Well I’ve caved in to apathy. The Archive blog ‘Walking the Streets‘ is back up for public viewing. Shonky HTML and all. Some links might work, most probably won’t. Too many friends have moved on, been sabotaged, given up blogging, leaving the old pile a lumbering Frankenstein of a thing, hardly worth repair; keloid scarring on the HTML and everything. Some code has had to be amputated, other fragments left inoperable. Don’t even try viewing on your smartphone.
Lynsey De Paul dead? Heavy, and above all wistful sigh. That is so sweetly sad, but then that was what I recall of her music. Always left me with a feeling of unrequited longing after dance floor forays. So often the last but one song of the night. Slow dance and, well, whatever before would-be lovers drifted off into the night.
Hey ho. The early 70’s were more innocent times. Lynsey was part of that. I will remember her music with fondness.
I’ve just moved my office space into the sun room behind the kitchen and very nice it is too. Not too warm, not too cold, and a decent view. Only one issue; because of where the Cable guy wired in our modem, the wi-fi router is at the front of the house. Which means I get a wi-fi signal of under forty percent. Downloads were like watching treacle pour, streaming bandwidth felt restrictive and meant every YouTube video I tried to watch stopped and started like they were running on a 56kb telephone link.
So yesterday I elected to spend a few bucks on a wi-fi extender. Being a cautious kind of person I went to the local Future Shop and purchased A Linksys N300 extender for sixty bucks. Linksys used to be owned by Cisco, I have a Cisco Wi-fi router which has worked flawlessly since we bought it for under a hundred bucks about three years ago when our last Belkin router died. As an aside; we’ve had two Belkin Routers – they’re cheap and cheerful, but that’s the best that can be said for them. So I thought, yeah, great. Linksys don’t do duff kit (Insert ironic laugh here). How wrong can you be? After two hours of teeth grinding, finding out that Belkin had bought out Linksys and a demanded charge of twenty five dollars for tech support on a brand new item. Not to mention the setup programme crashing two browsers and taking me to a BSOD. At which point I thought “Bugger all this for a lark.” And hiked back to Future Shop with the offending item. This time I purchased a NetGear WN3000RP Universal WiFi Range Extender which cost just over ten bucks more. I avoided the D-Link N300. Cheap it might be, but I haven’t worked in Tech support for a while and I’ve got better things to do with my life than fuss over issues which shouldn’t exist. Half an hour later after a minor panic looking for my Wi-Fi SSID password I’m home with a 95% plus signal in my new office and a very happy bunny indeed. Yes, the NetGear Extender does create a new Wi-Fi network segment to manage, but the improved signal more than makes up for the minor inconvenience and best of all, no need to delve into my ageing laptops registry to fix problems caused by iffy setup programmes. Streaming video and downloads streak along at full tilt. I’m delighted. For under a hundred bucks the NetGear is good value for money, even if it does look a bit clunky. It works.
There’s a media fuss about a three metre Great White that was tagged then disappeared. Well, some puzzled film makers aren’t sure what happened after finding the digestion discoloured tag on a beach. Seriously? Don’t these people bother to do some basic shark research before making idiots of themselves in public?
A three metre (10ft) Great White Shark, genus Carcharodon carcharias is only just maturing. It’s a juvenile, a baby. A full grown Great White is a whole lot more sushi. Adults come in at over six metres (21ft) long, with some reports of specimens over eight metres long (26ft).
It’s also worth nothing that despite their fearsome press coverage, Great Whites aren’t the baddest of ocean predators. Orca’s have been known to take them out. They aren’t called Killer Whales for nothing.
So what killed a comparatively small Great White shark? Could have been an Orca, might have been a bigger Great White with the munchies. Cannibalism is not unknown among shark species, especially one bleeding from a fresh tag wound in its back. So it’s hardly a mystery, and three metres is snack size as far as Great White predators go. Unless you want to believe crap like this. Don’t they check out their own back issues? Sheesh.
Don’t normally do movie reviews. On this occasion I’d like to offer my thoughts on the current pseudo biblical epic ‘Noah‘ starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone.
