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Jumped the Shark

Dumb Terrorists of the week…

From The Guardian

Two men accused of being involved in a terrorist plot in London were covertly recorded as they apparently prepared to buy a firearm, the Old Bailey has heard.

A listening device in their car recorded them using the codewords “sausage” and “sauce” to describe items they planned to purchase, the jury was told.

Their intentions appeared to become clear, however, when one of the men, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, asked: “What’s the sausage?” His alleged accomplice Erol Incedal replied: “Bullets.”

One of them had been a-jihadi-ing in Syria. They were clearly on the radar but if you can’t remember a code consisting of two words…

It reminds me of a bunch of Hamas-types who blew themselves with a car-bomb because they refused to live on “Zionist Time”. Fortunately they were in the middle of nowhere.

It took the IDF etc a while to figure that one. Well, it would wouldn’t it?

Quote of the Conference.

UKIP defectors are the sort of people who have sex with vacuum cleaners’:

Boris Johnson

He didn’t put it quite as boldly as that, as you can see from the article, but that is certainly what he meant. I love the Conference season, don’t you? So full of deep incisive analysis.

Methinks the Tories are very rattled at this point. Smile

Craven

The retailer of “naughty things” Ann Summers has apologized over a lingerie range named “Isis”

Knickers

Not to be confused with…

Twat

London (AFP) – Adult retailer Ann Summers apologized Saturday after launching a range of lingerie named Isis — but said it did not support jihadists in Iraq and Syria and had no plans to withdraw the line.

Well, that last bit is reassuring. Not, I suspect, that Ann Summers would be especially welcome in the New Caliphate anyhow. But why apologize? An Ann Summers spokeswoman stated the decision had been made months ago and Isis is an ancient Egyptian fertility goddess which seems a fairly reasonable name for female intimate attire. I mean it’s not something a lady would wear to play football in is it*?

It remains on sale which is something, though why apologize anyway? It is admitting that “ISIS” (or “IS”) have stolen part of our culture and mythology. It is bizarrely conflating something to cover your er… with a bunch of arseholes. And that is my point, really. Are ISIS vile? Are they dangerous? Yes. Are they the greatest threat facing the USA as President Obama recently stated? Are they Hell! They are just a bunch of ragged-assed renegades on the create. They ought to be treated with the disdain they deserve and not treated like Sith Lords. By regarding them as Mordor itself we are their best recruiting sergeants because it gives spurious glamour to a collection of honour-free tossers playing at jihad.

As an aside they are currently carrying out “judicial” executions, crucifixions and amputations and “encouraging” children to watch (like Alton Towers in the sand). Of course they would regard the ladies pictured above as depraved. I have a rather different standard for depravity.

On the plus side I am reliably informed that Russia has banned such frivolous under-garments on spurious grounds of causing minge-rot or something so it would seem we are annoying the right people.

Pooty Poot and the Sand People – sounds like a dreadful band from the ’50s.

*No I haven’t seen that video. Curse you internet!!!

The Gazza Strip.

Apparently Twitter users have been confusing the drunkard former England footballer Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne with Gaza the place.

Maybe it is just me and I, like Gazza am from Gateshead, not Gaza but this tickles me.

Fans of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne, popularly known as ‘Gazza’, were left confused and fearing for his future as a Free Gaza campaign took off online.

Tweets with the hashtag #freegaza have been trending on Twitter in response to the violence in the Middle East, with users using their posts to urge Israeli forces to stop their assault on the Gaza Strip. The conflict, which started on July 8, has led to the deaths of more than 1,200 people.

But followers of the troubled player, who has become known for his battles with alcohol and drugs, mistakenly thought that he had been arrested and that the campaign was in support of his freedom.

And…

Pignorance has no end.

Back in the land of the living…

I am with Sky for most everything – net, TV, landline… Now the modem/router has been “on the blink”* for sometime and finally joined the digital choir invisible on Saturday. So I’d got a TP-Link replacement. Top-notch piece of kit. Think fine – set it up – 198.162.0.1 and all that – easy as falling off a log. Except I tried everything short consorting with wiser heads and virgin sacrifice**.

