This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Robots *could* demand rights...

What? what? what!

I can't believe I have just read this -

"Robots could demand legal rights" according to some inane babbling on the BBC site.

They can only demand rights if we let them, and even then only some whining Guardian readers would argue that robots are people too, or some other drivel. Don't be so stupid - why would we ever give robots rights?

That said, I'd pay money to have a robot like Bender Bending Rodríguez, and it would have the right to drink beer with me. Oh yes.

Wind power a load of guff

I was having my daily look at news sites, and the BBC has a rather amusing, if not unexpected (given their usual environmental doom and gloom babbling) article on micro-renewable wind turbines.

In short, it says what most people with even a slight engineering / scientific background have suspected for a long time. Mini turbines to stick on your house are crap and do not work.

The equation to tell you how much power you get out of one of these turbines involved the cube of the wind speed - which means you need a gale force wind to generate any useful electricity from the mini turbine, and in a moderate breeze, you get approximately fuck all.

How can this possibly be "green"? It would seem this is yet another case of people hyping a technology they don't understand hoping the shroud of the environMENTAL religion will shield them from the real world.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

ID IT plan not a backdown

Oh no, no backdown here. Nothing to see... Move along.

Could it be they have no chance of getting the one system to work they have decided it would be "better" to leave data in a couple of (existing) databases.

According to the BBC article:

The government has reportedly spent about £35m on IT consultants since the ID cards project began in 2004.


I really should have gone in for that. Trouble is, I don't think they'd be able to pay me enough to compensate me for the emotional damage of working for the government on something that is a fucking stupid idea in the first place.

With any luck the good people at No2ID will have their way soon enough.

MSPs piss and moan about Trident

Well, just as well MSPs have no say in matters of national security then, isn't it?

Grapevine chatter has finally got the better of the BBC who report that MSPs are content to waste yet more taxpayers money by debating things that don't concern them.

Shock! Horror!

They'll argue against a replacement for Trident, then they'll moan at the job losses.

Abolish the wee pretendy parliament, and lets get on with our lives!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

10 years of flash? How did we cope before?

Apparently, Flash, that wonderful technology for making web pages inaccessible and unnavigable, is having its 10th birthday. How many pages have you seen with crap Flash intros, or are entirely written in Flash because some pimply youth had waaay too much time on their hands, and someone with more money than sense and taste let them do their website with Flash?

Good for it.

Flash is good for only one thing.

Ah, ok, maybe two things.

Friday, December 01, 2006

£20m bill for policing Faslane against hippies.

The bill for policing Faslane in October alone stands at £1.75m. The Herald reports that since October 1st, there have been 327 arrests, but no court action.

One of the protest organisers seems confused by the police presence...

"We are totally non-violent. There is no reason to have civilian police there at all. We are trying to stop the greatest breach of the peace there is, mass murder."


The police are there to stop you getting shot by base security for doing stupid things. The police are there to allow people to enter and exit the base, and go about their legitimate business.

Why don't we take the police off the Faslane gates, and just shoot anyone who enters the base? A vastly cheaper alternative to police constables who seem to be engaged in "catch and release" at the moment. For people obstructing the Queen's highway, perhaps running them over might make them question their resolve.

Actually, maybe we'd better leave some police officers there, to hose the protester's blood off the road.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Because an ID card makes you safer...

I have just read on The Register, that the ASA have ruled in favour of the continued use by No2ID of a picture of Blair, likened to Hitler.



Good on them.

I fail to see how an ID card will help benefit fraud, national security, tax, benefits, anything really... I would be utterly amazed if the (indeed, any) government could get it to work effectively - since we all know how successful central government IT projects are...

One can only hope they see sense, and stop throwing good money after bad, and can the project.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Independent from what?

Apparently we, the Scottish voter, backs independence from the United Kingdom.

I wonder if people realise that means a Conservative England, and Scotland will be stuck with yet more ineffective Labour led government.

Scotland, for some reason, seems to like electing, and re-electing Labour. One would have thought that after several years of nothing changing for the better, indeed, things changing for the worst- that people might take the hint and vote them out...

Apparently not.

I'd be very interested to see what Independence would do for Scotland, since we always have the option of leaving if it goes tits up. I just can't help but think that the SNP are not the best way to achieve this.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A look into the future from our Nationalist overlords...

The SNP apparently want to reduce road deaths, sorry, carnage, by introducing a raft of new laws to prevent teenage motorists from driving dangerously...

The Hootsman on Sunday reports that...

All 17 to 19-year-olds face night-time curfews and will not be allowed to carry teenage passengers in a bid to reduce the "carnage" that sees dozens of youngsters killed in late night accidents.


And a whole host of other noble ideas, none of which will have any effect. I always thought that it was my age group - males 20 to 30, who can afford a half decent motor, and think they can drive like maniacs - that were the cause of most of the carnage on the roads. Us and women drivers. (Kidding).

I fail to understand how creating yet more laws (and how on earth are they going to be enforced?) will solve the country's motoring problems... Try enforcing the existing laws, and not ostracising a large portion of young people!

As an acquaintance of mine famously said...

"If regulation could make the world a better place, then we would already all be living in paradise. And clearly we are not."

Fire crew under fire over cold, wet students

Apparently a fire crew in Glasgow left some students out in the cold for a few hours on Tuesday night... (As usual, reported by the BBC News)

I wonder if this is how it went down...

Students arrive, pissed, and set off the fire alarm for a laugh.
Building is evacuated.
Fire crew arrives
Fire crew checks building and finds no fire
Fire crew realises someone is taking the piss.
Fire crew leaves people in the cold, in the hope students might take risking other people's lives more seriously.
Students whine about being left in the cold and wet for a couple of hours.

"We got back in at three o'clock in the morning with no explanation."

How about asking your pissed mates which one of them found it funny to set the alarm off then?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Meddling MSP blames bank for Farepak failure

Well, apparently some ne'er do well in the wee pretendy parliament is calling for a boycott of HBOS due to the (correct) judgement not to continue Farepak's huge overdraft.

