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Going to the Dogs

The End of Days… Salmond’s Revenge.

Have Scottish mutant ginger rats made it across the border? Sixty huge rodents seen scurrying down street in Newcastle.

Get the shotgun and start stock-piling tinned food.

A plague of mutant ginger rats first spotted in Scotland are feared to have made their way south of the border, it was revealed last night.

A shocking video taken by two revellers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne shows 60 large rodents scurrying down the street in a popular area of the city on Saturday.

Now, there are claims the rats could be the same giant ginger species recently spotted 60 miles away in Hawick in the Scottish borders – which were feared to be moving south.

Marc Donaghey, 22, and his girlfriend Brooke Salkeld, 21, captured the footage of around 20 rats – but said in total there were at least 50 or 60 of them running around the street.

Right… Well, “revellers” in tabloid-speak means “pissed” and the numbers seem somewhat fluid but certainly don’t constitute a plague as such.

But on a serious note the council has tried to palm the blame for the infestation on poor waste management of the local businesses but look at the dumpsters…

You wonder what Geordies (or any of us) pay their council tax for…

Beauty tips of the rich and twattish…

Harry Styles swears by a sheep placenta face pack. Harry Styles is the “big-un” of the particularly execrable boy band called No Direction or summat. They are fucking awesomely bad but he has 14 year old girls across the globe melting their knickers like some sort of worldwide gusset Chernobyl. This is Harry Styles…

Harry Styles does this at GBP350 a go “treatment” every 6 weeks in order to retain his “youthful good looks”. Harry Styles is 21.

God help us all. Or send a flood from the firmament or do something.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, if Styles wants to make a complete Bellendius Maximus on his own dime then so what? And if loads of teenage girls want to scream at him and hurl their radioactive knickers at him then that is the libertarian way. Live and let live but it is a sad indictment of the mentality of modern popular culture that he can be one of the biggest stars on this planet.

Apparently he cites Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley and The Beatles as influences…

Apparently he is a Labour supporter… Well, he would be. One is a Millibland and the other is in a Milliband.

Well, fuckadoodledoo!

It is all enough to make St Francis of Assisi himself vomit himself empty with inchoate rage. Into a font

I mean we used to have pop stars that were “unconventional” but they were cool (and had good songs, well sung). Styles is about as rebellious or interesting as a sheep’s afterbirth (obviously unless Heston had done something to it with liquid NO2 with it). Pathetic little scrote what he is.

It’s a bit like Apple or Google etc trying to claim to be “edgy” and “cool” and “anti-establishment” when they are the establishment. They don’t see it anymore. Neither do so many of us.

We are truly on a Journey to the Placenta of the Earth. I call it “The Enblandingment”.

And no, that is not because I am nearly twice the Stylster’s age.

PS. The above link also has the beauty “secrets” of Thomasina Cruise and Gynnie Paltry and others. I can’t be bothered to fisk. Oh and some tart who gets facials with her own centrifuged blood. Do I need to add this all tends to happen in the Bear Republic? I thought not. They’ll be selling fragments of the one true Jobs liver next.

Othello Syndrome.

No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I had all the right A-levels at the right grades to do medicine but I thought physics because I thought I’d rather have a star named for me than a disease. Ho hum! Anyhows do you want a glance at love’s young dream. They are purely belter. They make Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look a bit shop-worn. Get your Nikes on for you shall need them…

Behold…

… but not yet…

A little background first from the Mail

Britain’s most jealous woman to have gastric band surgery on the NHS so husband won’t stray (but he’s still not allowed to watch women on TV) Debbi Wood, 43, is paranoid her husband Steve, 32, will be unfaithful to her
She makes him take lie detector tests and checks his phone and e-mails
She even banned him from watching TV shows featuring women he fancies
Mother-of-two is 21st and wants to lose 10st but cannot afford the surgery
She says she eats a balanced diet and has not had a Big Mac for five years
Size 24 [UK size - different in the US] Mrs Wood has Othello Syndrome which causes delusional jealousy