Here goes. Technically the CGI is a tour de force. Good, strong, character performances from the excellent Mr Crowe and Mr Hopkins. Ray Winstone oozed psychotic menace like only he can. Sadly the script is a turkey, a preachy piece of proselytising, apocalyptic eco-garbage that sent me to sleep half way through. That’s a first. I have never gone to sleep in a cinema before. Ever. I’ve only ever walked out on one movie in 1972, a cranky old Frankie Howerd vehicle called ‘The House in Haunted Park‘, and if it hadn’t been for my wife’s insistence on staying to the end credits of ‘Noah’, I’d have been out of there in the first half hour. Before we went in I was eager to watch, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and I’d even dosed up on coffee an hour beforehand. To no avail. I was out for the count around the half way marker. Mid afternoon. Go figure.
Excuse the relative silence, but I’ve had to watch relatives die recently. The old grim reaper has been on overtime in our vicinity, and grief has been the baseline emotion underscoring our little clans daily lives. Funny thing grief. Sometimes it’s not the person who dies who has the hard time, but their nearest and dearest. So it is with us. Grieving makes people say and do crazy, out of character things. They lash out. Often at people who only want to help. Dealing with the grief of others is a skill I have obtained a little, if unwanted, education in. Comes with maturity I guess. There are times being a grown up sucks. This is one of many.
So I’m not surprised at the reactions to current speculation surrounding Malaysian Airlines MH370. The Malaysian Government are being accused of not releasing information, which they probably aren’t sure about, and don’t want to look like a bunch of idiots by tipping their hand prematurely. Remember all the fuss about the pilot, a highly experienced professional by all accounts, being branded a ‘Terrorist’? Well, here’s a thing; the FBI found nothing suspicious on his home flight simulator. Apart from a few innocuous ‘deleted files’. So he deleted some files on his hard drive. Who doesn’t? Then there was the much vaunted ‘All right – goodnight’ which was a mis-attribution of the co-pilots sign off remark with ground control? Talk about grasping at straws. The most plausible speculation came from a pilot who argued that a cockpit electrical fire would have firstly caused the transponder failures, and secondly, sent the aircrew looking desperately for the closest place to land, but incapacitated them before they could make a landing. So the plane flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea. No terrorists, no kidnaps, just sheer dumb bad luck and maybe a bit of bad maintenance, but that’s for the crash investigators to find out.
There is one aspect of the whole MH370 affair that I find oddly comforting. In the wake of the Snowden revelations about world wide and domestic surveillance, it’s funny that this massive big brother machine hasn’t a clue about where something as big as a Boeing 777-200R, and little media mention of the incident reports on this aircraft type. Maybe the reports of ‘intelligence’ omnipotence and competence are being massively over sold?
Okay, the blog theme has been changed to make it more legible. Just in case someone thinks my inane witterings are worth the wear and tear on their eyeballs. Blogroll likewise has been adjusted to get rid of the dead or unreachable blogs. Anyone wanting a link only has to ask.
That is all.
Once a day, I mosey on over to Anthony Watts excellent wattsupwiththat.com website and read about the various academic papers purporting to ‘prove’ the concept of Man made Carbon Dioxide driven climate disaster. I am no genius, but whenever I go to the abstracts of these papers and read them, I’m always left with a sense of WTF! How can so many supposed mega brainy folk come up with such insanity? Are they so bogged down mentally that they cannot see it’s a crock? Fortunately, I came across a quotation of George Orwells from his ‘Notes on Nationalism’ essay (1945) yesterday that helped me make sense of the situation.
“One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”
There can be no other explanation. Good old George.
Was meandering around the Tellytubbygraph website, and came across this little gem by Boris Johnson, a UK Tory politician who says that he is a Libertarian (Cough, cough, cough, snigger). In it, he argues, that smoking should not be allowed in any vehicle because of the damage second hand smoke is alleged to do to the delicate bodies of children. Whether the vehicle will be used for their carriage or not. Having read what he had to say, I was moved to key in the following comment:
Boris. Why not a law to keep children out of cars instead? Let the smokers have some sanctuary for pity’s sake, the poor dears being addicts, and addiction, as we are told, is a sickness not a crime. Besides, keeping children out of motor vehicles will protect them from poisonous exhaust fumes leaking in through every vent, seal, and window. Even the most eco-friendly vehicle is not air tight.