Elaine Murray thinks HBOS is to blame for Farepak being unable to run a profitable business, and that HBOS should be boycotted as a result. Does she think HBOS are a charity?

She is quoted in the BBC article:

"These are hard-working, prudent people, who prefer to save rather than take out a loan or use a credit card, who do not know how to explain to the children than Santa won't be coming this year."


Well, why didn't they invest the money - maybe even a wee savings account? I'd ask why we elect fuckwits like Elaine Murray, but when her constituents can't even use a bank account, are we really surprised?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A World of Darkness

We will be plunged into a world of darkness if the lunatics in parliament have their way...

A climate bill was announced in the Queen's speech.

Reducing CO2 emissions is all very well and good - but where are we going to get our electricity from - and don't give me that wind farm crap.

Build more Nuclear power stations now - the nation's economy demands it! We must address the shortfall in power generation now, not in ten years time when our few remaining nuclear plants are being brought off-line.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Taking the hot air out of global warming

A friend posted a link to the Torygraph, which was an article on Global Warming, and why we should remain sceptical about all of this hype surrounding
climate change.

The article link is here

Within that, there's a link to a 40 page paper detailing the Viscount Monckton's research on the subject.

It is apparent that for too long we have been subjected to foaming at the mouth greenies and eco warriors preaching doom and gloom about climate change
- with very little understanding of the science behind what they are harping on about. For some reason they also seem to believe what computer models
are telling them - which fascinates and horrifies me at the same time.

I think it's quite refreshing to see someone take a much more sensible approach to the debate - indeed, there is no scientific consensus, unless you're
counting consensus amongst a band of pals who want to continue their funding - and that of the EU who refuse to withdraw support for flawed arguments
and proposals on climate change.

The worst problem with this article though, is that the very people who need to read it, and perhaps understand it, are the people who will not be
swayed by scientific debate. At the end of the day, if they are shown to be wrong about their assertions on climate change, then they're out of a job.
The debate has become religious... We are in an Ecotheocracy where climate change denial is seriously being touted as up there with holocaust denial.

I will no doubt enrage a number of stoodents when I post this on their favourite hippy forum, but then I am almost universally hated by them anyway.

Oderint dum metuant

Monday, November 06, 2006

Burger Ban in public?

According to the Metro this morning (yes, I read the Metro) another do-gooder is spouting forth that "junk food should be stigmatised like smoking". Apparently this crackpot also believes that "people should be banned from eating such food on public transport".

But remember, Professor Annie Anderson (Dundee Uni, that says a lot), "insists she is not trying to create a nanny state" according to the article.

Well, if you're not trying to create a nanny state, but you're wanting to ban something else, why don't you just fuck off and let us eat pies and drink pints without fear of women harping on about something we don't care about.

We'll eat pies and burgers and chips because they taste good.

Next, she'll be telling us that taxing junk food is the way to go, in true Labour meddling form.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Commonwealth Games hosting bid shot by gun laws

As expected, the draconian firearm laws in this country continue to prohibit law abiding citizens and visiting sportspeople from enjoying their pursuits. The Sports Minister is looking into the issue.

When will people realise that lunatics and criminals will get a hold of firearms and other weapons whether they are illegal or not - and all we're doing is meaning real people don't have guns and all the arseholes do.

I'm not in any way advocating that we should be able to buy guns like sweeties, but I for one would like to be able to go down to a pistol range, and enjoy shooting in my own country. There should be a sensible middle ground - not knee jerk reactionary nonsense.

Hopeful Hippies at it again

Apparently the Green Party think they're in with a chance of increasing the number of hippies, sorry, MSPs, in the wee pretendy Parliament at Holyrood.

The BBC reports...

Through wonderful ideals such as no new nuclear power stations, the green meanies intend to drive Scotland back into the stone age, and stymie economic growth!

What troubles me is that people might actually take these idealists seriously enough to return a couple of extra candidates... If there's one thing worse than a hippy, and that's a hippy with a cause.

"Now we are a force to be reckoned with."

No, you're not. Come back when you have some sensible policies that will not completely fuck up the country - Now fuck off and leave me in peace!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

MSPs are upstanding citizens... NOT!

Well, that's another Socialist wanker jailed for not paying fines for their part in the denial that this country has a right to defend its self. I am, of course, referring to the recently incarcerated Rosie Kane MSP

The law should be changed so that criminals can't sap any more of taxpayers money by "representing" us in a wee pretendy parliament, and then slacking off to cause a nuisance by blocking roads, taking up police and court time, not paying fines and generally being a waste of space.

Get a real job.

The illusion of security

Having just logged in to check the balance of one of my credit cards, I was confronted with this abomination as I was forced to change my username and password for the site:

Password Rules
• Your password is case sensitive.
• Your password must be between 8 and 20 characters.
• You can use letters, numbers, dots [.] or dashes [-].
• Your password must contain at least one letter and one number.
• If there is only one number, it must not be at the beginning or the end of your password.
• You must not have more than two of the same characters in a row.
• Your password must be different from your user name.


So, in other words, a couple of passwords I have used elsewhere, and *are secure* cannot be used here, since they only allow dots and dashes, rather than a sensible ASCII character set...

Who the fuck are the idiots who set this up? There are going to be people all over the nation writing down their internet banking passwords because of utterly stupid policies like this. Make the passwords have one of a letter, a number and a symbol, be >= 6 characters (8 ideally) and run it against a dictionary when set, to avoid dictionary words from stupid people. That's a fairly basic UNIX like password policy, and one which isn't totally fucking stupid.

Suffice to say, I am about to pay off the card, and cancel it. Bastards.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Labouring under a false hope?

Why do people in Scotland vote Labour?

Most of the places that are Labour through and through have had Labour Councillors, Labour Members of Parliament, and no doubt Labour Members of the Scottish Parliament (God help us).

These folk, who claim we've been suffering under an iron rule of Toryism probably have never seen a tory in their lives, apart from on the televsion. Their wee part of the world will have been governed (sorry, represented) by the iron fist of Labour since the year dot.