She even put kiddy filters on his laptop. She lost it because he saw an advert for women’s razors because she thought he was ogling the model’s legs. Can’t blame him. I don’t have a lens suitable to photograph hers – and photography is a particular hobby of mine. Nobody filters my ‘net. I have moves on that score. Theresa May but I don’t. There are ways and means. Anyway if the bird in question (not our own dear Home Sec) is a sea-monster (and she is – call me Ishmael and all that) he is a wet haddock flopping around the dock at Grimsby. Dear Gods she seems obsessed with the possibility he fancies Anne Robinson! I’d consider homosexuality before drawing that card from the bottom of the deck. I quite fancy Cate Blanchett but my wife understands I have a crush on the Lady of Lothlorien. It isn’t an issue (she fancies her too). But Anne Robinson. Dear Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! No, I don’t fancy him either. He spends very little time in North East Cheshire – it would never work out.

Well, she may not have had a Big Mac for five years but she still looks like things I last saw in the Tennessee State Aquarium (well worth a trip BTW – if you like fish but I do – so elegant, so tasty). She looks like she was conceived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and sired by Jabba the Pizza Hutt. To her sea-monster we have his wet fish. I’d best show you the next A-list couple…

…Be afraid… very afraid.

null

I assume that is them on their wedding day. Now, don’t get me wrong. Ugly people can bump their uglies (and he might be hung like a Grand National Winner) but he’s a got less substance than a string of cat-piss and she looks like Grendel’s Ma.

Now I have gone with the comedy here. I couldn’t help myself (clearly I am not alone on that score) but there are serious points here. What is love? Is a gastric band really the answer? I suspect her head is a bigger issue than her belly. As I said at the kick-off I’d never heard of Othello Syndrome. So is she paranoid (and he ain’t exactly the catch of the day) because she’s obese or she’s obese because she’s bonkers in the nut? Who knows? Now… I have had a number of relationships myself and have of course known many other people who had them but I can’t see how any sexual relationship can survive at all with that total lack of trust.

Is it perhaps just me but is this bizarre relationship almost a reality TV stunt. I don’t mean “put-up” by the TV but that two deeply unattractive characters (and I’m not just talking the physicalities here) see it as the only game in town? I mean if you have no skills, talent, physical attractiveness, anything really you just debase yourself. Andy Warhol got it wrong. Oh, he was (as ever) sort of on the money but 15 minutes was way too generous.

I have to add that The Mail article despite it’s stuff about Othello syndrome (neatly illustrated by a picture of Lenny Henry) leaves out Iago. Is there an Iago in Leicester. We need to know!

Julia is mint.

We had quite a snowfall overnight. I go out this morn to buy a lighter. As you do. It was lethal on the lane. I fell and spacked the little finger on my right.

But as I walked home I passed the bin by Sayeed’s newsagents. Someone had scrawled “Julia is mint” in the snow on the top of it.

I have no idea if Julia is indeed “mint” but if she is then I’d like to meet her.

I suspect she ain’t all that.

That is the tragedy of the World. Julia almost certainly isn’t “mint”. She’s probs a tuppence ha’penny scrubber. She probs swallows rather than spits but she does that with anyone.

I could be wrong.

I usually am.

Give Appeasement a Chance*

Everybody’s talking about
Terrorism, Islamism, extremism, point-the-fingerism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody’s talking about
GOP vulture, spy culture, mess up, ‘fess up,
Prisoner hoarding, waterboarding, secret torture, now we’ve caught ya.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody should be talking about
Sainthood, brotherhood, fluffy kittens, woollen mittens,
Inviting Osama’s buddies for tea (let’s forget Obie threw him into the sea)
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody stop talking about
Suicidal blame game, WTC up in flames,
Thousands dead, this is an auto da fe what’s to be said?
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

No, I don’t condone torture although I do accept that sometimes it is a necessary evil and hard decisions have to be made.

No I don’t believe showing the terrorists this level of state weakness and cowardice will in any way stop them trying to destroy us all. In fact I believe it will encourage them.

Yes, I do believe that Obama is salting the earth before the next US election. Forcing an entire nation to fall on its own sword in order to crush one’s political opponents (no, not the terrorists) is not the way a sane person would go about it.

