27 September 2009

Daily Chat 27/09/09

The Jesuits received their charter from Pope Paul III in 1540.  The Stockton-Darlington Railway began the world's first locomotive-hauled passenger service in 1825.  A Southern Railway mail train called Old 97 jumped the track in 1903, providing the inspiration for this:

[deleted video embed]

(Of course, Hank's version wasn't a patch on my grandfather's, but no one ever recorded his.)

The Balinese tiger was declared extinct in 1937.

Born today:  Cosimo di Medici (1389-1464), Dith Pran (1942-2008) and Meat Loaf (1947).

Yom Kippur begins at sundown.


  1. Morning all.

    Tigers are wonderful looking beasts.

    And the Stockton - Darlington railway led to other engineering feats like the Yarm viaduct. There's a lovely walk along the bank of the Tees, where at one point, the path is at the foot of the viaduct which towers vertically overhead.

  2. And the point I forgot to make:

    On 12 February 1821 at the George & Dragon Inn, the meeting was held that pressed for the third and successful attempt for a Bill to give permission to build the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world's first public railway.

  3. Morning all

    Another lovely day here. Shame I have work to do. Ah well.

  4. BB
    I've looked in from time to time today....but no one around.

  5. Hehehe. It has been quiet today.

    CiF has been a bit bleh aswell - nothing much that inspired me today.

  6. Well, I just got done posting a fairly heavily self-censored comment on Victoria Coren's piece. But other than that, I've been trying to get some work done. Lovely day here and too much stuff that's been ignored. Laundry and dishes are the bane of my existence.

  7. That thread has been bugging me, Montana, because I disagree so totally with the notion that the girl and her teacher were "consensual lovers" and I cannot believe that people are still saying that a level of breach of trust such as has been displayed should be brushed aside with a slap on the wrist because they "love each other", allegedly... ugh.

    Yet I feel like I am just pissing against the wind and might as well not waste my energy.

  8. Agree with you completely, BB, but I had to say something. The notion that it is in any way, shape or form okay is just too repugnant to ignore. And the notion that they're both female somehow makes it okay is just so totally fucked up it makes me want to scream.

  9. Please ignore the atrocious grammar in my previous comment. You know what I mean.

  10. BB/Montana

    Agree with you both, don't see how such a breach of trust can be morphed into consensual love.

    But what about this guys - has got me really steaming from the ears

    It's now illegal to look after a friends kids if the arrangement is reciprocal

  11. Tsk tsk... you a teacher an' all...


    I had a crush on my economics teacher when I was 17. He was gorgeous. But I would have run a mile if he ever came near me. Kids have crushes on teachers all the time. The important thing to remember, though, as you say in your excellent post, is that they are not adults and adults have no business interfering with them.

  12. Sheff - that story is bloody atrocious. What on earth does OFSTED think it's doing? Since when has the government had any standing in private arrangements between friends of any kind relating to family matters, much less deciding that a friend cannot be trusted to look after another friend's kids without regulation?

    I hope these women are going to take this to judicial review. Interesting construct of the term "reward" that OFSTED seem to be employing...

  13. Hank

    Just saw this comment you left me on Friday (soz, haven't been back since before then):

    I've been using them [anti-depressants] for a couple of years. The result has been that my sex drive has disappeared and so I stop up half the night commenting on Cif.

    Yes, that was the same effect they had on my ex. Unfortunately they didn't seem to be nearly as effective on his depression, although they *sometimes* helped - especially with his more extreme self-destructive behaviour. But at the same time, the sex-drive-disappearing bit increased the depression.

    It's not very satisfactory and the white coats need to do better.

  14. just had this sent to me. Interesting visual comparison between what's happening in I/P today and what went on in Mississippi in 1963

    Rita Castelnuovo photographing in I/P

  15. That story is mad - doesn't apply in Scotland I suppose? - we have arrangements like this all the time.


  16. Oh and Hank just saw thauma's note above. I don't know anyone on antidepressants (and I know a few) who has used them for a while without suffering bad side effects. A friend tried a homeopathic remedy and it worked wonders for her.