Has anything improved for them? It doesn't look like it, does it? Tehy still have jakies unconcious in the gutter. They still step over people in their close stairs - and yet still they trudge down to the polls, and vote for the same crap they have always voted for, and their parents before them.

The populous seem hell bent on returning a government that engages our troops in conflicts (it's not a war, since that would mean we would have to pay our troops more money) that the people do no like. The government erodes our civil liberties, and threatens to introduce expensive, unwarranted, useless ID cards - with the ridiculous notion it will be a great panacea for the immigration problems, health care problems and crime problems this country is seeing.

What utter crap. Labour need to be kicked into touch. (That said, all the other parties are just as bad).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's free because it's crap

Today I had to suffer free software. Because it's free, it must be good, innit?

WRONG!

I had made the mistake of being caught installing phpBB, and someone wanted a new feature - not supported with the base phpBB install, so I had to apply a "mod".

I downloaded the mod, and looked for the install script.

*** What install script.

So I looked for the howto / readme

*** No howto or readme

So I looked in the mod file

*** Nothing obvious in the mod file

So I searched the interweb for a howto.

- Apparently I have to manually search for bits of php code, and insert or modify them as appropriate by myself... How the hell is this a scaleable solution? I then spent 30 minutes editing a number of files by hand, with no easy roll back, no guarantee the mod would work.

Well, it's true what they say - you get what you pay for. Fuck all for fuck all.

It's only free if your time is worthless.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Give 'em the hose

It's the October holiday here in Edinburgh, and the natives are restless...

In the Edinburgh Evening News, it has been reported that oiks are setting things on fire, then playing that age old game of "throw shit at the firemen."

The only way to get through to these pests is to turn the hose on them. A slightly harsh approach would be to stop sending appliances out to the schemes. Let them burn - when they have no houses and no possessions, maybe they will think twice about throwing stones at the firemen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

UK 'must act' on plane emissions

And that's all it must do - since if they do anything other than a pantomime, the economy will go down the pan.

According to this BBC article, Air traffic makes up 5.5% of British carbon emissions. Yet again with the carbon, like it is the be all and end all of greenhouse gases.

"And although restricting flights might be bad for airports and airlines, other sectors of the economy such as domestic tourism would benefit, the report concludes."


Which will mean more cars on the road, I suspect - moving the problem, if it is a problem, to somewhere else.

When will these politicos and hippies realise you can't stop climate change. It far more complex than cutting down the growth in CO2, SOx and H20 (vapour) output, and all these current pantomimes are doing is costing us money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ghost ships exorcised by local councillors

According to this BBC report, the US ghost ships which were to be decommissioned in the UK by Able UK will no longer happen as plans have been blocked by the local councillors.

"After a four-hour meeting, councillors rejected the proposals despite planning officials recommending they be approved."


So what councillors are saying is - even though their own experts told them this could be done safely and even though this means jobs for local people... they would rather the work went to somewhere that isn't here.

Would they rather have more people out of work? Would they rather the work was carried out somewhere else, that doesn't necessarily have the stringent safeguards in place for the people doing the work and the environment?

The answer, it would seem, is yes.

The £1m question

If I said that for a payment of £1m, I could offer the hope that you would live longer - say, chances are give you another couple of years on your life. I am not guaranteeing this, by any means - simply taking your cash, telling you to change your life a bit, and saying that should mean you live longer... Would you pay me?

This is essentially what the environMENTALISTS are claiming. We need to pay hundreds of millions of pounds to fund committees on climate change, provide more recycling points, pay someone to stick their finger in the leaky dyke for an unknown length of time for an unquantifiable gain - if it is a gain at all!

When will we wake up to the greenwash? Climate change has happened for longer than man has walked the earth! We should be evolving to combat the change, not throwing limitless amounts of money at a problem that money and manpower cannot solve.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tim Cobbett gets a life

It would seem that just when EUSA thought Mr Cobbett had left, he has returned as a Life Member to stand for Senior Member, Finance Committee.

Surely it's not the same Tim Cobbett who said (that a Life Member) "has no right or reason to have any say or interest other than the fact she used to be an Edinburgh student." (That's about the only bit that's repeatable, and you know I'm not shy!)

So, by the same token, what are the reasons behind Mr Cobbett standing? Will he use it as a platform to rant and rave and bring the Association (and University) into disrepute through his actions?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

MSPs send pigeons on holiday to Ayr

In this BBC article, we're told that they are intending to spend approx £250 per nest to move the pigeons (they're vermin, by the way) to Ayr.

Apparently they ruled out anti-roosting spikes as being "unattractive" - well, no more unattractive than the Parliament and its inhabitants then, eh?

As per usual, the lunatics at "Advocates for Animals" are claiming this is a good use of public money, suggesting that we, the Scottish taxpayers would be happy that the pigeons are going to a wildlife sanctuary... Heaven forbid that disease spreading flying menaces be killed - it's not as if there aren't enough pigeons in the world.

... now if only we could get rid of those pesky MSPs too...

SNP brands defence of the realm "immoral"

Are the SNP smoking crack?

I ask that, when we all know the answer is "goat".

Anyway, the SNP have decreed that renewing Trident, our ballistic missile defence system, would be "immoral".

Their argument is "blah blah blah, no moral justification, blah". This, rather unfortunately assumes we can all turn the clock back and uninvent this (terrible) technology.

I have news for them. We can't turn back time. We have nuclear weapons. We need to continue to have nuclear weapons. We'd all love to uninvent them, but we can't, so we're stuck with them. We can't be assured that everyone else in the world will stop developing / not buy nuclear weapons, and we do need to be able to defend ourselves should we be faced with a war against a known enemy. (The "war on terror" doesn't count. obviously.)

That's the wonderful thing about being British though - we can sit and complain, and pontificate from within the blanket of security that others provide for us... and like it or not, nuclear weapons are part of that blanket.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Should dog licensing laws be changed? No - how about children being licensed instead!

After the tragic mauling of two kids by a dog, the slavering masses are talking about dog licenses again.

Here's a much better idea. License children.

Children are more likely to grow up to commit crimes, mug grannies and the like, than dogs. Ok, dogs are more likely to shit on the rug, but then children may do that in their first few years too.