Obama had the chance to close down Guantanamo, I seem to recall it was one of his electioneering promises before he became POTUS. But he didn’t.  Let’s not forget that this is also the creature who wanted to bomb the crap out of Syrians and was thwarted by the democratic process. He’s a thrice damned hypocrite. And he has fatally weakened the country he is supposed to protect and damaged its international standing. It is world class hubris.  It makes him either very vindictive or very stupid. I vote for both.

*Apologies to John Lennon for torturing his lyrics.

No good deed ever goes unpunished…

Two church pastors and a 90-year-old man were charged for feeding homeless people in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, under a strict new city ordinance that virtually bans private groups from handing out food.

Yes, you read that right. In the Bible loins (below the Bible belt) it is very difficult to help the homeless off your own bat.

Despite a looming court date and the threat of being fined or jailed for violating the ordinance, the men said they plan to feed more needy later Wednesday.

Homeless activist Arnold Abbott, 90, and Christian ministers Dwayne Black of the Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale and Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs were handing out meals in a park on Sunday, two days after Fort Lauderdale’s ordinance took effect, when police approached them with their sirens flashing, Black said. The three were issued citations and face a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.

So, why?

The ordinance — the fourth one that Fort Lauderdale has passed this year concerning the homeless — requires groups handing out food to homeless to be at least 500 feet away from residential properties. It limits feeding sites for homeless to one in any given city block, and prevent feeding sites from being within 500 feet of each other.

Ah, property prices! The Golden Calf of our generation. A clear example of wishing the homeless, the destitute and generally undesirable away from the shining citadels. There is of course another reason which I shall get to later.

Black said the threat of police charging them again won’t stop him and Abbott, who runs a non-profit organization called Feed Thy Neighbor, from handing out meals on a public beach Wednesday evening.

“As a Christian, it’s pretty clear,” he said. “Feed thy sheep. Take care of them.”

Fort Lauderdale police said they were aware of Black and Abbott’s plans, and said they had clashed with Abbott before.

Don’t they have murderers, rapists, burglars and such to deal with without nicking a 90 year old man and a couple of pastors for trying to help the interstitial?

Legislative action criminalizing the distribution of food to homeless people is picking up speed across the U.S. More than 30 cities have passed or are considering such bans, with advocates arguing that allowing ministries and others to hand out meals aggravates homelessness by luring homeless people away from city-run programs.

See what I mean by “interstitial”? These are folks who walk between the raindrops of government provision. Mr Abbott and his friends are doing an unalloyed good. What the authorities hate more than anything is singular acts of kindness that aren’t regulated and controlled by them. The fact that people are acting directly to help the utterly potless matters not a jot to them. I mean for the sake of God himself how the fuck can giving food to the poorest of the poor off one’s own bat be a crime? Of course it is if it shows up the dismal state provision for the sham it is and if it depresses house prices* for those who can afford a house. Talk about “I’m alright Jack” and pulling up the last ladder on the Zeppelin and twirling your mustache and cackling.

For myself I am disgusted that this is happening in a state I know well (from Panhandle to Key West) which I always found friendly and quite Christian. There is nothing Christian about this law. Surely, by any stretch of the imagination on a public beach giving away food isn’t wrong. It may be illegal now but legality is not the same as right or wrong. A naive person like me would regard a public place as somewhere you can do what you want (within reasonable law) but you decide to commit an act of charity there you find out who really owns it and it ain’t the people is it?

This is a fundamental libertarian issue. It is a marriage made in Hell between the house price fetishists and the statists – or modern politics as it’s otherwise known. It is hideous.

It is wrong. When charity can no longer be spontaneous we have lost something too precious to be measured.

All quotes from NBC but it’s been all over the ‘net.

*I seem to recall one of the major causes of the Great Depression of the ’30s being kicked off by a Florida housing bubble.

Modern Art & Godzilla’s Butt-Plug

Now, don’t call me old fashioned here. I am a liberal kinda guy butt (ho ho!) this shocked me…

This is Paul McCarthy’s “sculpture” “Tree” exhibited (this stuff writes itself) in France. The only reason I spotted that was I first misread the link as “Paul McCartney’s butt-plug in Paris”.

Anyway, it lacks any artistic merit other than the capacity to shock. Now, I note I said I was shocked but not in the way Paul McCarthy meant. It isn’t “challenging”, it’s just dreadful. It’s shocking in a way because it is so boring.