It turns out – and at no point did Sky or TP-Link make this clear that Skynet** only works with Sky modem/routers. And I’d spoken to Sky and they’d only told me to get a new gizmo – they didn’t tell me it had to be a Sky one! It was only later when my wife howled at them they said, “Er…” So had to buy one from them. I had originally thought they might replace their hardware buckshee but we seem these days to live in the land of negative customer loyalty. I mean they offer reduced deals for some months to new customers but if you have been with ‘em for years they couldn’t give a toss. I don’t like that. And they are all at it. BT, TalkTalk and all the rest of ‘em.

So, I’m back online. Thank the Gods of TCP/IP!

If anyone in the UK needs to buy a pretty high-spec wifi modem/router which is really nearly new then I am your man.

But being de-netted was dreadful. It was almost like being dead. It was like I kept on thinking things like, “There’s gotta be a solution online”. Then, “Oh bugger!”. It was like having a Speccy without a tape recorder. And it was really pissing me of because of my recent getting of a new laptop (8Gb Lenovo S440 with a Core i5 CPU). I was peeved.

*a techie term meaning roughly, “Circling the drain in the House of the Fucked”.

**Problem is round here there is no way to find three wise men and a virgin so no second-coming for us.

***For that is what I call it.

Two Spoons and a Rusty Farming Implement…

Is this Britain’s most feckless father? Meet unemployed Peter Rolfe who has had 26 children by 15 women and says ‘it’s just unfortunate so many of them have fallen pregnant’

Apparently he has cost the UK GBP500,000 over the last 20 years in bennies. Well, I guess he has to buy a birthday present at least once a fortnight.

Now, as a married man with an A-level A-grade in biology women do not “fall pregnant”. It takes two to tango so to speak. Or 1+15 (15!) in his case. Let us have a look at this veritable Adonis of the Isle of Wight…

He’s not exactly George Clooney is he? They must be gagging for it in the Solent!

The Mail story quotes heavily from an up-coming (no pun intended) C5 doc about “Benefits Britain”. Now obviously they take the outliers (and outright liars) but is this really about bennies? There is something sicker underlying this. Now I am socially liberal but you can take something so far and this is taking the piss and vinegar. The total lack of any form of sexual morality or taking any responsibility for personal actions is shocking. Having sex with someone is an active choice. It is about agency and without agency we are mere flesh robots chained to our baser urges. Now I’m not saying this geezer who looks like the sort of department store Santa you wouldn’t let your kid near shouldn’t have an active sex-life but… in an age of cheap, widely available and reliable contraception… Anyway, he’s objecting to having a four bedroom house off the council and claiming he needs six bedrooms to house his… er… tribe. My wife and I live in a two bed house. She uses the second bedroom as an office. We also have a cat who sleeps where he pleases because he is a cat. Hell’s Teeth he’s neutered. Can we claim? I don’t want kids (never have), my wife is ditto and Timmy lacks the mandatory equipment. Nah! course not. But if the Isle of White Council wants to bung me expenses for a trip South then I’m up (never been around there). I can furnish my own two spoons and indeed the rusty farming implement. Plenty of them around here. We even have mole traps and they are technically on dodgy ground legally I think. Vicious things. Well capable of preventing #27. Or moles, obviously.

Crassology – Dixon style.

Last night I watched the final of “Britain’s got Talent” on ITV. It was primarily a collection of profound tosspottery. But this act stood out (even above the pro-mawk that was teenage rappers “Bars and Melody”. It was “Paddy and Nico”. An elderly British woman being chucked around the stage by her much younger Spanish dancing instructor – “Oh, young man!”. The act itself reminded of a Quote by TS Eliot along the lines of it being fascinating “If you concentrate on the essential horror”.

But that was not the point. Paddy, the geriatric hoofer, had almost missed the final due to some (clearly) minor injury and Alesha Dixon (one of the judges) praised her “courage” and explicitly compared it to the courage of the troops on D-Day. Epic fail.

So, doing a three minute dance routine is equivalent to charging Sword beach with a rifle at a German machine-gun nest? Alesha, get your dictionary out.

I dunno who won. Frankly I was past caring so put the footie on only to see England secure a goal-less draw against those titans of the game – Honduras. Yes, Honduras. When it comes to the real thing Italy are going to murder us and stack the bones in the shower before breakfast.