People should have a license to breed, so we don't get plagued by more doley scumbags living off benefits for the duration of their lives - an aid to natural selection, if you will, that only people who can support a family can start one.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Criminal age should be raised...

In this stunning piece of "think of the children" liberal, namby pamby scratchings...

"A report for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies says too many children are prosecuted and criminalised."

Oh really? Perhaps they should be taught some respect then? Perhaps they should be taught right from wrong by their parents?

"You run the risk of labelling them as criminals. They begin to see themselves as delinquents, others treat them as delinquents, and very quickly you are in a cycle that youngsters find it very difficult to break out of."

Well, if they're being bad wee bastards, then that's what they're being. A spade is a spade. Calling it something different doesn't change the situation any.

Bring back the Lochgelly tawse.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Edinburgh for Edinburgers!

Well, the festival is well and truly over.

This past week, I have enjoyed being able to walk into my favourite restaurants without having to book. I am once again able to hail a hackney conveyance in the street without waiting for a ridiculously long time.

I have friends who run bars and restaurants, who tell me the takings are fab over the festival - however, they're inclined to agree about being unable to get from one end of the city to the other.

Edinburgh City Council, of course, have started another batch of road works - not content with making motorists lives a misery before the festival, the after festival works are well and truly here...

Apparently residents have been asking for more residents' parking spaces - so CEC have duly painted in some more in Marchmont, Bruntsfield, The Grange, and somewhere near Leith St / London Road. The residents' bays opposite my flat are empty, so it clearly wasn't anybody here... Paying the council for the option of parking somewhere near where you live has never really appealed to me - hence I don't run a car here... But I am not at all convinced by the money grabbing, motorist hating council and their need for extended residents' parking zones.

Well, at least we don't have congestion charging.

Labour pains

Almost a week has gone by with the news full of "When will Tony Blair depart?"

This just in... Somone out there (not I) voted for him / them. You made your bed - now lie in it!

The only people who should be callign for Blair to go, are those who voted for other candidates / parties!

If nothing else, it means I can look forward to a few years of Tory rule after the next general election - since Labour is looking increasingly un-electable. Huzzah!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Legislators miss the point, yet again

According to various news sources (The BBC) swords are to be banned...

I am sorely tempted to go out and buy a Katana, a Sabre, and a broadsword. The last two I could use in Tai Chi, the Katana just because it's a thing of beauty.

The trouble with this proposed legislation, from the ne'er do wells in the Scottish Parliament, emphasis on lament, is it again doesn't solve anything.

You need to legislate against the arseholes who carry knives and swords, and do business with them after a night out drinking. A reaction of "Think of the children" and "Quick! Ban it!" hasn't helped anyone in the past (look at gun crime) and here we are again.

Vote for the abolishion of the Scottish Parliament. After all, we only need one set of donkeys to run the country.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Climate change debate is 'porn'

That's the headline for a short article on page 2 of the Metro today. Yes I read the metro. It's useful for hitting tourists with.

Anyway, the article reads:

Language used to debate climate change in the environment is effectively 'climate porn', a study has claimed. It offers a thrilling spectacle but also distances people from the issue, the Institute for Public Policy Research said. After looking at 600 articles and adverts to find out how green groups, the media and the Government discuss the issue, it said many were alarmist and viewed the subject as thrilling.


Thrilling? Of course it is - it's the reason for most of these green groups to exist.
Without people being whipped into a religious fervour about their cause, they would have no purpose, and if they have no purpose, they would have to get a haircut, and get a real job.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Green Monster

I was in the flat the other night, and thought I heard the door - so off I went to see what was going on.

I found some propaganda from the Green Party had been pushed through the letterbox. Sadly I wasn't quick enough to set fire to it, and throw it back at the guy. I wasn't even quick enough to call him a hippy.

I am in no way interested in the workings of Green MSPs, I did not vote for them, and I certainly don't approve of them pissing money from Scottish tax-payers up the wall on their histrionics. As far as I am concerned, they should get a haircut, and get a real job. Unless they are bald. But the point about the real job remains.

If I find who let them into the stair to spread their filth, I will have words with them.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pree-teen mother arrested on night out.

Do you all remember the story of the 12 year old girl who couldn't keep her legs together after going out and getting drunk?

Well, the child has been had by the child, and she's off getting drunk again:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/5205760.stm

It's great to see the natural order has been maintained.

Some people should not be allowed to breed.

The worst thing of all is - what is going to become of the child's child?

A good face for radio?

As my colleague and I were driving with the radio on, earlier on this week, I made the mistake of listening to one of their adverts.

It was for a Computer Doctor. They mentioned the company as "'puter doctor" or at least that is what I think i heard. They mentioned the domain name, but did not spell it out. So some guy has paid for an advert that makes it almost impossible to get in touch with him. Gee, that's a great idea.

I looked for Computer Doctor first, and www.computerdoctor.com is a guy in Austin, Texas. (His place always looked busy when I drove past his office, so I think he's on to a good thing. But he's probably of little use when the advert is on Forth One, for Edinburgh!

www.computerdoctor.co.uk is based in London, so again, probably not much use to folk in Edinburgh.

I have also tried permutations and combinations of puter, pooter and the like. If you're advertising on the radio, and using a made up word for your domain as a main point of contact - go on! Spell it out for us!

Clearly some people are too dim to be allowed to advertise...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sofaking what?

Aye, apologies for the headline.

I flitted on Tuesday of last week. It was not fun.

My nice 3 seater cream leather sofa has been left behind. Why? I hear you ask... Because the removal guys couldn't get the thing through the door. They tried it a couple of different ways. Still no joy.

I told them the sofa was delivered in packaging, and came in with the door where it is.

We took the door off.

The sofa is still sitting in my old flat. I am grumpy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

5% discount, my arse.

I have just renewed my annual season ticket between Edinburgh and Dalmeny (guess where I work then?) this morning.

It costed me 623.20. This includes a 5% discount for shite service over the past year.
My ticket last year costed 600.40 including the 5% discount for shit service.

Can you see a trend already?