Marcel Duchamp produced “challenging” art a hundred years ago and some of it was quite clever. This is more sh’ite than an Ayatollah. Things that I am specifically interested in such as maths, physics, aviation and computing have made tremendous advances in the last 100 years but art seems stuck in a rut of childish petulance where you can win a Turner Prize (God knows what Turner would make of it) for puking into a jiffy bag and mailing it to The Pope.

So, this “installation” was vandalized by outraged Parisians and whilst I deplore vandalism I can kinda see where they were coming from. Oddly enough the first Dada exhibition actually provided a hammer for visitors to smash the exhibits. That was new and dappy and kinda cool back then. It has now become very serious. It has caused Mr McCarthy to do this…

McCarthy decided against re-erecting the Tree, which was deflated by security officials, and has instead planned an artistic response. Paris Mint spokesman Guillaume Robic said the chocolate factory was already up and running and had been producing 250 chocolate Father Christmas figurines, each with a butt plug, each day for the past few days. Eleven rooms where the figurines are stocked have been made dark to resemble a long tunnel. Visitors will be able to move through the halls, where there will be a strong smell of chocolate, and where a video and “aggressive sounds” will be playing. “It’s a dream, or a nightmare,” Robic said. “It reflects the aggressiveness that McCarthy felt after what happened in the Place Vendôme.”

The chocolate factory – a reproduction of a 2007 installation by McCarthy in New York – is operated by pastry makers who have been trained to perform by McCarthy.

Alas dear reader you can’t expect a butt-plugged choccy-wocky Santa in your Christmas box for they go on sale in January.

I shall re-iterate I am not a philistine and I like some modern art but what really shocks me is the capacity of these folk to get away with shock for the sake of shock. More than that the capacity of certain people to fall for it. I mean it isn’t shocking in the way intended. I mean you can buy a butt-plug in Anne Summer’s on Market Street in Manchester. There is nothing shocking about McCarthy other than he is considered shocking, provocative, challenging etc which he isn’t any more than a small child having their tenth tantrum of the day.

I might go out with my watercolours and paint landscapes of the Peak District. Now that would flummox the critics.

But before I go… I have to mention the “comedian” Jimmy Carr who apparently at a music awards do recently made some off-colour remarks about Oscar Pistorius. Oh, they were edgy! They just weren’t funny. To commandeer a phrase from the Duke of Wellington, “In comedy there is no substitute for being funny”.

Like Paul McCarthy (with his admittedly hilarious strop on (or should that be strap-on?)) Jimmy Carr has jumped so many sharks he ought to be working at Sea World.

It is the same thing. I am not offended except by the fact I am expected to take offence. If your only trick is to offend the Daily Mail and Nick ain’t leaping at the bait I couldn’t give a…

…I could have used some “bad words” there but what is the point?

I mean these are people who shouldn’t get a fuck in a monkey whore-house with a truck-load of bananas.

Without a…

From the BBC

A dog walker found a human leg behind a Conservative social club in Greater Manchester, prompting a police search and the discovery of a body.

The body was found close to Healey Conservative Club in Whitworth, near Rochdale.

The adult limb was found on Sunday afternoon. It is not yet clear how long the leg had been there or whether it belonged to a man or a woman.

Lancashire Constabulary said dogs were being used in a search of the area.

The Conservative club declined to comment.

Well, what, frankly, do you say?

This is in my neck of the St John’s… I have found curious things. I have never found a leg. Thank God for small mercies. I think it would upset me for a while. But then as a Newcastle fan you learn to get over such regrettable things.

Put it this way. Given that Rochdale is notorious for kiddie-fiddling including the late Cyril Smith MP.

Emmentalish

Is Kim Jong ill? North Korean dictator in poor health as his weight has ballooned thanks to an obsession with cheese.

That is Kim Jong Un who is 31! Hell’s Teeth I like a bit of cheese and being a European there is a lot of it about. Say what you like about Europe (including the UK) we make formidable cheese. We do because we are free(ish). This is the reason the North Koreans can’t make decent cheese despite being a nation of 25 million.

