11 October 2009

Daily Chat 11/10/09

An earthquake believed to measure 8.5 on the Richter scale devastated Aleppo, Syria in 1138.  Historical records suggest that 230,000 people were killed.  In 1634, a tidal storm called the Burchardi Flood slammed the Nordfriesland coast, killing from 8,000 to 15,000 people.  The Sack of Wexford occurred in 1649.  Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council in 1962.  The first episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live was aired in 1975.  The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed in 1982.

Born today:  Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), Elmore Leonard (1925), Thich Nhat Hanh (1926), Bobby Charlton (1937) and Dawn French (1957).

Here in the USA, we're observing National Coming Out Day.


  1. 'The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed in 1982.'

    And Terry Wogan had a parallel story on the radio about the raising of a Raleigh bike from a pond - ah golden pond, golden days!

  2. Good morning all!

    I see from WDYWTTA that eviltory isn't too happy about being modded on a Toynbee piece, despite getting over 100 recommends for his post.

  3. Great piece by annetan over on CiF, folks.

  4. I think my tortoise is a radical feminist. Got to go and buy some game now, back with more later.

  5. MsChin
    Yes, it's a good one, thanks for the heads up.

  6. Morning all

    Good article, Annetan!

  7. Yep, good article, anne. It should be blindingly obvious that more money needs to go into mediation. The adversarial nature of the legal system only exacerbates the hostility between divorcing couples, and it's inevitable that one party will feel like a loser in a court settlement, thus increasing their bitterness.

    I was relatively lucky in that me and my ex were able to sort out the money and access issues ourselves.

  8. God that Balantyne is such a wanker.

  9. You mean the anti-smoking guy? What a dick. Seriously. Children should be able to report their parents to the police for smoking in their presence?

    The guy is a fascist.

  10. He's a fucking cock.
    Right. More gin.

  11. Brilliant!
    Pigs engaging in identity fraud!


  12. Gin?

    I say, old chap, the sun isn't even over the yard-arm yet, is it?

    (I'm drinking vino...)

  13. On my ferret's grave, that video is absolutely brilliant.

    It really makes me want to give up eating pork, though - how can we eat something that is so bloody intelligent?

  14. Grrr.... children! You can't live with 'em and you can't kill them.

    I have just spent ages making a lovely vegan aduki bean dish with onions, peppers, tomato puree, red wine, all delicately seasoned and mixed with love.

    And the little bugger comes down stairs and says "I don't want any dinner."


  15. Send him round to me BB - he can share my beans on toast. Not known for their gratitude teenagers.

  16. (A point of order, in case you start accusing me of being an Islington hippy - he is the vegan, not us. We are having beef stew. )

  17. Sheff - drives me nuts sometimes. On the other hand he can be surprisingly considerate at other times, so I shouldn't complain really. He made me some oven chips for my "lunch" :o)

  18. Hi all. Busy day yesterday helping a freind out with her family problems; not to mention still having to fill in with DH for the manager, so I've only caught up on what's been happening.

    @ Anne:

    Brilliant ATL item that only goes to show how poor much of the contributions by Guardian regulars are.

    Otherwise, had a look at the anti-smoking piece. Reminds me of the "South Park" episode about tolerance in which the kids are taken to the Museum of Tolerance & then confronted with a smoker being subjected to abuse.

    As I've commmented on other such threads, I visit Egypt on a regular basis; where smoking in public places is perfectly acceptable (though don't try the Cleopatra Lights, they're killers :)) & it's amazing how so many, supposedly liberal, people complain that their own values - i.e. smoking bans - can't be imposed upon another country. I seriously enjoy the apple tinged scent of peopple smoking a shisha, as it instantly evokes a sense of being somewhere that the prevaling philosophy of, "Insh Allah, bukra mallesh" (If God is willing, then it'll happen tomorrow, so mever mind.) takes over & all the day to day presures of normal life just seem to disappear, prevails.