I did quite a lot of swearing at the telly last night. And yes, there is a literary ref there which I’d be interested if anyone knows. And I mean knows, not Googles.

More Evidence of the Decline

Used positive pregnancy tests can be found for sale all over the Internet, and as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, those involved said people are snapping them up – with less-than-ethical motivations.

One mother from Dallas did not want her identity revealed, but she does want people to buy her positive pregnancy tests. She talked about one woman who took her up on the offer.

“She wanted to trick him into thinking she was pregnant, so he would drop everything so I gave her two tests,” the woman said.

Positive Pregnancy Tests Up For Sale Online

Offered without comment, simply as evidence of the further decline of Western civilisation. I’m known for being an opinionated swine, but this just left me speechless.

[Edit - CCiZ server can't cope with the video playback]

Kodachrome

I knew the song and I knew it was Paul Simon but I didn’t know the title. Which is odd because I know Kodachrome film very well. I’m now entirely digital but I still have a dear old Pentax so I’m more Sandisk than Kodak. Are Kodak bust? Actually I have a Kodak camera. 5MP from way back but still trogging on and great ergonomics – better than my current darling – a Sony Alpha 55. 10fps@16.1Mp – bring it!

Anyway, this is for Julie. Julie posted on Nedumaction recently so I thought I’d share some thoughts from my class-room experience. Now, I might be showing my age (I’m 40) but my “careers” lessons were a bad joke with a film-strip. Do you recall those? You get a projector, a moron and the strip. It is synched to a tape to provide the soundtrack and then it goes “Bong!” and you advance the frame. This is the theory (and by Jesus I know fucking ergodic theory and the bastarding disturbing function and if those parts of mathematical physics sound nails that is because they are). Alas we had Brian Edwards on the spool and he was thick as two short planks. His alleged day-trade was as a wood-work teacher but he was deemed too dense for that so he got the Set 1 careers gig instead and nawsed that up brilliantly. Now you have to imagine this in a high-pitched Geordie accent and by “high-pitched” I mean verging towards the end of the last cry of a less-than-aveargenaut going through a event horizon*. Now you’d think advancing a frame every time it went “Bong!” was fairly simple. Not to Mr Edwards. The quantity of huffing and puffing and (muted) swearing this veritable Manhatten Project of a gadget caused him is stuff of (local) legend, hence the phrase, “Eeeee, get out silly noise!” Fuck and all his pals know what he was doing to that poor machine. I don’t. Me and my mates just chuckled. He briefed us on our “Options” (choice of GCSEs) which was presented like it was the most important thing to plan since D-Day. He offered (and this is verbatim) this jewel of wisdom, “Eeee… man there is no point doing biology unless you want to be biology-ist”. Thicker than a whale burger.

Interlude: I was once summoned from an English class to see the Head. I was not a happy camper here and on the walk there I did the mental inventory of what they might have on me (I hadn’t. Well, quite the reverse actually). Wally Pearson, for that was his name, was chatting with kids to find out who to move to less strenuous duties said something that stunned me. He told me he believed that there were teachers at Ryton Comprehensive that were positively deleterious to education. Wow! I mean it was abundantly true but for the Head to say it to a 14-15 year old kid is Wow! Not what you expect the Head to say but there you go. I suspect Brian Edwards was near the top of that hit parade. Now Wally might have meant well but he talked the talk but either couldn’t or didn’t walk the walk. He promoted the head of Geography (who was a cad and bounder) to head of Sixth-form despite him having to have left previous schools in the area over “wandering hands” with Sixth Form girls. I know this for certain because my parents were teachers in the same LEA. Steve Brent was his name and apart from teaching geography and groping (and he allegedly did more than that) he also sold dodgy used cars from his drive. Dubious geezer if ever there was one. There were rumours of hushed-up private abortions performed on Sixth Formers. Making him head of Sixth Form was like giving George Best a bottle of single malt.

Anyway back to Brian Edwards (or “Satch” as we called him – Sod knows why). He wasn’t malicious or depraved like the aforementioned. He was just utterly, spectacularly, useless. Anyway, as I said, he taught careers for there was nothing more pointless to give him to do**. What I am going to say now I swear on the holiest of holies I am not making up.

