23 January 2010


In 393, Emperor Theodosius I named his 9 year old son, Honorius, co-emperor.  The deadliest earthquake ever recorded shook Shannxi, China, in 1556.  As many as 830,000 people were killed.  Scottish regent, James Stewart was assassinated in 1570.  Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female M.D. in the United States in 1849.  Duke Ellington performed at Carnegie Hall for the first time in 1943.  And one year ago today, three people were killed and twelve wounded when a man armed with a knife attacked a nursery in Dendermonde, Belgium.

Born today:  John Hancock (1737-1793), Stendhal (1783-1842), Edouard Manet (1832-1883), Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948), Django Reinhardt (1910-1953), Jeanne Moreau (1928), Rutger Hauer (1944), Robin Zander (1953) and Princess Caroline (1957).

It is Bounty Day on Pitcairn Island.


  1. Couple of things:

    Is it just me, or does it look like there's a couple of bottles of Bass on that bar?


    I hope everyone makes it to the Midlands gathering and back home safely and that you all have a good time. I'll be with you in spirit!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Montana, if you are still there and good night if not.

    Appeals time:

    *EIGHT years ago Shaker Aamer was incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay
    *TWO years ago he was cleared for release
    *ONE year ago Obama pledged to close the base.

    Amnesty are asking you to

    email David Miliband to call for Shaker's return.

    The UK government have attempted to negotiate his release on at least one occasion but were refused. Last month, the High Court ordered the government to
    disclose secret documents that Shaker's UK lawyers say support his claims that he "confessed" after being subjected to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and
    torture, and may shed light on the UK's involvement in his treatment.

    PS Thanks to everyone who took the time to print off copies of Johina Aamer's letter and send them to Gordon Brown.

    Watch footage of Johina handing in her original letter at Downing Street last week.


  4. Morning
    Look what was in my in box this morning.

    How good is that ?

  5. medve



    Not bad, not bad at all. In fact, pretty good.

    It put me in the mood for this.

  6. Indeed they are bass battles

    Indeed it is -


    And you can see Picasso's bass here


    Bass of course features in Ulysses and bottles of Bass pops up regularly in modernist culture reference.

    There is a story which pops up in Glasgow from time to time that bottles of Tennent's beer were found during excavations at the Alamo. It's not improbable.

  7. Morning all!

    BW - Hank said something the other day about meet-up in *Warwick* - do you know if he knows it got moved?

  8. thauma

    I think BW reminded him of the change of venue. Hope so anyway, 'cos he said last night he'd booked a hotel room nearby and it could be a long walk back from the pub if it's in the wrong town!

  9. Ah good, thanks! See you later on!!

  10. 'Bass battles, edwin?'

    Intellectual battles of course. I used to live by the Tennent's brewery in Townhead and there were frequently debates in the pubs as to the relative merits of Bass, Tennent's, McEwan's, Nookie Broon etc.

  11. Bass, Tennent's McEwans... tut, tut, tut! Bottle of dog every time! Have a good day everybody!

  12. Nicelink BW, I can swap ur Harper story, for some tales of Mr. Martyn.
    catch u all in a bit...

  13. Morning all (can post from home again, yay). Hope you have a belting time, those of of you doing the meet-up...

  14. See you later, folks. I'm off for a leg wax & manicure for tonight's get-together.

    Well, I'm off to the butchers really, and trying to avoid getting drawn into arguing with MAM about domestic violence in relation to the Doncaster case. MAM says there's no evidence that the dad was did more than threaten his wife; I'm tempted to ask whether the abusive partner of a woman who tied her to a railway line was just threatening her? After all he didn't actually hit her, just dragged her there, pinned her down etc etc.

    Rant over. See ya later.

  15. Grr, sleep pattern still screwed up. Have only just got up and am feeling very 'watercolour' today. So, in that grumpy frame of mind - this painting has always annoyed me. Is the woman with the back to it supposed to be a reflection? Because it's clearly off-line, if so.

    Montana - have just remembered that my Prof's cat is called 'Canelle', so maybe she and your Cinnamon can be pen-pal-cats. Your kitty v cute.

    Hope everyone has fun at the meet-up!

  16. Montana - You testing us?

    Your entry for 12/1/10:

    "Born today: Edmund Burke (1729), John Hancock (1737) Jack London (1876), Long John Baldry (1941),Ray Manzarek (1954)..."

    and you have John, the first named signatory of the Declaration of Independence, born again today!