    Then again there's the Victoria Coren thread, in which she seems to be advocating the idea that electronic media should replace printed books. No, no, no. I work in IT & I really wouldn't want this to happen. Nothing can replace the pleasures of getting away from a computer & curling up with a good book

  19. On the anti-smoking fascism thing: this'd be a lot easier to accept as a grievance if smoke didn't smell so fucking awful and wasn't genuinely poisonous. And don't try and claim that partitioned areas for smokers and non-smokers work; they don't. If someone lit a pot of tar and horseshit in a restaurant, you'd soon be complaining.

  20. Oh, and from Whaddya, without comment:
    "I have been at the other site ( wink wink) and have ( even tho I say so myself) caused havoc and destruction..it is so flippin easy ..I miss them here and had forgotten how easy they are to 80nk ! :)"

  21. BB, good isn't it ?

    fencewalker, yes it's a shit habit no doubt, but that Duncan chap is shuch a self righteous cnut.

  22. Bitterweed

    Damn right about that bloke. None so sanctimonious as the apostate.

    Fencewalker - yes, you are right that it is stinky and noxious. And I would not expect the smoking ban to be repealed because even smokers I know appreciate being able to go out for an evening and not come back with their hair and their clothes stinking.

    But you really cannot tell me that smoking outside is causing danger to anyone - given the amount of much that is chucked out of the back end of the average car as it passes.

    Also the downside to no smoking in clubs is quite obvious. All you can smell now is sweat and other people's farts. Except for Fabric where they pump out a kind of incense smell (presumably to disguise those that still smoke weed in there).

  23. "It really makes me want to give up eating pork, though - how can we eat something that is so bloody intelligent?"

    If they're so damn clever, what are they doing in my casserole, BB? I'm cooking pork cheeks tonight - delicious.

    D'you really think VC is saying that, GP01? Seems like a joke to me.

    Agreed about Annetan's thread; a pleasure to read. She might have made some attempt to wind someone up though: think of the clicks.

  24. Martillo

    Hopefully, like the ones in Animal Farm, they will learn to stand on two legs. Then we will be in trouble.

    (Amazed at my little ratties' ability to stand on their hind legs when they are nosing about. Was cleaning them yesterday and put them in a bucket with some bedding, but had to watch for them escaping as they are more than capable of standing on their hind legs and launching themselves up the side of it. Little buggers.)

  25. No Martillo,I thought VC was looking for excuses for why her book hasn't sold that well. I mean, come on, if we take even the small subset of society that makes up TU, then there must be a lot of people out there buying books (by my own admission on the thread, I tend to stick to obscure non-fiction) so her idea that nobody buys books these days is a non-starter.

    As for electroninc media replacing the printed word, come on, this would eclude those who can't afford to buy the latest system from acquiring knowledge & enjoyment.

    Sorry, but I've always been a great supporter of public libraries, simply because they give everyone of us, with an interest in any subject under the Sun the opportunity to delve furhter into that interest. You don't need to have money, or letters after your name, all you need to do is figure out the Dewey Decimal System & you can find anything you want; simply because someone has taken the time to put an author's words into print.

    Once things go all electronic I really cannot see the producers of such things catering for those who's interests are outside what many would consider the mainstream; just wouldn't sell well enough.

    Additionally, if reports, on thread, are correct, then you aren't going to be buying the book. The e-publisher will alwyas be able to delete it automatically, on your device. So you'ree only going to be renting a title.

    Sorry. but there are many cases where the ability to go back to discredited theories is useful, regardless of the validity of the ideas therein, in the light of new evidence (I need only think of the Tut-ankh-Amun was murdered theories inspired by a misaligned X-ray plate for an example).

  26. Thanks martillo- I don't find it very easy to wind people up.

    I think even my reply to BTH was too polite. If he comes back at me I will try to be rude I promise! ;)

  27. GP01

    "The e-publisher will alwyas be able to delete it automatically, on your device. So you'ree only going to be renting a title. "

    I find that actually quite a sickening prospect. You pay for something, but it isn't "yours" to do with as you wish is a tad like the argument of not being "allowed" to rip the CD you just purchased to your computer to download onto your MP3 player.

  28. Fencewalker - Berchie's been over here?

    No to unsubstantiated claims of trolling on CiF!

    As for Ballantyne's piece, smoking in cars should be banned? I accept the argument that it might be distracting if you're driving while fiddling about lighting a fag, but passengers banned from smoking in a private vehicle? Load of bollocks.