So Comrade Kim is eating himself to death whilst the proles (and isn’t communism meant to be about the proles?) are starving. Apparently Dear Leader Kim got on the Emmental train following his education in Switzerland. Well, that is nice. I can honestly say that my assorted travels have changed my tastes but I can’t say, oddly enough, that, say, learning olives were nice in Spain or that certain fish was very nice in Florida (and there is some good fishing off FL) ever meant bizarre imports for just me whilst everyone else starved. That is obscene.

Defector Cho Myung-Chul, of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said: ‘North Koreans think being fat is good, unlike South Koreans who want to be skinny.’

Well, currently Nick Witchell is on the telly. The telly is a Samsung. It is not by any means the only thing I own from the Korean Republic. Let us be honest. Celebrating fatness is what you do when you are so poor you have to eat grass.

So in the name of communism the people are dying of starvation whilst the boss is doing death by cheesing. It is shocking.

He is understood to be furious that the Pyongyang Dairy has continually failed to produce an Emmental-style cheese of a high enough quality to satisfy his demands.

Well, oddly enough, I walked down the road yesterday and bought some very nice Emmental from the local shop. In a real sense I am (cheese-wise) a richer man than a dictator of 25m souls. I can buy cheese. The Supreme Potentate of North Korea can’t. And God knows what the poor folk can do.

The news comes as North Korea branded the U.S. ‘a graveyard of human rights’, criticising the nation in the wake of the Missouri riots following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Err… I have been to the USA several times and whilst, obviously, it ain’t perfect it is way better than North Korea. Actually it is incomparable. They are taking the piss.

So who agrees…

China, Iran and Russia have previously criticised America following the shooting and the crackdown on protesters following the shooting in the town of Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis.

I think that is enough said.

There’s a hole in my bucket…

… dear Liza, dear Liza. etc. [Repeat to fade]. Apparently all hell has broken out in Manchester because of a hole in the road. Except the Manchester Evening News prefers to refer to it as a “crater”.

Now this is a crater…

This, on the otherhand is a hole in the road…

Just look at the barricades! And why close both lanes? Why? And where is Prof. Quatermass when we need him?

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!!!

All the King’s Horses and…

…not too many tanks.

From Breitbart a couple of days back…

The Times reports that thousands will gather in Wiltshire today to mark the merger of Britain’s two remaining tank regiments amid concerns that the move could be misguided as tensions with Russia increase.

After a decade fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan with just light infantry, heavy armour became seen as outdated. However, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its continuing actions on eastern Ukraine, there are now calls to change priorities.
Lieutenant-General Sir Andrew Ridgway, a long-serving tank officer who is now Colonel of the Royal Tank Regiment, said: “Going down to the small number [of tanks] that we are going to have in future is taking a risk. But defence capability is like insurance: You don’t have the insurance you want. You have the insurance you can afford. The crucial thing is to get your priorities right, to make sure the things you really need are what you have.”

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon* added: “Recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria appear to signal the demise of the tank but activities in Ukraine especially and Gaza might suggest this is a little premature.”

No. It is worse than that. It is the perennial military error of always preparing for the previous war. And given the decades lead time (why?) for mil-tech to hit the ramp we could easily be caught flat-footed.

This weekend’s merger is especially ironic as it takes place as Britain prepares to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of its entry into First World War. It was during that war that Britain pioneered modern heavy armour, introducing the first ever tank into active service in 1916.

By the end of the First World War, Britain had 25 tank regiments, rising to 44 after World War II.

And then there was one..

However, from today there will only be one Royal Tank Regiment, which will have 56 Challenger 2 tanks. Two other regiments – The King’s Royal Hussars and the Queen’s Royal Hussars – will also each have 56, bringing to total number of tanks in the army to 168.
This means tanks the modern British Army now has fewer tanks than horses, and also puts the UK behind many smaller countries, including neutral Switzerland.

168 tanks. That is piss-poor and not being able to take mighty Switzerland on is dismal.

General Ridgway said he did not want the number of tanks to fall any further: “We really have reduced to a very low level,” he said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The Army has been redesigned so that it is more adaptable, agile and can continue to respond to future threats. The amalgamation of 1 and 2 RTR is part of these plans and will not affect our ability to deal with modern threats including the use of a wide range of armoured vehicles and tanks.