Anyhoo. The film-strip was called “The Sponge Mix” (a shiticism that amused Satch greatly for no apparent reason but as I said we are not talking the wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde or even Kim Wilde) and chronicled the adventures of school-leaver Neville Sponge on his quest to become a mastic asphalt spreader. I am not making this up.

Now the even odder thing is the intro song to the “Sponge Mix”. It was Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” and it goes like this…

And the opening lyrics are…

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall.

Careers lessons were an irony-laden zone. Now you have to imagine that along with Satch muttering as he fails to work a simple machine (and it was a projector, not a nuclear reactor) – “Eee, Man what’s up with you!”

Now it is not true I learned nowt at school but Dear Gods it was slow. Careers was a total wash-out (obviously), PSE was beyond a joke and RE was taught by a pair of atheists who between showing wild speculation about the Shroud of Turin wittered on about protesting the Vietnam War. What is more disturbing (because in the grand scheme of things none of those matter) is that out of a year group of c.180 only 5 of us got an A at Maths GCSE (this was well beforer A*). I was one but I didn’t know how few we were and thought myself mediocre at the subject. I disliked my maths teacher for the entirely bizarre reason that she looked like Zelda from “The Terrorhawks”. Well, I guess she must have been doing something right. I am post GCSE largely self-taught at da sums. It gives me a perspective. I guess in a way I’m glad I didn’t do A-Level Maths – though it made the first term at University doing Physics nails. It got better and I did electives in discrete math which is a heck of a lot of fun. No, seriously. I thought I would minor in philosophy but one course on Descartes did for me on that. It was utter bollocks and packed to the rafters with pretentious wankers. There was a Bellendius maximus called George who didn’t speak English. I don’t mean he was foreign. He was English but he’d never be caught saying “thinking” when he could say “cognitive processing”. Epic twat. One of them pissed off to India for a year to “meet Indian philosophers” (whether they wanted to meet him is moot) and got Casevaced back to Blighty with a case of terrible guts. I dunno if he found enlightenment (or even a toilet) but it caused me a chortle. He was so up himself and he fancied my bird – they would discuss Wittgenstein at length. And he was Welsh not that I held that against him. Not that I would have held anything against him seeing as he was “letting go at both ends” so to speak. He also claimed to be a Druid. Which is why I mentioned Welshness.

*I appreciate that ought to reduce the pitch but it was years later I was taught relativity by Stan Clough and others who like knew there stuff.
**The dole office might have been an idea but you couldn’t sack teachers just like that then. He should have done the “walk of shame”. That was my mate Mick’s term for the walk from Blaydon bus station to the dole-office and back via Kwik Save (incorperating Liquour Save) and a number of bookies through a piss-stained pub(l)ic space. Fucking shit-hole is Blaydon (where they had the races). They now have a McDonalds and a gaff that sells second-hand baby impedimenta. The only fuckers who ever missed Blaydon were the bloody Luftwaffe. I went to school with the daughter of the (Labour, natch) MP and she got knocked-up in her first year at Goldsmiths in SE London (an Academy for Bell Ends it must be said). Anyway she gets knocked-up and gives birth to – I am not making this up – a son called “Storm Bruin”. My alma mater, Nottingham, had the largest Helium fridge in Europe. That was cool. Seriously cool. My London college had space missions. Goldsmith’s had a pickler of sharks. One of my bosses at Nottingham, Sir Peter Mansfield, won the Nobel for his work on MRI. Toss-up isn’t it?

Sir! Sir! Clarkson said a bad word, Sir!

Jeremy Clarkson, the celebrated oaf, is in a bit of bother with those guardians of moral rectitude, the Daily Mirror:

The Mirror claims that the Top Gear presenter was reciting a rhyme while in front of cameras, during which he allegedly said, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” before mumbling: “Catch a n****r by his toe”.

The bastard. Reciting childrens’ rhymes without the currently approved Bowdlerizations is it, now? The man’s a menace to society.

We used that rhyme all the time as kids, and didn’t even know what the word meant. It was just the thing you caught by the toe, and let go in the event of squealing. (I had a vague idea that it was a small furry animal something like like a badger, myself. Do badgers squeal? Never mind.) Guess I’ll never work for the BBC, then (yeah, that’ll keep me awake at night):

Lawyer Lawrence Davies told reporters: “Clarkson has to be sacked, no matter how much money he makes for the BBC. Use of that word is not acceptable.”