Each year, I suffer crap service from First? Scotrail, and each year they charge me more, even with the discount for them being shite.

And people wonder why more people are buying cars and not using public transport?

At least the train was on time this morning, and the banter with Kenneth on the barriers at Waverley was amusing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Parents are idiots, lawnmower manufacturer found liable

Here's a story about someone who didn't watch their child closely enough whilst operating a ride on mower, and mowed them down (heh), then sued and won. Only in America. (http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/69605)

The jury wanted to send a message with that verdict to the makers of the lawn mower that killed 4-year-old Justin Simmons in 2004.

"We're just hoping that we make a difference," said juror Theresa Reed. "We just want the industry to see that there's a problem that needs to be fixed."


So, let me get this right. Guy has small kid running about the garden when he's moving with a big-ass ride on mower, and he's not paying attention - the kid gets behind him, the mower rolls back, and mows the kid down. Clearly it's the lawnmower manufacturers' fault... WTF? Where do these people come from? When I were a lad, I wandered round a farm at age 4 - I survived. Why? Because my parents and grandparents looked after me, and I knew not to get infront of, or behind of farm machinery. It's not rocket science!

They all said they had kids, and they all agreed that, just as cars with safety problems are recalled, lawn mowers with safety problems should be recalled.


So, the jury, since they were all cry-baby soccer-mom Americans who take no responsibility for them or theirs wanted to absolve the parents of this accident by apportioning blame to the mower manufacturer. Hoo-fucking-ray.

During closing arguments Monday, Fitzpatrick argued that the company should not be held responsible for the Reedys' poor judgment. Orvil Reedy didn't try to get an owner's manual for the 1988 model mower or heed any of the warnings printed on the machine, he said. Roberta Reedy left Justin unattended outside while her husband was mowing.


I find myself agreeing with the company lawyers here... (Which I don't really like to do). Some people are too stupid to have kids. Please report to your nearest Equilibrium centre for immediate sterilisation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Airport Hell

Well, I am writing this from the comfort of the President's Club lounge in Austin Bergstrom International Airport... So what? Well, I was on holiday - so I am not quite as angry as normal... However, I have a couple of peeves with air travel...

A few trips ago, I had purchased an upgrade with my blood, sweat and tears (air miles) and missed the flight - I had a lovely United First Class (The only way to travel) seat from Austin to O'Hare, but the flight was delayed and delayed... I got to O'Hare with my boarding pass in hand, and ran to the gate. The aircraft was sitting there, but they wouldn't let me board. Thankfully they got me out on the American Airlines flight, so I arrived back in Britain on close enough to being on schedule I got my original flight out of Birmingham or Manchester... Whichever one it was...

So, here I am in Austin, on my way home again, looking forwared to several hours of being cooped up on a small aircraft. They were good enough to give me First Class to O'Hare, but haven't sorted the connecting flight yet... I will have to haggle with BMI, who are operating the transatlantic leg of my journey, and see if they will do the business. I am not getting my hopes up, since BMI can be a bit flaky.

Delta, however, are truly shite. My friend, and travelling companion, Stuart, is flying Delta. Or not. He should have left yesterday, since I drove him to this fine airport, and fully expected him to be back in blighty by now... Instead, Delta delayed and delayed, making him miss his connection, and failed to re-route him appropriately. So here he is, sitting in the lounge with me, waiting for another Delta flight - he has managed to get an earlier connection to Atlanta (what the hell is in Atlanta?) and amusingly enough, the flight he was supposed to be getting is showing a delay!

My other peeve with air travel, is who the hell is the average person they use for seat design? I am 6'8" and approx 300lbs - I do not fit in an economy seat in any direction! The boringly average sized people are the ones who ask for extra leg room on flights, when they are usually not needing or deserving of it! Who the hell are these people? I have only flown on one flight where I was not the tallest person on board - and that was because some basketballers were on the flight!

Anyway, here's to a few hours of hellish cramp, not being allowed to walk around as much in case I might be a terrorist, or try to go outside for a walk at 30,000 ft - as if! Who the hell makes up these rules? And remember, if you argue - you're grounded!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

People Eating Tasty Animals

What is it with PETA (The other one)... Don't they get it? I am with fark on this - PETA need to get out more, and not be so bloody stupid.



Bird flu is absolutely nothing to do with being a vegetarian. Bird flu is absolutely nothing to do with being an omnivore.

I'd like to buy those guys at the back a beer to wash that KFC down. I wonder if these brainless ne'er do wells in the foreground would melt if someone threw some meat produce at them.

Just a thought...

Monday, April 17, 2006

A load of hot air? (The BBC on climate change)

Well, the BBC are doing it again - greenwashing with regards to climate change. And how on earth are you supposed to have a decent rant in only 500 characters on their "talking point" especially when it is populated by idiots and sheeple who wouldn't understand the science if it bit them on their collective arses. That's the trouble with a population - half of them are by definition of below average intelligence. Not that I am suggesting we take away their votes - I think we should just use a bigger stick to beat some sense into them.

Here's the BBC Talking Point on the subject.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is pushing for a global stabilization level but David King has warned this could be set so high it would cause a rise in global
temperature way above the EU limit of 2C.

What utter crap. Is he about to do a King Canute, and tell the tides to recede as well? And who are the EU to tell the planet what it can and cannot do with regards to climate change. Indeed, over a period of a hundred years or so, it should be called "weather". Climate is over thousands of years, and are major trends and changes.

Climate change has many factors feeding into it - and here's one of my favorites:

Water vapor is a greenhouse gas - remember... DHMO can kill! It is the most abundant greenhouse gas up there.

Seriously though, methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is produced by cows farting in the field, as well as by wetlands, oceans and green vegetation (when alive). You don't hear the environmental lobby telling us to cut down rainforests which are pumping out CH4 now do you?

Here's a fanatical graph of greenhouse gas emissions. Please note that's fanatical - note the scale. 30 years is nothing. Why have they even bothered to produce this? Oh yes, because "Booga Booga Booga!"