  29. On my ferret's grave, we've got a Palin groupie on Waddya. For Flavoursome Sausages!

  30. Anne - I have just seen BTH's post. So he is sure a judge would grant contact to a father who can demonstrate he is responsible and committed, eh?

    Good. Glad he thinks so. All he needs to do now is to convince the judges that this is what they should do and life will be hunky-dory.

  31. BB:

    God, I know I'm dyslexic, but I didn't think my typing was that bad.

    I'll often go back to discredited research, so as to counter those who use it in support of their arguments. Now, I always make a point of paying for anything I reference, but if I was to come up against our favourite Finn & her quite ludicrous assertions that Ancient Egypt was a matriarchal society, I could, under the reported conditions of purchasing an e-book, find myself inthe position of not being able to access the required reference, because the e-publisher had withdrawn the source material.

    Even worse is the thought that you could buy an e-copy of a book, read it & then find that, if you want to read it again, the publisher has deleted it; with no notification to you.

    Bollocks if you ask me.

  32. Don't think raspewtin's gonna last long on Cif. Shouldn't look at his latest missive if I were you, BB.

    @montana - you've got mail...

  33. GP01 - precisely.

    Not to mention the possibility that the author could amend his work and upload a different version to you at the publisher's whim. Very Winston Smith.

    I don't like this idea at all. Dead trees notwithstanding.

  34. Anne - I have launched into our friend. He is talking complete bollocks.

  35. BB:

    Illegitimii nil carborundum; as my complete lack of Latin allows me to say.

    I was the absentee father; work required me to be away for weeks at a time, but that wasn't the excuse for refusing contact; I either agreed to her conditions or she would have accused me of being a paedophile. Not what you need when you were working with the Police, at the time.

  36. Well, the Bannatyne dude is pretty extreme. While I think it's pretty shitty and selfish for a parent to smoke in a car with a child who's asked them not to, I would say that they have the right to do so.

    I'm conflicted about smoking in pubs. On the one hand, smoking and having a drink do seem to be a hand in glove combination and I'm guessing that most people who frequent pubs are smokers. I don't recall ever being particularly bothered by cigarette smoke in pubs. I think there is an acclimatisation factor, though. In those days, I'd have been around smokers fairly frequently. These days, I'm hardly ever around cigarette smoke, so the tiniest whiff really chokes me up.

    But some of the things that smokers say to try to defend themselves are just risible. Trying to compare being a smoker to being a discriminated-against ethnic minority, for one. Smoking is a choice. One's ethnicity is not.

    The car comparison is a bit of a farce, too. I think it's fairly safe to assume that most smokers also drive cars, so there's no moral high ground for a smoker to take. For most of us, cars are a necessary evil. I would absolutely love to not own a car, but I simply have to have one. American towns simply aren't pedestrian friendly. Nothing necessary about smoking.

    And as an asthmatic, I can tell you that, yes, it is possible to have an attack triggered by the cloud of smoke that one often has to pass through to enter a building. Asthma is a tricky and scary condition to have. Mine is generally mild and easily managed, but even asthmatics with generally mild and easily managed symptoms can have sudden, unpredictable and potentially fatal attacks. So, you see, those allegedly harmless smoke clouds outside building entrances or at bus stops or wherever, could actually kill someone.

    On other subjects:

    Berchmans? Berchmans? What the hell did anyone here ever do to Berchmans that he would want to cause trouble over here?

    And I'm thinking Falconreef and Raspewtin aren't what they appear to be.

  37. Hank

    He's on a wind up. "Kick your cunt off" is an interesting idea. He clearly doesn't have much of an idea of female anatomy.

  38. One of the most obnoxious things I've seen on Cif. And I'm not easily obnoxed.

  39. Thing is, GP01, she's a professional columnist and a pretty good one as far as I'm concerned. I think she just reads a piece of news ('the kindle is the final nail in the coffin for books or some such') and plays around with the idea. And isn't 1,000 hardback sales pretty good? If I ever finish one of mine, I'll be pretty damn pleased with figures like that.

    Don't try to be rude, Annetan! That's what I loved about your article...