Oh, obviously. Totally proportionate response. I mean, he might say “fuck” or “cunt” next. Or is that allowed now? Anyway, he’s clearly an irredeemable hatey xenophobe racist hatemonger. If he isn’t stopped now, before you know it he’ll be mowing down crowds of black people in a McLaren P1 with the Confederate flag painted on its roof on live TV, while laughing maniacally. Stands to reason.

The Mirror says that it hired a firm of audio forensic experts to analyse the clip. They confirmed that the n-word was indeed used by Clarkson.
An investigator working for CY4OR…

…blah, blah, blah. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to pay your TV licence or the BBC will send the lads round.

I don’t know. Clarkson may be the BBC’s token “right-winger”, but he’s still an arse; the Mirror’s just the Sun without the tits (and it wasn’t Murdoch who nicked his employees’ pensions then took a header of his yacht when the net began to close in), and the BBC’s a protection racket disguised as a TV company. Sometimes I wish they’d just all go away and leave us in peace.

The Smell of Derbyshire…

Air Wick has partnered with the UK National Parks, developing a range of fragrances inspired by the UK’s distinctive and majestic National Parks. These evocative fragrances not only capture the freshness of Britain’s ‘breathing spaces’, but are also designed to bring the countryside…inside. As well as experiencing the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Exmoor and Brecon Beacons first hand, you can now enjoy fragrances inspired by these parks from the comfort of your own home. Whist, supporting the UK National Parks with every purchase.

The Air Wick Master Perfumers have crafted an exclusive collection of four fragrances which will help reignite memories of individual parks. Our scents reflect the changing seasons and intense variety of the British outdoors, evoking the beautiful landscapes the National Parks represent.

I live kicking distance from the Peak District I do wonder… I dunno what to wonder but some products should just not exist. Let us hope the market prevails.

North of the DMZ and beyond the pale.

There has been some crazy news out of everyone’s favourite totalitarian heckhole recently.

First I heard this nugget…

Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies have apparently passed the suitability test to be shown on North Korea’s tightly-controlled state TV.

After months of negotiation with the BBC, the three shows have been deemed worthy of consideration for broadcasting in the totalitarian state.

The country’s state broadcaster, Korean Central Television, is only on air for six-and-a-half hours every day.

Odd choices. Skipping over the tubbies the sight of that Bellendius Maximus Clarkson whizzing around in a Bugatti is almost torture to the poor buggers up there who feel lucky to get a puncture repair kit for their bike. And the Doctor is a rather anti-authority figure which probably wouldn’t fit with the rest of KCT’s output… Although I guesss the Cybermen might go down well with the Kimocracy.

At least a third of the output is spent praising the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, while another third extols workers to toil harder for the good of the country.

And I thought endless repeats of “Last of the Summer Wine” was soul-crushing.

But wait…

The weekly television highlight is ‘It’s So Funny’, a long-running comedy show in which two uniformed soldiers perform slapstick sketches in between propaganda lectures about the greatness of North Korea.

Now that’s what I call entertainment! That’s better than Cannon & Ball that is and they were fucking terrible beyond my comprehension. Here’s a modest proposal. We parachute Piers Morgan into the Pyongyang. He’s without a berth and it is a win-win if you ask me. I feel so sorry for the North Koreans.

This speaks volumes…

Likewise, there is no fundamental difference between the way in which North and South Koreans look [The entire peninsula is very ethnically homogeneous in the World and this is an ancient civilization - Nick]. Having said that, however, 60-plus years is not a short amount of time, and the two Koreas did live through two very different worlds. South Koreans now live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, North Koreans one of the poorest. In particular, the crushing famine that North Korea suffered in the mid-1990s has left a visible impact on North Korean people’s physique. While the average height of adult South Korean men is 171.5 cm (~5′ 7.5″), the average height of adult North Korean men is 165.4 cm (~5′ 5″). Because North Korean youths have become so malnourished, North Korea had to lower the minimum height requirement for its soldiers from 140 cm (~4′ 7″) to 137 cm (~4′ 6″) in 2010. (In contrast, South Korea recently had to extend the maximum height requirement from 196 cm (~6′ 5″) to 204 cm (~6′ 8″) for its conscripts.)