  17. So two women who wanted to return to work made a mutually acceptable arrangement for childcare and now they're being punished? Jesusfuckingchrist, if that doesn't just take the prize, the cake and the whole nine yards. If I want to entrust my child to the care of whomever I want for as long as I need to, that should be my right. If that person trusts her children to me for a time, that is her right.

    Background checks are meant to be an assurance to parents that strangers are shown to have a certain level of trustworthiness. They should not be applied to casual arrangements between trusted friends.

  18. Edwin

    Practically everyone with kids will have an arrangement like this at one time or another - it's completely bonkers and totally over the top. I think I have finally come to the end of my tether - this bloody regime has really gone mad and we should all bloody well find our balls and do something.

  19. 'Yet I feel like I am just pissing against the wind and might as well not waste my energy.'

    Well, there have been quite a few threads about that particularly 'salacious' tabloid story (including Tatchell), but that's Cif today for you. Gotta get the hits. There's barely even a pretence of serious journalism/discussion any more on Cif.

    btw, I 'resigned' from Cif by Email a few days ago, and told them exactly why, not that they give a fuck. I've asked for my profile and all my comments etc to be deleted, but they haven't done it yet - weekend I suppose.

    We all had this 'righteous indignation' thing a long time ago about the censorship/banning issues. Nothing has changed - the ATL stuff is worse than ever, and the BTL stuff is becoming increasingly inane. Never mind Tony Blair ATL with pre-moderation, how about Judith Miller bigging up Guantanamo, and then the thread being closed anyway? And Bindel on society's sexist response to child-murder and Clanchy on the difficulty of employing nannies. What the fuck is the Guardian doing?

    Anyway, I've put my money where my mouth used to be, and I've jacked it in. I refuse to even peripherally support this travesty that used to be a decent newspaper.

  20. Edwin
    Not sure what the extent of OFSTEDs jurisdiction is, but Scotland has already displayed more sense on things like university fees & social care costs than the London parliament.

    Most of the known world has informal childcare arrangements. It's how many people combine work and family responsibilities when they're not high earners or they choose to leave their kid(s) with someone the kid(s) knows & whom the parent(s) trusts.

    So will this reading of the rule apply to those babysitters who aren't close relatives (exempt according to OFSTED)?

  21. Looks like we all hit the keyboard at the same time here!

    You're an official CiF refusenik now too, eh?

  22. Very 'Russian', mschin, but it's not so much 'refusenik' as 'somevaguesenseofmoralintegritynik'. Although that po-faced claim should be interpreted with roughly equal quantities of humour and moral relativism. :o)

  23. Montana

    You said yesterday:

    well, England, since most Americans think that England and Britain are interchangeable terms

    Don't worry, there's a lot of confusion over here too. And when you add in "UK" and completely overlook Northern Ireland, you're with the majority. The Guardian is guilty of this all the time.

    The childcare thing is too insane to comment on.

    Scherfig - please don't leave Cif only to the loonies.

  24. And just to put my neck on the line, what are the chances of a Cif article tomorrow defending the Ofsted view of these despicable policewomen?

  25. I'll second the call not to leave CiF to the loonies, Scherf. We need more sane voices, not fewer.

    I go through phases where I hardly post at all and think "what's the f00kin point?", then get my mojo back and find something worth contributing about again.

  26. I've posted so little on Cif lately that I feel like an e-mail requesting that they delete my profile and comments would be an empty gesture. The place just doesn't generally interest me too much lately. There are still a few BTL posters that I'd really like to see show up here, but ATL is just pointless. I read Coren, Mitchell, Hyde & Brooker, but very little else.

  27. Scherfig

    are the chances of a Cif article tomorrow defending the Ofsted view of these despicable policewomen?

    Actually I wouldn't have a problem if they did. As far as I'm concerned, they can put up any and all points of view as long as we can rebut them. I'd prefer it if the authors were obliged to answer their critics, but you can't have everything.

    When they put Blair's smug, self-justifying shite in automatic pre-mod, that pisses me off.
    And of course when they delete posts that don't agree with the party line.

  28. That Judith Miller piece was a bloody abomination. Why do they put these things up on the weekend when they know that the mods will be skeleton-staffed, and feel obliged to close them before the evening's out? It was the same with the Richard Pearl piece and the Blair piece that got Jay banned.