  40. Been a bit 'can't make me mind up' all day today. Don't know whether to walk the whippet, polish the clogs or watch the X Factor results show.

    Berchman's a class act btw.

  41. I daren't comment on the smoking thread cos I get so worked up. All I really ask for is separate places so I can have a drink and a fag. Not that it bothers me that much, living in Spain. I never smoke with kids around, which is why I'd prefer to have smoking bars and restaurants.

  42. You could watch the clogs, polish the whippets and walk the X-factor results indtead MF...

  43. Well, Martillo, considering my reading matter; & thise I've spoken to who've written it, 1000 copies is a good figure for sales, but to suggest that this indicates that either people aren't buying books these days or that electronic meiai should replace the printed word is, to me, ridiculous.

    Even allowing for the fact that there will always be those who have to have the latest gadget; more as a status symbol than anything else, the idea of replacing books with their electronic equivalent will simply serve to cut off those who can't afford the equipment necessary to read such media off from access to it. Thus access to knowledge will become, once again, dependent upon wealth.

    To me this is the equivalent of the Thatcherite idea that people should be required to pay for access to publlic libraries & is just so wrongheaded as to defy description.

    As for the smoking thread. Well, I must admit to being one of the pariahs; ever since I was first stuck on radio stag for a week without sleep & someone came up with it as an idea for keeping me awake.

    Now I'm very careful to ensure that I abide by the current no smoling policy & I make sure I enquire if others object; or hang back from a group I'm with, before lighting up outdoors, but the piece is just a case of a convert being more rabid in their opposition to something they used to profess than those who have never been a part of/indulged in it.

  44. New material on UT2 courtesy of Mr. Scorpio

    And, exactly, MF. I've always kinda liked Berchie. Why would he want to wind us up?

    And, as for the books thing: I hope to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that they never go away.

    And smoking: If someone asks if I mind if they do, I always say, no. Ask me if I mind, and I'll pretty much let you do anything. And, outdoors, I don't generally give a flying fuck. It's easy enough to find a position upwind of the smoke.

  45. "No to unsubstantiated claims of trolling on CiF!"
    Well that's up to you. I know you like him, and most people here do, but I've always thought he's a cock and I've seen him admit to being a troll before (even got him, BTH style, with his own words). In my book, he's no different to MAM or this FalconReef twerp.

  46. @Fencewalker - think you've missed my point. I was implying that Berchie was making the unsubstantiated claim. Not sure he's a bit of a cock though. Like him or not, he's one of the few genuine lefties left over there.

  47. Smoking in restaurants:
    Trouble is it's like this:
    Smoking allowed in restaurants - other diners gassed and poisoned. Can't taste food. Would you take giant speakers to a concert and deafen everyone else with your sounds.
    Smoking not allowed - smokers mildly inconvenienced, unless they're seriously and scarily addicted.

  48. 'pologies, Hank. Well, he *might* be a genuine lefty, but he's not a very thoughtful one in my book. He seems to be far more concerned with making digs at people he regards as too Menshevik/whatever (by HIS definition) than actually making a case ever. He's also far too reliant on slapping labels on people.

  49. I have a bit of a soft spot for Berchmans. He can be really very funny with his one-liners.

  50. Sounds like me, fence, no wonder I've always liked him (-;

    Ta for putting the post up, Montana. Getting my homework sorted on a Sunday evening, takes me back!

  51. "Smoking not allowed - smokers mildly inconvenienced".

    That's just it, Fencewalker - I don't want to be mildly inconvenienced when I'm out. I want to go to places that cater for me. I'm quite happy for there to be non-smoking restaurants, fuck, I even go to one or two. We need to accept the idea of cultural apartheid. This idea that we can all just get along doing the same things is just wrong: it always means that lots of us have to do what everyone else wants.

    That's why I've avoided that thread...

  52. I dunno, I've quite enjoyed your posts lately...

    I do find it a little odd that people who normally don't like dickishness are prepared to excuse him simply for his politics, especially since he seems to be saying he had a go at this place, but I'm not gonna go on about it.

  53. I've just spent a few minutes doing something I seldom do. Reporting a poster for abuse but this is something exceptional. I've reported Raspewton on nearly every one of his comments.