“Alongside our allies, we take recent events in Ukraine extremely seriously. That is why we have taken measures aimed at reassuring our Nato allies in Eastern Europe such as UK participation in a major land exercise in Poland involving 1,300 troops and more than 300 military vehicles as announced by the Defence Secretary earlier this week.”

That’ll put the wind up Pooty Poot.

I Say It’s Spinach

So this is dedicated to Nick (and the first part of it is meant in the spirit of friendly teasing; no serious criticism intended). It was brought on by his response to the discussion on “Bibi to Obama,” but somehow it got so long and was so far O/T that I thought I really shouldn’t entirely derail that discussion. Hence the new posting. It happened like this….

Nick ended his passionate defense of the Israelis’ contributions to the Global Good by referring to their improvements in computer technology thus:

NickM
August 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Write a program once and… I have more computing power on my lap in this Lenovo S440 Thinkpad than probably existed in 1960 on the planet. The CPU was designed in Israel.

Never one to keep to the subject, I interjected the question,

Nick, one can actually program that sucker?

meaning the Lenovo Thinkpad, that is.

Nick responded to that:

NickM
August 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm

You don’t program a computer, you program a language. I know BASIC (I love BASIC – it’s great for five minute calculations and “sketching ideas”), Pascal, Fortran(!!!) and a few scripting type stuff like Javascript. And of course HTML and CSS but that’s not quite the same thing. I’m quite good in a limited sense – basically mathematics is my thing. I’ve been considering learning to write Android apps. I never could hack Machine Code and whilst I can write basic C, C++ defeated me. I just didn’t get the object-orientated paradigm. Part of the problem with learning C (and it’s descendants such as C++ and C# is the flexibility of syntax which means other folks programs can be unbelievably cryptic).

I adored that response, because I too am a HUGE fan of Fortran. Besides, it offered me an opportunity to issue a correction, a hobby of mine which, surprisingly, some people seem to find tiresome. Ah well, their loss…. :)

So I commenced, and the thing grew, and, well, here we are. Or here I am anyway. You, dear reader, may have gone on to washing your hair, or cleaning the groove in the patio door….

* * *
Nonsense, Mr. Mc[I-forget-the-rest] *g*. You program a computer IN a language. You USE a language to program a computer (in any given particular case). More correctly still, you write a program FOR (or to be RUN ON) a computer IN a language. I trust this clarifies the matter. *haughty sniff*

By the way, one does not write “machine code.” At least, not unless you mean writing in actual hex, or octal, or, to really get right down to it, binary. And it is insulting and fake elitism to talk about “writing code*” or saying something gaggingly sophomoric like “do they ship code on time.” Yes, I’m looking at you, Eric Raymond.

*Toward the end of my “career,” there developed a custom where System Engineers designed the layout of programs, including writing the specs; these were handed off to the “programmers,” who (I guess) drew up flow-charts and indicated where blocks of instructions (i.e. “code,” f’rgod’ssakes) would go, and passed those on to mere “coders,” who wrote out the actual instructions comprising the program. Division of labor, don’tcha see.

The upshot of that was that real programmers, now called “coders,” got a bad name as being the less-than-bright grunts of the data-processing hierarchy. I hope this dreadful faux-efficiency-system dropped dead long ago. Complete modularity in creative endeavors does not work.

But as to the main point. Basic rocks. No it is NOT a “toy”; it comes within hailing distance of Fortran. And Fortran IV-G or IV-H, awesome !!! is the only high-level language worth using professionally. Ahem. At the lower level, Assembler (for the S/360-370) and its cousins in the Assembly Language level, Autocoder for the 1401 and 7070 series, Map for the 7090-7094, so forth are the best of the best.

I LOVED Fortran and Assembly Languages, specifically Fortran IV and Assembler. You could get at the machine! You could tell it step by step exactly what to do, you could make it change its instructions, you could tell it to stop using valuable space for instructions and stick some data in there instead, and vice-versa. You could probably have told it to unplug itself, and then plug itself back in!

You sure couldn’t do that with COBOL. COBOL was for people who couldn’t be trusted to go messing about with the machine’s insides. Such things as “peek” and “poke,” even, could not be allowed to Business Types who probaby needed help tying their shoelaces.