    Looks like Bass - India Pale Ale - to me. The Bass brewery, as some of you may know, was the source of the yeast for the original Marmite. The factory is to this day close by. God it is boring and tedious being sober on a Sat morning....

    Have a safe journey and lots of ale and banter those of you who are meeting up later.

  17. Hmmm, Bea C OBE is up - less crazy than normal but still, well, still very her...

  18. Well, the right have certainly inherited CiF this morning.

    We have MaM and his Moral Absolutist minions crawling all over the Doncaster threads as mentioned by MsChin above and we have monnie et al spewing all over the Polish thread.

    One post in particular by 'stockfence' on the Polish thread- Poles are more acceptable in the UK than Africans because they are more genetically similar to us.

    I don't know if it's the hangover or CiF that's making me want to puke at the moment.

  19. Philippa: i posted this on WDYWTTA for just such a thread, thinking along the lines of rejecting posts with the polite message:

    Sorry! Your post was deemed lacking in compassion.


    Our apologies, but your comment didn't make it through our nastiness filter. Please try again.

    just a thought.

  20. Morning / Noon Your Grice

    must have been posting //

  21. medve - saw that, great idea! Maybe with a smiley face and (((hugs))) added to make it clear this is being done out of love!

    your grace - is monnie a repeat offender? because he/she was very quick to jump on a post of mine about the niqab debate in France, because I'd quoted polling for general acceptance of immigrant communities, and not polling specific to veils (because that wasn't in the article I was translating). Felt like a 'swoop'.

    More genetically similar? They do play each ends to the middle, don't they? If I, as a white woman with absolutely nothing interesting in her family tree, so presumably with a lower genetic variance away from such cocks, disagreed with them, the reaction would probably be that I am 'not a proper white person' (cf also 'not a proper feminist' and 'not a proper christian'). Weird how the sole trait they think of as important ceases to be the sole trait when you disagree with them...

  22. Yr Grace - I noticed MAM was all over cif today at tedious length . Can't face the Doncaster threads - they'll generate to many hang 'em and flog 'em lunatics - lots of heat and not much light.

    There's a very strong punitive streak in British culture which overwhelms any desire to actually understand what's going on and therefore actually being in a position to do something about it.

  23. Sorry Philippa, couldn't resist cross-posting your hugs of love ;o)

  24. Morning all

    Have a fab time all of you meeting up later! Wish I could be there instead of ball. Will expect pics in return for a pic of my hubby's knees in his kilt! :o)

    Got some work to do today and am not sure whether I want to look at the polish thread as I would be likely to get dragged in - especially if Monnie is spouting her usual bigoted shite.

  25. Phillipa

    Monnie is a little Englander creep who first popped up on the BNP threads earlier last year year. I ignore her now.

  26. medve - together we will prevail!

  27. Goedemorgen of middag medve.

    Hi Philippa,

    yeah monnie is disingenuous to a fault. Although she claims not to be racist, I have never once seen her make a positive comment on immigrants or foreigners. Not surprised she jumped on you regarding the niqab.


    There's a very strong punitive streak in British culture which overwhelms any desire to actually understand what's going on and therefore actually being in a position to do something about it.

    You're on the button there. However to argue this is to be deemed a bleeding heart, hand wringing liberal. What's always evident also is that the kneejerkers never ever have evidence to back up their assertions just utter bilge.

    I'm having one of those ''I don't think I can be arsed posting on cif anymore'' moods (not an appeal for validation by the way!), the arseholes have truly taken over. I daresay the mood will pass though.....

  28. Yr Grace

    I'm having one of those ''I don't think I can be arsed posting on cif anymore'' moods

    Me too - it happens quite often in truth. Thankfullly MsC will shortly arrive and transport me off to the UT Saturday Club. So see you all later. If I get any decent pix I'll post them up across the way.

  29. BB:

    from your comment

    These are children we are talking about, not adults who can calculate and think through what they have done and the consequences of it. Knowing right from wrong is not the only benchmark we have. These children are horribly twisted and perverted because of the failings of all the adults in their short lives. Banging them up might well serve as an appeasement to those baying for their blood, but it is hardly going to serve as a lesson either to the child perpetrators or to other children, because in my opinion they genuinely knew no different.