The regular reader of this blog will note tongue being inserted firmly into cheek at this juncture. Although I am moved to propose that any vehicle marketed as ‘eco-friendly’ should be made completely air tight to protect the occupants from the errant exhaust fumes of all the other vehicles on the road. This is only right and fair. Why should the eco-pious be forced to breathe the polluted soup of the worlds highways and byways? They should have their own space and atmosphere. And windows that won’t open. Sealed vents that will not share the pollution from other road users like in inferior vehicles, such as those only smokers will be allowed to drive. For the hand wavers own protection of course, which will spare them the merest whiff of the dreaded tobacco smoke, no matter its source.
But wait; what of the benefits to road safety? No children allowed in motor vehicles would mean a considerable improvement in quality of the parents lives as follows;
Such legislation would have the benefit of lowering the blood pressure of parents, sparing them from the back seat quarrels, unfortunate little gastric accidents, demands to be driven to unhealthy fast food outlets, and querulous whining and driver distracting litanies of “Are we there yet?” Thus improving road safety at a stroke and saving the NHS billions.
Boris, me old china, this is genius! By banning children from all vehicles, several modern major social scourges are solved at the stroke of a pen. By forcing children out of cars, they must take more exercise and therefore become less obese. Lowering parents blood pressure means fewer circulatory disorders in later life. Fewer distracted parents on the roads mean a reduced accident rate and a further lowering of the UK’s national health care budget and insurance premiums. Children would be insulated from the evils, whatever they might be, of second hand smoke and grow up healthier. Furthermore, the tobacco smoke would be contained inside a controlled environment, to wit the smokers car or house, thus not affecting anyone else. Fantastic! Win-win. Time for tea and a knighthood methinks.
Fortunately, or rather un, depending on your viewpoint; the only other problem such legislation would leave behind would be what to do with the bodies of all the self righteous planet savers, suffocated in their air tight mobile eco-prisons. Still, I’m sure it’s a sacrifice, considering how doomed we are through over population as we’re continually informed by eco-worriers, a salutary price a lot of the remaining population wouldn’t mind them making. Just think of the emissions they’d be saving.
Well, like a Zombie from the nethermost pits of hell, and for better or worse, Bill Sticker is making another comeback. Why? Oh I don’t know. I suppose there are things that need saying. Piss that needs taking.
Piss that needs taking? I hear my single weekly reader ask. Well actually yes. Out of the whole smoke and mirrors media raft of obfuscations. Oh, I’m not sure if what I know is the absolute Truth with a capital T, I’ll leave that to the readers of Fortean Times and David Icke. I’ll base what I think I know on real life observation. Things as they are, not what some well funded think tanks full of bien pensants, or tinfoil hat wearing eccentric would have everyone believe. In what it is hoped will be an amusing fashion.
The current gift that keeps on giving is one of those expeditions to ‘prove’ there really is such a thing as man made global warming. At the height of the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer, a boatload of ‘climate activists’ went on a trip – and got stuck in the ice. Then they were rescued. At great cost by helicopter and icebreaker – and the rescue icebreaker got stuck in the ice. Not just an ordinary ship, but a massive engined, thick plated behemoth of an Antarctic icebreaker, the Xue Long. When an Australian ice rated vessel couldn’t get within ten nautical miles. Through the ice.
Ice, which according to the pro man made climate change faction, shouldn’t be there. Because according to them, the world is going to overheat and we’ll all drown, or fry, or our putative grandchildren will die horribly in some indeterminate manner, and it’ll all somehow be our fault. Not theirs of course, with their globe trotting proselytising and trips to Antarctica and suchlike. No, no, no. They are merely the messengers and therefore guiltless. Yeah, right.
Of course these activists could have not got stuck in the Antarctic ice, which they would have the great unwashed believe was no longer there. Word is, when the Russian Skipper of their vessel told them to get back on board, quickly please, as the ice was getting thicker than a blue whale club sandwich with a side order of cocktail penguin, putting even the ships ice strengthened hull at risk, what happened? Like a bunch of sulky schoolchildren, these activists dragged their feet, and by the time they were all back on board whining louder than the ships diesels about the bunks and the lack of certain beverages, guess what? Icebound and needing rescue. Nor is it the first time.
