Get Leader They Want
Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson has won a record fifth term in office, riding a wave of support for his defiance of Britain and the Netherlands over massive debts from a bank crash and asserting the tiny nation’s stubbornly independent streak.
Mr Grimsson, who, unlike the government, opposes joining the European Union, won 52.8 per cent of the vote in Saturday’s election to beat his closest rival, television journalist Thora Arnorsdottir, 37, who won 33.2 per cent, the final tally showed yesterday.
I get the memo.