Greenhouse gas plotted over 30ish years. What a waste of time.
(Graph source - NOAA data)

So as you can see, this is clearly bad. The world is going to end. It's all rising - it will gas us all, the ozone layer will run away, the earth will be scorched and in short, we're all fucked.

Or are we?

Here is a proper graph, using Oxygen isotopes as a proxy for atmospheric CO2 over a decent timescale. As in one that is more significant than a gnat's fart.



Oxygen Isotope as a proxy for atmospheric CO2 over 800,000 years.

(Graph source - Leland McInnes)

This gives you a clearer picture that atmospheric CO2 fluctuates a lot, and is normal, and is dealt with by other natural processes. You'll notice it seems to be periodic too... I wonder what could cause that? Looks like approx 100,000 years for the major cycles and 20,000 for some of the minor ones. Oh - what else has periodicities like that? The Milankovitch cycles which describe the earth orbiting the Sun - next graph -





(Graph source - Dragons flight)

Why am I telling you about orbital wobble? Because it appears to have a direct effect on the heating (and cooling) of the planet. That simple. It has done for a lot longer than we humans have been on this earth. Trying to bring this back to the greenhouse gas graphs - here is one last one which is much more exciting showing CO2, CH4 and Oxygen with a temperature graph too. This one is a bit loud. It's from the Vostok ice cores...



Graph taken from Vostok ice cores showing various gas levels, temperature, over 400,000 years.
(Graph source - The US Govt)

This one is pretty cool, since it shows you how the gases build up and decline, and how it affects temperature... Now, there are various questions as to what all the processes actually do... The basic black box style approach is relatively well understood - CO2 is sunk into oceans, and carbonates and so on, but some of the interactions are not fully understood. Remember the biologists only recently realized that green vegetation gives out methane.

We have a lot to learn about our climate, and the sort of nonsense that is spouted by the mass media is hardly good science or helpful. Yes, humans have an effect on the environment - but is there a problem with the climate model we're using (probably) and is there a problem with our understanding of the environment (definitely in some areas). The earth can and will cope with a lot of things we do to it - in ways we have and have not yet observed or theorised. However, this does not mean we should do nothing - we should strive to be good caretakers of this planet... But let's cut the crap, eh?

Monday, March 20, 2006

DVD trailer madness

I didn't buy the DVD to watch some damn trailer about why piracy is bad. I bought the fucking DVD, didn't I?

Not only do I have to suffer an un-skippable lecture on "you wouldn't steal shit from here, so don't steal shit from there" lecture, but the DVD in question also had about 5 minutes of unskippable drivel before the main feature came on - and had locked out the menu button on the player.

Rather like the music industry producing crap, and breaking the CD standard by introducing DRM which installs crap on your computer, the film industry is foisting this upon us. People are going to pirate DVDs whether or not you put some warning on it or not. In fact, I am tempted to do so, just so I don't have to view these damn trailers.

If I can't even watch a nice relaxing blood and guts film without being made to feel angry - what hope is there?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Know Means Know

It seems that girls in Britain are getting just as drunk, if not more so than the guys, and this is leading to problems. A couple of rape claims have recently collapsed in Court when it became obvious that the girls in question had no idea whether they gave consent or not, and thus whether in fact there was any case to answer. This because they were drunk as skunks and what passes for their minds had essentially absented themselves from the proceedings.

Right-thinking folks might get to wondering how in fact such cases got to Court in the first place. The answer of course is that there's a surfeit of people out there looking to do good. These are people without spandex and capes and since they don't need to worry about kryptonite, instead worry about statistics such as that only 6% of men accused of rape are ever found guilty and even fewer proceed to have their balls chopped off in public pour encourager les autres.

Of course they're not so well-versed in statistics as to comprehend that sending no-hoper cases to the Courts is a tactic guaranteed to make the proportion of Guilty cases even lower, or if they are, they reckon that the punishment of going through the Courts system is warranted by the mere accusation. This is a variant on the Dworkinite theory that "Women don't lie about such things" or at least if they do in Britain, presumably they can't remember doing so in the morning.

Sooner of later if such cases are fretted about enough, and sufficient make the dinner time news, they become a political problem. Once they become a political problem, then as we all know, Something Must Be Done.

One doesn't need to be Perry Mason or Oliver Wendell Holmes to see that the basic problem with rape cases is that absent evidence of a hood, a mask, a knife and some wounds, most are going to come down to "He said, she said" and that juries are inevitably going to find themselves unable to ascribe guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Absent the invention of some kind of mind-reading device, things seem doomed to continue in this vein.

Of course there have been suggestions from the more lunatic of those with a tendency to substitute emotion for thinking that men accused of rape should be assumed guilty and be required to prove themselves innocent. Unfortunately such creative thinking has foundered on the rocks of history and principles of jurisprudence. Only those certain that they could never find themselves in the Dock could contemplate such a thing and of course it's assumed that women cannot and do not rape. It's thus no coincidence that such suggestions emanate wholly from the distaff side of the human equation.

Meanwhile the politicians attempt to remake the sundry sexual offences laws to make them sexually equal, or in the parlance of those afraid to have the syllable "sex" pass their lips: "gender neutral". Presumably we'll see at least the possibility of women being accused of raping a drunken man, and this Presumed Guilty nonsense will then become more scarce than logic in a feminist diatribe.

The conclusion is thus that that Something Else Must Be Done and the race is on for candidates.

It has become clear that one non-runner is the idea that women themselves should perhaps retain enough of their wits as to be able to see to their own security, or at the very least, enough that they can remember afterwards whether they said "yes" or "no" or some ejaculation that could have been interpreted in the heat of the moment as one or the other.

This eminently sensible suggestion unfortunately foundered on the established barstool legal principle of "It's me rights innit?" This principle, once successfully deployed in the famous "Contributory Negligence" case overseen by Judge Pickles, asserts that a woman has the right to go out dressed in a handerchief and dishcloth and proceed about her business imperturbed. In the case at hand it's extended to the right of a girlie to get completely out of her tree on a couple of gallons of Aftershock and for her vacated body to be mysteriously transported back to her boudoir in perfect safety.