I used to try to write COBOL in Fortran, just because of the whole logorrhea business. Thankfully I subsequently worked for an outfit that actually had programmers. Assembler, YUM.

Nick, do not feel like the Lone Ranger. I have messed about a bit with C and follow-ons, and as far as I can tell, the object of so-called OOP languages is to complify, complify, complify. The syntax would seem to defy any vaguely-human logic. Ostensibly these languages were developed so that any fool could read and understand at once any other fool’s program. Tchah! In any case, I was trying to correct an information deficit, as is my Nature, but not trying to put biscuits on the table, so lacking that incentive, in the end I treated the Book as the Koran was not treated by the boorish wardens at Guantánamo, and never looked back. :>))

. . .

Really, there’s nothing mysterious about the basic idea. In assembly languages and the next level of languages, Fortran, COBOL, whatever else qualifies, you have “routines,” which — and this is all as it was denominated in my day, back before the Silurian Epoch — meant the entirety of a program. Some portions of the program were dedicated to particular tasks and were distinct enough from other portions to be little mini-programs — “subroutines” — in their own right.

Somewhere along the way some bright language-designer or programmer (they once upon a time occupied the same physical body, can you imagine!) figured out that some of those subroutines were used often enough that it would be convenient to plunk them down, pre-fabricated, into his program. So he dreamed up a way to “call” the subroutine from within the main program. This little block of instructions that executed the “subroutine call” was incorporated into the main program with a special name or mock op-code of its own. IIRC, which I might not, in Fortran you just wrote “Call so-and-so” and then wrote a list of parameters the called subroutine would use.

Of course, you could get the exact same result by branching to the subroutine in the normal way, provided you knew where everything was (Assembly languages, Fortran). But the Subroutine Call was more elegant in a way, and when it was properly written at the assembly-language level (or IN Fortran FOR Fortran programs) you could use it pre-fab in any program into which it could be compiled. (Assembler subroutines for Assembler programs, Fortran subroutines for Fortran programs, even COBOL subroutines for COBOL programs, etc., though the subroutine itself might not be in the same language.)

Thus were developed Subroutine Libraries, which when you licensed whatever language and its compiler from whomever (by which I imagine I mean, chiefly, IBM) you could get the subroutine library as well, with all its useful pre-fab routines.

Then, some dingbat had the idea of obfuscating the basic logic of the pre-fabbed subroutines system by calling these subroutines “macros.” So now instead of having a subroutine call in a program, you used a “macro,” which as far as I could tell was just the same old thing under a new name.

Macros were used in Assembly languages, like Map and Assembler. I can’t remember if Autocoder had any macros or not. When we got our first Mac, a Mac Plus, it still had macros. In that case at least (and in Excel) one could write one’s own macros. But they were still just subroutines.

Now we have Object-Oriented Programming languages, OOPs. Indeed! In which, I gathered, the idea was to write programs by assembling blocks or “modules” of “code” (read, putting together various sets of subroutines) to accomplish the program’s results.

The syntax would appear to be a nightmare. Why go through all that when you can just haul out the ol’ Fortran, or the appropriate assembly language for the machine-cum-OS.

I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.

Top Gun, Bottom Prices…

Ever wanted to re-enact Top Gun scenes with your own privately owned fighter jet, well the RAF have helped two people do just that.

Erm… Well, I have never wanted to be a midget squealing, “Speak to me Goose!” whilst battling with my latent homosexuality during the least realistic dog fight ever committed to celluloid. If that would have been for real and I’d been in a “Mig-28″ Mr Cruise would have taken an early bath.

The military service allowed a 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 jump-jet and 1988 Panavia Tornado F3 to be auctioned off without a reserve.

The Harrier was sold to a gentleman from Essex for £105,800 while the Tornado was sold at a relative snip at £36,800 to a female pilot.

Wowsers! Now, obviously what 2&8 the Tornado is in is but still that is not an especially pricey sports car! God knows where I would have parked it but it certainly gains the drop on the Current Vauxhall Corsa. Get that up to 80 and it shakes like the Millenium Falcon getting up to light-speed.

Nice to see things what cost millions going for a song though.

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.

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