Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back In One Piece From Notting Hill ...

[ Click for big pic ! ]

All back okay from North London, and Europe's biggest Carnival. Wow, what a blast!

I was with a small volunteer security team looking after certain groups of very nice young ladies in skimpy costumes. It's a tough job, sometimes. Even the rain on Sunday didn't dampen the spirits, as you can see from the photo above.

A great time, top food and music, and warm fuzzy feelings all around - and a particular thanks to those 'Grenada' girls (you know who you are...) and their little souvenir they gave me - one of the Grenada Flag hankerchiefs they'd been wearing tied aroung their thighs ... Oh, boy.

A perfect event to demonstrate London's multi-cultural nature - and apart from a few drunks, almost no trouble.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I Cycle ...

US Soldiers' Killing Spree After Iraq Combat ...

Seventeen US soldiers from a Colorado military base who mostly served in Iraq have been linked to violent killings and attempted killings since their return to US soil. Three of them came from one platoon - highlighting how a generation of American soldiers are struggling to cope with life after military service. 
Look, everyone who served in either 'Raq or 'Ghanners' went through similair combat stress. The difference is in the selection, training and leadership of troops. I hate to beat up on the Yanks, but frankly, the average US soldier is almost unfit to be a US soldier.

A very high proportion of them are relatively uneducated country boys, or from small towns, for whom the military is the only option, and who have never or rarely been outside their own state. Having no experience or appreciation of other cultures, and not having this understanding taught to them in basic training, they tend to see any non-American (especially non-Christian) as a sub-culture, with predictable results. Growing up in small-town America these days, even with worldwide communications, is a very blinkered, jingoistic childhood.

One of the many benefits in the UK of living in a multi-cultural environment is that even without foreign travel we have a far better understanding and appreciation of other races, religeons and creeds. Add to that our natural British politeness and the far better cultural training the British military receive before posting, and it's easy to understand why British Combat Units tend to get on far better with the locals than the 'Septics'.

The reason the US send sub-standard soldiers into combat zones is that they need the numbers. No wonder that these boys suffer so much from PTSD, resulting in their inability to cope when back in the US.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yes, I Do Own A Bicycle Shop - Why ? ...

This cycle shop owner in Altlandsberg, Germany found a terrific way to advertise his business by attaching about 120 cycles to his wall. Genius.

From the excellent BikeHacks site.

UK Police Officer : Speed Guns Are Inaccurate ...

Oh, boy, what a brilliant story. To quote:

A SENIOR NOTTINGHAMSHIRE policewoman has claimed a speed gun used to clock her speeding at 79mph in a 50mph limit was not accurate.

Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, 43, pleaded not guilty to a charge of speeding at 29mph above the posted limit when she appeared at Nottingham magistrates' court on Wednesday.

Chamberlian's solicitor, Ian Boddy, said much-publicised doubts over the accuracy of the type of speed gun used to clock his client would form the basis of the not guilty plea.
Full story here at : VisorDown.

PostScript Dec 2010

Superintendent Chamberlain, 43, pleaded guilty on the day her trial was due to start. She had originally denied the offence, arguing that the speed gun used by her Nottinghamshire force colleague was not accurate.

Sentencing her to six penalty points on her licence with £1,500 to pay in fines and costs, District Judge Tim Devas criticised her constabulary for resolving ‘serious offences’ through reprimands.

He told Nottingham magistrates: ‘The police have certain powers regarding criminal offences to make decisions regarding whether or not to prosecute, or issue a ­caution or reprimand. In the year I have been in Nottingham I have been extremely alarmed by the amount of cases where officers took it upon themselves to issue cautions or deal with cases in the way this officer did.’

He said it was a 'judicial matter to deal with people who have committed serious criminal offences' and a 'matter of discretion' for the police.'

And he added: ‘I hope (this case) will at least leave a message that will cascade down through all ­levels of the force that they do not make decisions like this. It was ­completely wrong and I hope they have been re-educated.’

The judge said he was sure the constable must have been under some pressure ‘with regard to who the defendant was’.  He said: ‘If it was 59mph in a 30mph zone, can you imagine in any of your wildest dreams that any of us would get off?'

ID Card Scrapping Pledge - 100 Day Time Limit Passed ...

Home Office fails to axe ID cards in 100 days.

Bloody get it done, Theresa May.

Blood On His Hands, Pt 2 ...

I should think when the Royal British Legion appears at the International Court in The Hague, they'll claim they had no idea the £4.6m "gift" they received from warlord Mister Tony Blair was blood money from a criminal.

"We just thought it was a charming present from an admirer", they'll say, although Mia Farrow will contradict this by suggesting she'd warned the Legion about the origins of the donation, and add she'd witnessed them being "flirtatious" with Mr Blair on a number of occasions.

Seriously ...

You can't blame the British Legion for accepting this money, because we seem to have devised a system for looking after disabled soldiers that depends on donations from book advances. Other more backward countries still use the old-fashioned method of providing money from the society that sent them to war.

But we've developed a more reliable method of waiting for someone's book money.

I suppose when a limbless soldier first applies for assistance, they're told, "If JK Rowling comes through you're in luck. Otherwise you'll have to get about on a wheelbarrow I'm afraid."