  29. Anyway, *boing* is resounding in my ears, so a la mañana, todos.

  30. "Time for bed" said Thaumaturge

    Nighty night x

  31. Night, thauma.

    Having wimped out for the last few nights (flu), I feel obligated to lurk a bit longer.

  32. Fortunately, I didn't see the Judith Miller bit. I tend to avoid the US politics-related threads as there are too many of the right-wing pinheads that I went to Cif to avoid. I don't need the aggravation.

  33. Heh. Don't blame you Montana. Guaranteed to raise your blood-pressure.

  34. Me too to bed, long day good noisy end - saw Battleship Potemkin with BBC Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov - banging percussion!

    Scherfig I resigned in high dudgeon but in truth I was getting bored with myself; didn't mind boring others but boring yourself - goodness time to go!

  35. Edwin - I am sure you don't bore anyone. But if they keep on trotting out the same old articles, you havend up trotting out the same old responses - it's only natural.

  36. re the childcare thing. I have emailed a protest to ofsted. anyone else who wants to - this is their email address


  37. Call me cynical, guys, but Cif now is actually for the loonies. They love it, and they increasingly get the articles they deserve. And a cursory glance at the 'you said it' comments each day will reveal that they can always find a comment supportive of the party line, no matter how scarce those comments are. I quoted an example a while back, can't remember exactly what, but they found a positive comment out of nearly 800 negative ones and highlighted it.

    I suppose my point is that I think that Cif is a total sham regarding 'free speech' and democracy and dialogue, and I simply will not be a part of it any more. The more people who participate, no matter what their political views, the more credence is given to the whole sorry artifice. The Guardian has a political agenda, and it's not really socialist and it's not even 'liberal' outside a narrow Islington definition, and I despise what they now seem to stand for. If we all left the boards to the right-wing nutters which infest them now anyway, what difference would it make to anything? The only outcome I can see is that they would just get tired of it, and eventually nobody would bother commenting at all. I think Cif has had its day. RIP.

  38. Edwin, I take great pride in boring others but have not yet succeeded in boring myself. Although I am working on it.

  39. Sheff

    Good idea, that. Thanks for the addy.

    Scherf - I don't think anything I ever say on CiF will change anything at all. But there is also the aspect of giving your brain something to work on too. I actually enjoy the combat a lot of the time, and it is the only site with a format that allows something remotely resembling proper debate. The Inde format gets on my nerves. The Times is a complete waste of time.

  40. scherfig & Edwin

    I'm quite into boring others too, but defo will give up everything (except coffee & fags) if I bore myself.

    Thanks, sheff. And don't forget to email your MP too .. ;-)

  41. Can't just be us. Even the enticingly titled 'Yarooh! He ejaculated' thread's not attracting much attention.

  42. Have you read it? It's boring.

    I was tempted to post "fap", but i thought it would just be deleted...

  43. I couldn't even be arsed to post a fawning comment on David Mitchell's thread today, even though I agreed with him.

  44. Oh, and scherfig, I agree with what you say at 21:58. I suppose I'm being a hypocrite.

  45. BB
    No chance - they couldn't delete the only comment (aside from the 2 now there which appear to be commenting on another thread?).

  46. Hahahaha! Some nutter has posted on the "ejaculated" thread that jennifer lopez has a fat butt and other nonsense. :D

  47. CiF Apathy Syndrome - that's what is. Or better yet, CiF Atrophy Syndrome.

  48. Or in my case, residual flu lethargy. My bed & hot water bottle call. Good night all.

  49. Time for me to turn in too. School tomorrow.

    Night night all. x

  50. If you're about Your Grace,
    That conversation we almost had last night about 'The People's Bike' and her tragic demise:
    I feel sure that there are 'Dark forces' at work in this fair land who would stop at nothing to ensure that Mo does not turn up at the next coronation shouting "Coo ee" at his royal relatives.

    As for young Harry, I would love to believe that he is the spawn of love rat Hewitt but I fear that he may have inherited his attractive hair colour from his mother's side.
    Speaking of which comrade, why doesn't Andy look like the rest of 'em? Armstrong Jones?