This neatly combines two modern ideas: that people aren't responsible for their own behaviour and that the world, irrespective of all evidence to the contrary, should provide Perfect Safety to even those inhabitants most determined to behave like utter fools.

Of course we can all happily nod at the theory: yes, in a perfect world a girl should be able to drink herself to near-oblivion and nobody would dream of taking advantage. Unfortunately everyone who already figured out that Andrea Dworkin was a fat woman in dungarees with severe sexual hangups realises that we do not in fact inhabit that perfect world. Furthermore, these people are wont to the suspicion, if not hardened conviction, that women who dress in hankies and girlies who get legless are in fact putting themselves in danger in much the same way as people who witter into their mobile phones in dark alleys instead of maintaining situational awareness.

There are in fact rapists out there who are prepared to take adavantage of a lady in a state of distress, or indeed undress. They aren't huge in number, but for any given woman, it only takes one. Making their hobby easier for them to enjoy with legal impunity isn't doing anyone any favours.

Then there's the more usual situation of both boy and girl being three sheets to the wind. Combined this means nine sheets to the wind rather than six, and that generally means that any communication is down to semaphore. Mixed signals and misunderstood intentions are essentially inevitable under such circumstances and it's no surprise that a goodly number of the 94% majority cases involve copious amounts of alcohol drunk by both parties.

The latest wheeze to combat these awkward factors is to involve posters on walls. The sorts of people who think up such plans are either huge believers in poster on walls or somehow have their pension investments tied up in the oversize printing business. Thus we get posters on racism, sexism, domestic violence (99.99% Of All Men Eat Children Whole) and the everpresent danger that lies in aspartame.

These latest posters will try to tell men, and you can be certain it will be men despite the noble-sounding idea of equality under the sexual offences laws, that unless they receive an unequivocal "Yes!" then they should assume "no". These posters will be condescending in the extreme and will be offensive to the vast majority of men. Still, the authors know that only women can be truly offended, so that won't matter.

Naturally those of us who don't hang around drunken tarts have been applying this model all along, or at least requiring actions that speak louder than words before assuming that for reasons inexplicable, the lady with us has decided that short, fat, bald, bespectacled geeks are sex machines and need to be bedded immediately lest the opportunity pass them by. Not the least mysterious aspect of this is that these sorts of situations don't end in Court.

Clearly the hardened rapist isn't going to be fazed by reading a poster as he pisses, so the question is what effect this will have on your average lad who prefers his sexual dalliances to be with the aforementioned drunken tarts. One doesn't need a Ph.D in Social Science (if indeed there is such a thing) to understand that the odds are overwhelmingly that the lad in question will be sober as a newt too. This knowledge enables us to produce the Police Reconstruction of
Events:

He: Wurheerthen. Erroogauandaeit hen?

Her: meheidspinnin-errooganuahevanotheryin

He : Whdiveewanhen? Wullawhuskydae?

Her: Yeahssokenat.

Which will be as close to establishing a clear "Yes!" as things are ever likely to get, even if either party remembers the conversation in the morning. Put simply: these posters aren't going to help in Court at all.

Perhaps the only way to truly establish consent is to require actual consent forms to be printed and distributed with every form of contraception. Even here though there are problems:

1) Drunken Tarts and their partners are legendary for forgetting contraception and indeed for deploying it in a manner other than as per instructions. The abortion business is booming on the back of this. That people who can't read instructions on how to apply a condom will be able to read, comprehend and sign a legal document is optimism of brobdingnagian proportions.

2) Your average Drunken Tart knows that signing a consent form would make her a woman of easy virtue and she anyway refuses to carry contraception on the same basis.

3) These guys would just collect them, and flash them around school or frame them for the office wall.

Short of chastity belts, the only answer that readily suggests itself is to put the disclaimer on the alcohol containers. Those partaking of alcohol will thus, by their actions, consent to the fact that they might have sex, albeit in the cases above, possibly unknowingly.

The text itself is known to generations of drinkers:

"Alcohol: Getting Dumb and Ugly People Laid Since The Dawn of Time"

Serial shagger demands bigger coucil house

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,172-2085941,00.html

Computer says "no"!

I can't believe I just read that... A man with 15 children, and no job is asking for a larger council house...

The family get £2,000 a month in benefits. Mr Philpott, who is unemployed, said that the council had failed him, adding: “I think the country is going down the pan.”


Well, I think we're all in agreement about that. What's even more worrying is what the offspring will turn out to be like - will they follow in the family tradition?

Get a job, you workshy bastard, and stop getting your womenfolk pregnant if you can't support them yourself!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

National Trust opposes wind farm

I read in the Sunday Herald that the National Trust are campaigning against a proposed wind farm on the hill behind Culzean Castle.

Huzzah! Sense! Although one has to ask - which nimrod came up with the idea to site a wind farm overlooking one of our national treasures?

"The trust believes the proposed £20 million wind farm will spoil the view from the castle and put off visitors. “This is the first time the trust has objected to a wind farm, as we generally support renewable energy developments,” regional director Michael Hunter told the Sunday Herald."
No wonder - having seen the mock-ups of the windfarm, there's nothing but windmills on the hill behind Culzean, and it looks hellish.

"Wind farm companies insist they are committed to engaging with communities to agree schemes. “The fact that wind energy is supported by the vast majority of Scots shows how development to date has been welcomed throughout Scotland,” said Maff Smith, chief executive of the Scottish Renewables Forum."

The subsidies that go to folk who site these monstrosities on their land clearly must make it worth their while - but is it worth our while as taxpayers? Probably not... Once I have re-read the paper by the Hume Institute on Wind Farms, I'll add to this entry.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

First Scotrail being crap. Film at eleven.

First Scotrail, the conveyance people, have upset my Qi once again.

They're having a moment of insistance that I feed my season ticket through the barriers each day again, rather than shgowing it to the chap at the gate, and barely breaking pace.

The tickets are truly awful - an annual ticket, made out of card and with a mag stripe is expected to last for one year (hahahahah) and when it is taken out of the wallet, fed through the barrier a couple of times to account for misfeeds, and eventually gets read, the barriers will let you through. Or not.