But there's only one thing we can know for certain. Cherie will be bloody furious. She probably sat at the meeting going "Give it away? The lot? Aaaaaaaagh!! What if instead we let some of the wounded live in one of our flats for a bit, at a reduced rent, as long as they keep the garden tidy?"

Quoted from full article on StopTheWar, here.

Happy "Earth Overshoot Day" ...

Happy "Earth Overshoot Day" - We've Consumed the Planet's Resources This Year Faster Than Ever!

We hear a lot about overconsumption, and how our resource-heavy lifestyles are depleting the earth's resources. But exact numbers—how much we're using and how quickly—are much harder to come by.

Enter the Global Footprint Network, which for the last few years has calculated out the point in the year at which the world's population has exceeded the resources available to sustain it: Earth Overshoot Day, and it's today.

Full article here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Birdfeeder Chronicles ...

I recently decided to rescue an old birdfeeder, clean it up, and hang it on my veranda, hoping maybe that I might get a few visitors. Having filled it with Bill Oddie's Wild Bird Seed Mix, and despite it being hung only a few feet from my desk, I can report that the feeder is getting absolutely hammered by birds.

I can't recognise the types yet, but at least three or four different types so far, sometimes many at any one time. Must get me a bird book so I can figure out what they are.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cartoon From Cagle's Site ...

No comment required. [Click image for hi-res version.]

Brett Favre - What A 'Sports Star' Should Be ...

Brett Favre has finally announced he will play one more season for the Minnesota Vikings. Why do I mention this ?

Apart from being a big Vikes fan, it's all about Favre. At nearly 41 years old he is one of America's richest and most successful sportsman of all time.

He doesn't need the money. He certainly doesn't need the pain, and he hates the press attention. He's won everything you can win in the game, and among many others, holds the following records:
He really has nothing left to prove to anyone. So why is he doing it?

For the love of the game. He's retired three times now, and he's come back three times because he still wants it.

This will be Favre's 20th year in the NFL (they breed 'em tough down in Southern Mississippi) and Favre has also made one mark his own - he is the first ever Grandfather to be listed as a current player in the NFL.

Over here in the UK we get so blase about our wimpy, play-acting, cheating Premiership Football players (who wouldn't last ten minutes in an NFL game).

It's good to see someone play purely for the love of the sport that's been good to him.

PostScript January 2011

Favre retired after the 2010/2011 season.

The Pep Talk ...

Another great cartoon from xkcd.

Blood On His Hands, Pt 1 ...

If Tony Blair thinks that by donating the earnings from his memoirs - a tiny proportion of his total income since leaving office - he can wash his hands clean of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered due to his war crimes, he could not be more wrong. Read more...

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Blues Bash ...


Friday, August 13, 2010

Defence Spending Review ...

Another review announced today.

While I appreciate the need for a review (MOD has 85,000 pen-pushers for 100,000 troops) we need to be careful here…

The last DSR came 6 months before ‘Ghaners’ ; The one before was 1 year before Kuwait ; and the previous Review was 6 months before the Argies invaded the Falklands. Conflicts, by their very nature, cannot be predicted nor allowed for.

While I’m on the subject of our Forces:

R.I.P., mate.

And lastly, you have no idea how much this pissed me off:

Royal Marines Soldier Told to Cover Up ‘Offensive’ Tattoo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Murdered Medical Workers ...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Power Of The Human Mind ...

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?


I think some people are just able to figure out what the word says. I know that’s what I do. I don’t really buy the whole “we dont read every letter” thing.


I think some people are just able to figure out what the word says. I know that’s what I do. I don’t really buy the whole “we dont read every letter” thing.

That last comment misses the point entirely. The issue is HOW we are able to figure out the word without identifying the individual letters in the correct order.

Part of the solution is that in writing (or reading other peoples writing) we often create or come across typos, which we translate to the correct word by context.

Also, sentences are often a collection not of words but of phrases (‘as a whole’ ‘only important thing is’ ‘first and last’, etc) which are easier to identify from the grouping.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sussex Cops Trial Can-Am Spyder ...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Brazil - Model Recycling Nation ...

Monday, August 02, 2010

We Don't Care, Gisele Bundchen ...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Good Weekend, Bad Weekend ...

Ever had a weekend with a bit of both?

Friday - Bought some cool accessories for my ‘Chicago’ mountain bike, stripped and rebuilt it, got it just absolutely perfect.

undefinedSaturday - At Knebworth for the Sonisphere to see Placebo, Anthraz and Rammstein (see previous post). It was awesome, it was epic.

Returned home on the motorcycle at 2 a.m. and collapsed after a long day, a long ride.

Sunday - Woke, looked out my veranda window, to discover that while I’d been away, some skanker had nicked my now-perfect mountain bike from the garden.

So, if you’re around Kingston-Surbiton area of London, keep a look out for a white ‘Chicago’ mountain bike, with a few rust spots, and if you see it, let me now.

Be Proud Of Our ‘Geek’ Label ...


A chart I made, about the kind of people I love best.
This is the kind of chart we love the best: homemade and spot on!