And that is not unrelated to the TV on my wall (Samsung) and the fact I have never bought a single item from North of the DMZ. I mean if they can’t get enough food they ain’t going to break the mould in tech are they? (More on that later). But this isn’t even the end-point of socialism as we understand it and as the socialist Eric Blair understood it. This is not Sweden with toothsome murder mysteries and beer you need a mortgage for. This is Hell run by an insane Satan. This is the prison state as envisaged by Vasily Grossman as the end of Stalinism.

But they have drones you know. Things that sound like they were built in a shed. I have spoken to hobbyists who can do better. At least it ain’t the grotesquely over-budget, under-performing and over-time F-35. I mean that camera… I have a better camera and I’m not on a defence budget here.

But before we simply regard the Kimocracy as risible buffoons it would be be wise to consider this. And also to consider that it is entirely possible to laugh and be revolted at the same time. They are profoundly risible but also profoundly evil. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Was it worth it?

We go to war for reasons. For resources, for land, for the hell of it. Sometimes for the very survival of civilization.

The last is the only one I fully back. Now Saddam was vile bastard beyond all possible redemption. Am I sad that he isn’t walking this goodly Earth? No. But…

Iraq (twinned with Iran and Irate) is planning to allow 8 year old girls to get married and also to abolish marital rape.

Nigh on 5000 US personnel have died* for the great task of enabling the freedom of preverts in Iraq to shag girls who haven’t had their first menstrual period. Eight year old girls want to play with dollies** and Lego and stuff. In my country (and the US and all the others) if you have sex with an eight year old girl you go to jail. You get put in the Sir Jimmy Saville Memorial Wing for a very long time. Rightly so.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a pacifist. If my land was under threat you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming from the seat of a Typhoon fighter. And, well everywhere I go I visit war memorials. I know my family members have killed and died so basically I can mooch around Europe without a rifle and bayonet. Now that was an appalling cost but it achieved something worthwhile. The legalisation of rape and kiddie-fiddling is not such a cause. It is not one for me or any right thinking person to get their boots on for.

And what right-minded person wants to have sex with a girl that age anyway? Utter sick bastards. They require treatment. I prescribe two spoons and a rusty farming implement. I mean if you don’t and can’t regard the man or woman you have sex with as an equal with absolute agency then what is the point?

We have enabled utter barbarism at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives either wiped out or maimed.

Or to misquote from the end speech at the end of the movie “300″, “We haven’t – at enormous financial, material and human cost singularly failed to ‘rescue a World from mysticism and tyranny’”.

*And a load of Brits and others and God knows how many wounded. And I have recently been watching Prince Harry taking a team of wounded soldiers across the Antarctic. Good on the fella but the wounds are tragic. On folks so young. It is heartbreaking.

**There is a very specific reason I mention this. Aisha was 8 when married to the middle-aged Muhammed.

Quids…

The Daily Fail just has to say this. OK, it’s bimetallic but that is it. It doesn’t really look like the Euro. More to the point if we are introducing a new coin design does that not imply a commitment to Sterling? I don’t want the Euro. Guess why? Euro notes are OK. Euro Coins are very difficult to distinguish and God alone knows what they make ‘em from but after a couple of years they look tatty as Hell. Look, I can get myself around say US coinage, or Czech or Polish or British but Euros don’t float my boat. OK, so like the Euro coin it’s bimetallic but so is the GBP2 coin which I rather like. “Standing on the shoulders of giants” and all that caper. But dear me! The Euro cents I handled in Amsterdam recently just looked rough – like they came from one of those toy tills. They looked like they had been through a Belgian. Or an Alsation. Something of that kidney. They all look the bloody same yet different. Having different national images is a pain because whereas we have instantly identifiable symbols whereas having a variety of national symbols on the reverse you don’t bloody know – I mean you know if it is German* or French but it isn’t obvious if it is 10c or 20c. It identifies where the coin came from but not what it is worth. Having them all the same colour is a hyper-pain too. The notes work. The coinage doesn’t. And it looks shonky. It doesn’t look like the Euro my dear Fail. It looks nothing like it. I think it looks quite nice. Although by 2017 I bet it won’t buy a Coke but that is another matter. And there is also too many. I like the US system (I know they have other coins) but largely it’s 1,5,10,25 and that is your small onion. Works. OK, the fact that the nickel is bigger than the dime always annoyed me but nothing to the Euro. I also liked the dollar bill. I, being a Brit, am just not used to holding a wad of foldable. I felt like a movie star though in truth I had about enough to go to Wendy’s for a burger. The smallest paper you get here is a fiver which is worth roughly USD8.30**.