Conveniently, my ticket, which expires on 6/6/6 - oh how I laughed when I got that one, has stopped working int he barriers, and the gate staff are only too happy to let me through again. Trouble is, the evening staff are different, and I have to show the ticket fails to read first, wasting my time and theirs. I am mostly worried about wasting my time though.

The reply from First Scotrail was that I could get my ticket replaced free of charge. Whilst the ticket may be free, my time is not. I shouldn't have to go through this hassle, as a regular traveller, sinply beacuse they implemented a poor technology for frequent travellers. They should use a RFID based system, like the Oyster card in London, or the badge that gets me into my place of work... Or like Lothian Buses use for their season ticket holders... But that would be too sensible!

Oh well, looks like I'll have to visit one of the magnetic field testing laboratories at work again, or leave the ticket on top of a large three phase motor for a wee while.

Lords reforms on the cards again - why?

Are the governement hell bent on destroying this country? The beeb report that more Lords reforms are on the way, held back ny the stumbling block of MPs not knowing how to proceed - now there's a surprise.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4751866.stm

I think the MPs are just pissed off that the Lords have kicked a number of their pet projects into touch - and for very good reason. The worrying thing is Parliament are too willing to invoke the Parliament Act to poke bills through into law. This is a shameful and bare-faced erosion of due diligence in out governance. I think the commons should be reformed - give the MPs a taste of their own medicine - the Lords have been looking out for us on civil liberties - Hunting, (soon to be fishing as well, I hear), ID cards... Anti Terrorism, the list goes on.

Well, their lordships have my support. And my MP will get a boot up his arse. (In writing, obviously, since I wouldn't recognise the reprobate if I saw them).

EUSA, putting the moc(k) in democracy

So, here we are a week or so after the Rector elections at UoE.

The SRC having raised an emergency motion, which clearly wasn't an emergency - they knew damn fine Boris Johnson was standing, the motion was that EUSA should take a position on the election, and campaign against Boris.

What wasn't mentioned, of course, was that two of the Sabbs were in the opposing camp for Mark Baaaaaaallard. They mentioned it in a couple of early press releases, before EUSA had a position, but strangely failed to mention it again after the bowel motion passed.

Given I am no longer a student, I can't really complain about the SRC making a mockery out of the elections, and themselves, again, however what concerns me is the anti conservative propaganda that was put up funded by EUSA, and that the same people putting up this propaganda were putting up Baaaaaaallard posters. Perhaps they were "wearing different hats" at the time, or perhaps my friends who saw this were hallucinating from an over indulgence of Nestle products.

Anyway, the elections came and went, and Baaaaaaallard won. However, if Baaaaaaallard was so for EUSA, how come he only took out Life Membership a couple of years ago? How come he has been sniffing around at P&P motions - and rumour has it voted for the ban coke motion on a previous occasion? How come he didn't help set up a meeting with Lothian Buses to get EUSA talking to them regarding mature student bus passes... Oh, that's because Boris got it squared away. At the end of the day, Boris is still a legend, and Baaaaaaallard is still a waste of tax payers money that is only there due to a party list.

EUU is now losing members over this - one has opted out of the Association (and therefore the union) and another was making enquiries about how to do it...

This is by far the worst year of EUSA I have had the misfortune to be here to see. We old people only can think of 1 person opting out, and that was more of a legend - I don't think anyone actually knew the guy. This, in the here and now, is rather worrying. We have a shower of lefties who are causing sufficient offence to conservative minded people that they are leaving.

The worst thing is, they who have been making these decisions are unrepentant. Then again, they get to leave after a year or so... The old school who stay around are left wondering if they should try to pick up the pieces, defend the Union's honour, or just let it rot. Perhaps it is some sort of misguided loyalty that keeps me involved. All of those years on the House Committee at Teviot Row, perhaps I feel I need to give something back? Perhaps I am yearning for a return to the glory days where teviot was full on a Friday night...

How did we get into this mess? Perhaps, more importantly, how do we get out of this mess?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

People And Planet? What people, exactly? And what planet are these nutters from?

Well, here I am, snooping on the P&P mailing list for Edinburgh Uni, and I find this choice excerpt from their latest mailing...

THE ARMS TRADE:A big focus for P&P this year will be the campaign to stop Edinburgh University receiving funding from military sources, and have it replaced by more ethical sources. We'll also be proposing a motionat the General Meeting in February that mandates EUSA to campaign for stricter and more ethical research funding within the Universityand NUS. Keep your eyes open in the next few weeks for articles inthe Student, a giant banner drop, and open meetings to learn more about the campaign. Also, help with stalls, postering and flyering is very much needed! It's a great opportunity to get involved with what is already a very exciting campaign.

Are they all arts students? Do they have any grounding in reality? Where do they think the University gets its funding from - certainly not hugging trees and pattig cute fluffy wuffy bunny wabbits!

People and Planet need to get a grip on the harsh reality of the world. Scientists need jobs too! Although, we can all take comfort from the fact that even if P&P manage to het enough hippies out to push this through a EUSA GM, the University don't have to listen - I think even Tim O'Shea would be hard pressed to cut off such a source of funding.

My final message to P&P is this: Get over it you socialist wasters! Booga Booga Booga!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Graduates whine about jobs, film at 11.

Graduates are whining that computing related degrees are not preparing them for work in the bad, bad world, says The Register (link to article below...)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/11/grads_say_courses_no_good/

UK IT graduates complain that their university courses do not prepare them for
work in the real world and that the Government is not doing enough to help them
find jobs.


Haven't they realised that IT isn't the field it was 10 - 15 years ago? Has nobody told them there isn't a job for life any more? Has nobody told them that just because you have a degree (probably form backwater former polytechnic) doesn't mean you automatically get a top job with a top salary? It is not up to the government to get you a job or to make you better prepared for a job - it's up to you! Where's that personal responsibility?

The recent adverts on TV stating the average IT salary is £37,000 makes me laugh. I have colleagues who have worked in IT for 10 years, and do damn good work - and they're nowhere near that sort of money.

In short, stop yer bleating.