    Who let that nutter out of his cage? And have the mods gone to bed early tonight?

    Anne - nice article. Didn't post a comment myself because I obviously have no first hand experience of the problem. Only that of my friend but there was never a problem of access as such, just the boy being used as a pawn between her and her husband. Generally all the people I know who have divorced have managed access quite amicably. However the authorities in Belgium take a stricter view and the police would visit a parent who refused to honour the court's ruling.

    OK off now. Have a good evening and BB try to ignore that revolting piece of scum.

  54. Fair enough Martillo, but if there has to be a blanket rule I think it's got to be the one that ruins your day (sorry).

  55. ...and anyway Hank, you've just put up a piece of actual argument. Can't see Berchie doing that.
    Right, I'll shut up on that one now.

  56. BB:

    My sympathies for having now come under the full glare of BTH's habint of quoting out of context in order to score points, on Anne's thread.

    Time to do something I really don't like doing, for only the third time since signing up to Cif & report the odious little shit.

  57. "if there has to be a blanket rule..."

    But does there? Civil War Now!!!

  58. A blanket rule on smoking? Probably should be. I set light to my duvet the other week.

  59. The hilarious thing about it, GP01, is that BTH took a post I had made in another thread about the criminal justice system's response to male and female prisoners, posted it into one of his comments on the Sabina Akhtar thread and asked me to reconsider my position on what I had said on the criminal justice thread!

    Then he accuses me of posting that comment "in my article" to "defend Sabina Akhtar's killer". You couldn't fucking make it up if you tried!

  60. As I say BB odious & repulsive little turd of a man who should be publicly made to appologise for his habits of both selectively quoting & quoting out of context, in order to score points over other posters & with the RadFem brigade (sorry, but I actually hold that feminism has many valid points, but people like BTH serve no purpose except to give ammunition to those who'd write off those striving for equality as the rantings of fantatical, lesbian, misandrists).

    Yes, I know that he reads the UT & I still hold that he is an obsequious little shit.

  61. Oh he's worse than that, GP01. He is a liar. Very few people come lower in my estimation than liars.

  62. He is indeed an obsequious little shit, though my feeling is that he is a she. The lies and denials definitely remind me of ultima...

  63. GPO & BB
    I think that BTH lost all credibility by defending a sexual liasion between a teacher in her mid-20s & a 15 year old.

  64. Much worse MsC was his contention that young girls should be taught to be lesbians, so as to prevent the increase in underage pregnancies/single parent families.

    To my mid this ranks with Bindel's idea that al lwomen who don't become political lesbians are self-hating misogenists, in that both notions stand in the face of all evidence indicating that sexual orientation is not learned & supports the, misguided & damaging, right wing view that people can be cured of such things.

  65. "To my mid this ranks with Bindel's idea that al lwomen"

    Should read, "To my mind this ranks with Bindel's idea that all women". Damned dyslexia, can't even see when I've gone wrong witht he typing, even after running it through a spell checker.

  66. martillo thanks *blush*

    I'm afraid BTH has got me quite cross though!

    And thats not a pretty sight! ;)

  67. Ahah! 3p4 has just posted an explanation that Berchmans was talking about trolling CiFwatch, not here. Considering they dedicated a whole article to him at one stage, good for him! :o)

  68. Don't apologise, GP01

    Dyslexia means never having to say you're syrro.

  69. I know, that's why my rifle always went "BNAG!" :)

  70. Hear about the dyslexic rock star ?

    Choked to death on his own vimto...

  71. or the dyslexic devil worshipper?

    Sold his soul to Santa.

  72. Oh bugger. That means I have to sort of apologise to him. Oh well, here goes: sorry Berchmans.

  73. Fencewalker
    He looks like Steve Martin in his avatar. Deliberate ?

  74. Steve Martin in a remake of Marathon Man, perhaps. "Is it safe?"...

  75. Ok - time for bed!

    Night night all x

  76. Fencewalker
    I was thinking of that comedy "The Jerk". "The Berch" then perhaps ? Heh. PS WTF is CIFwatch ? should I go there... ?

    Night BB.