But, let’s get back to the score. The pound coin is not being scrapped. The Fail is mongering the scares. It is being replaced. Fair enough. It still has her Britannic Majesty’s head on it. It looks fuck all like a Euro. I quite like it.

*The German one has Norman Foster’s “Friendly Eagle” on it. You know the one that doesn’t invade Poland. And let us all be grateful for that. Because the last time that happened…

**So I say to my wife. “That’s good – can we go to the USA”. Problemo. Myt wife is a translator and is often paid in USD so that isn’t good. Swings and bloody roundabouts. You simply can’t win. You can run but if you do so you’ll only die tired.

It must be true because I read about it in the Daily Mail…

[Editorial note - this story is from a while back but I've been sick as a mangy hound with nastiness so never finished it. I'm back now.]

… except it isn’t. Since childhood I have been an aviation fanatic. I’m astigmatic, somewhat short sighted and RG colour blind. So when I started my degree I spoke to the recruiting officer for the East Midlands Universities Air Squadron and when I explained my ishoos I was told to politely eff off. Having said that would you really trust someone who had to be told what colour Corsodyl toothpaste is with hands on the throttle and stick of a something that costs more than David and Victoria Beckham’s house and can drop JDAMs?

Thought not.

Shame but fair enough I guess. Having said that the highest scoring fighter ace in British history, Major Edward “Mick” Mannock, Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Two Bars, Military Cross and Bar (61 confirmed kills, maybe 73) and that Irishman was blind in one eye (allegedly). He (allegedly) bribed someone in the medical section to get the sight-test chart and memorised it. I think they are a bit more careful these days. Never trust the Irish or the Daily Mail.

Why?

Prince Harry has created a scholarship to get wounded veterans behind the wheel of an iconic Spitfire.

A fine and noble goal except a Spitfire (do we need to be told it is “iconic”? Do we ever need to be told something that actually is iconic is “iconic”?) doesn’t have a wheel. No, seriously. This is a snarky piece but it is aimed against the Mail and not Harry. I knew a lass at Nottingham University who helped out with riding for the disabled. Imagine how freeing it is for a paraplegic to be astride a horse and to gain that speed, height and mobility. A Spit has rather more horses in the front so…

The scheme, inspired by Second World War pilot Douglas Bader, will see the strongest candidates move up from a Tiger Mother biplane, to a Harvard, to the bespoke craft.

A Tiger Mother? God help us! The Harvard though was the RAF’s LIFT at the time so OK there but what’s that with “bespoke”?

Oh, and we had many disabled pilots in WWII. One bloke had nose art on his Spitfire showing the arm he’d had blown off flicking the V-sign.

Harry, an Apache helicopter pilot, launched the scholarship by climbing into the cockpit of a Spitfire and starting it.

Er… He’s an Apache WSO. Whatever.

But this is astonishing…

Not Spitfires

The Mail caption is this, “Britain built about 20,000 Spitfires, but they became obsolete after the invention of the jet engine. Here, a fleet is pictured with wing commander Robert Stanford-Tuck for the 1968 film.”

I’m not even going to point out they are Hurricanes.

I can fact-check stuff in the press. But I have limits. I know about certain areas such as aviation, bits of physics, a few other odds and ends but that is my lot. Worrying isn’t it? How much can the media smuggle past you as “truth” if you don’t know the subject?

I’m just wear my Mr Sceptic hat. I’m not exactly accusing them of making things-up or even of cherry-picking things to reflect their views but of in a fundamental way not really caring about hard truth. I mean that in the sense that the Mail sees the truth of telling a heart-warming story of the dashing young prince driving fast cars for a good cause (which it is) is more important than the awkward little facts. They all do it. What we have to do is behave like small Danish boys and sometimes shout, “But I can see his willy!!!”.

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