No doubt the poor bloody Russian Skipper of the Akademik Shokalskiy will be hung out to dry for this incident. Incompetents always try to shift blame onto the front line guys who can’t fight back. Like First World War generals whose idea of sensible tactics was human wave assaults into a rising sun against entrenched machine guns, the blame is often shifted onto the shortcomings of the poor bloody infantry, not the way they are told how to do a job. As always, sympathies are extended to the poor working stiffs (Captain and crew) who are shafted by arrogant people who claim some delusional moral and intellectual high ground. Also to the real scientists on Antarctic bases whose supplies are stuck in the ice along with the activists. Ah, no one mentions them do they? The reason the rescuing icebreakers are actually out there in the first place? Resupply of Antarctic bases? Watching their budgets being eaten up to rescue a bunch of activist tourists? Word is that this rescue has blown the contingency budget of Australia’s Antarctic program and disrupted its scientific work. Also the Chinese, and a special two week project the French had time and funds earmarked for. All gone. Yves Frenot, director of the French Polar Institute has publicly expressed his misgivings.
In his classic essay ‘The madness of crowds’ Charles MacKay posited that “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” This whole man made climate change meme appears to be one of the mania’s of which MacKay wrote so eloquently. No matter the failure of warming predictions, the true believers, well funded as they are, continue in their madness. Perhaps they realise that it is only a matter of time before the jig is up, and they are fighting a desperate rearguard action to the final bunker, leaving the scientific method a wasteland behind them. They will have spent all the money, and then some, which could have been used for more worthy projects.
Why the activists didn’t just book a berth on one of the National Geographic, or other cruise ships that regularly ply Antarctic waters, some even doing really cool stuff like this. They could have left the real science to the guys at the Antarctic research stations, and enjoyed the journey in more comfort.
Real science is suffering and will continue to do so. Because despite mounting observational evidence to the contrary, and precious little for, the global climate is not warming in line with the activist-alarmist predictions. Unfortunately this salient raft of evidence seems not to have percolated into the media bubble realities surrounding many ‘top level’ Western Politicians. Probably because much of the ‘professional’ political class don’t have the training or intellect necessary to make necessary distinctions. Especially, but not exclusively, on the left of centre. To be even handed, I’d also like to point out the Bible thumping extreme right being just as locked into their raft of pet delusions. Maybe the majority of politicians don’t want to be the first to break ranks. Like Canada, China, India and Australia.
Alternatively, one can only assume that there is some form of brain rotting infection stalking the European and US corridors of power. Maybe a team of health inspectors should give their kitchens and suppliers a good going over. Although degenerative conditions like new variant CJD and associated prion induced disorders are deuced hard to diagnose unless in their terminal phase. In which case, the problem will be largely self solving. At present the diagnosis to demise time is twelve months or less. 100% fatality.
In the meantime, readers are advised (as usual) to adopt Robin Williams’ rape defence advice. Point and laugh.
Great lady down.
That another metaphorical ‘Postcard from Switzerland’ has been received from a close family member who has found very well remunerated employment and permanent residence in foreign climes.
Very happy for them.
Just a little something I found on youtube.
It might be a little on the loud side. Careful if you’re wearing headphones.
I like literature. Well, apart from the highly mannered meanderings of the Brontës and suchlike. Happily delve into Melville, Defoe and Johnson, but stuff like “Wuthering heights” and the works of Jane Austen leave me rather cold.
That said, I’m dismayed, even horrified to see castrated versions of old songs / poems being published by people with an agenda. The latest victim is the famous 1823 poem “Twas the night before Christmas” by Clement Moore. Apparently two lines have been excised by an independent Canadian publisher because, horror of horrors, they referred to Santa smoking a PIPE! Argh! Call the thought Police! The offending lines excised are;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
O-kay. But if the anti smokers can remove those lines, what about the next two?
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
The anti obesity lobby will surely be after them shortly. The Animal rights lobby will want the lines about Santa’s fur coat and those poor ickle Reindeer being used to haul a sleigh removed, never mind about WWF and Greensleaze wanting the bits about open fireplaces and chimneys – Oh noes! What about the Carbon Footprint! removed.
Fortunately, there are dissenting voices, but in the meantime perhaps hitting the “Oo you shouldn’t be able to read about that” faction in the wallet by boycotting their output might be an option.