    Areed of course, but couldn't that go for depraved adults as well?

  30. Afternoon all

    Just in case people have missed it - it seems only to be linked from the front page and not the CiF section - the plan to have police drone aircraft flying over us to check our bins are used properly and other stuff.


    It's not actually new, but it is nice that the suppliers are going to be BAE Systems of the Al Yamamah scandal and general international industrial scale bribery and arms business.

    Good luck for the meet. Don't do anything too dangerous and remember - competitive binge-drinking is neither big nor clever, however much fun it might seem at the time.

  31. Afternoon Atomboy, i put this on that thread:

    Was there not some news about a corruption prosecution in which BAE was [a] defendant being stopped by the government because it was "not in the interest of the public"? Surely the police cannot be in cahoots with a large international firm suspected of corruption?

    quoting self.

  32. Off to do the shopping before the piss-up! See some of you later.... NO PICS though!

  33. Atomboy - thanks for the link
    "They reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics"
    Anyone else expecting there to be an 'incident' involving ATC getting it wrong and one of these babies getting blown out of the sky by an A2A missile?

  34. ***Bippedy bip bip, bippedy bip bip***

    New threat level: "severe"
    No information on a specific threat
    No information on a specific group planning anything
    Just feel like scaring the shit out of you

    ***Bippedy bip bip, bippedy bip bip***

  35. (not an appeal for validation by the way!)
    Wybourne, have some anyway from a possibly meaningless source - it's people like you that make life seem alright.
    Good health to those meeting up tonight! Salut!

  36. Hoi heyhabib: second that!

  37. Thanks medve

    This gives me a prompt to make an apology for being a pretty infrequent and somewhat lame poster here, for which I will not bore anyone with excuses.

    My current instar or iteration or metamorphosis on CiF seems to be MonsieurLeJongleur but in keeping with my training at The International Man of Mystery Spying School< I change identities frequently and irregularly, which makes tracking me a bit like "Where is the knitted character this week?"

    Did you notice the poster, by the way, who said he had written to the Home Office with concerns and worries about the growth of the surveillance state and was told to seek psychiatric help?

    If it was only a joke post, it was so close to what we now perceive to be the likely state of affairs that we should really start thinking about what we should all be doing.

  38. Atomboy, read that. Noticed the poster. Rang true to me somehow.

  39. PhilippaB

    Yes, it is such a shame that the 2012 Olympics did not happen during the dying days of the New Labour regime.

    Had that been the case, we could not only have had a terror alert rising to meet a choreographed outrage, but we could have had elections suspended forever as we entered a post-democratic age.

  40. medve

    Yes, I thought so, too.

    I have to wrench my clumsy monkey fingers away from the keyboard for a bit now.


    Whaddya mean, no pics?

    After Montana set up the Flickr thingy as well?

    Some of us in the sticks wonder whether the internet is just a big con and we are only ever linked up with bots and computer programmes anyway - oh, and government cyber-stalkers, of course.

    No pics and it never happened.

  41. "..post democratic age.."

    reckon we're there already.. Plus that's only registered voters, add all those under the radar..

  42. Dit dit dit - dah dah dah - dit dit dit

    Radio sez increased threat level, 'response to xmas underwear bomber', 1 nutter, 1 month later? Pull the other one, it's in a bag of fertiliser, with a gallon of peroxide and a piece of blasting cord tied round it.

    Dit dit dit - dah dah dah - dit dit dit

  43. Atomboy

    No pics and it never happened.


    Think I'll head over early and catch a bit o' rugby....

  44. "I think BW reminded him of the change of venue. Hope so anyway, 'cos he said last night he'd booked a hotel room nearby"

    Thats a really good idea actually, i didnt fancy a long coach/train ride after a pissup, hotel solves the problem. Anyways, enjoy the drinks all, behave yourself Turgle.

  45. Pip

    The threat level rising to "severe" of course has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Brown and Blair will be appearing before Chilcott next week, does it? I mean, they wouldn't be cynical enough to think that we would be influenced into agreeing that the Iraq invasion was actually OK really given that all these terrrrists are after us?

    I mean, they weren't stupid enough to try and scare us into not marching in Feb 2003 by putting tanks in front of Heathrow Airport, were they...

    There is only one thing I hate more than arseholes, and that is arseholes who treat me like I am an idiot.

  46. No pics or it never happened... heheh.

    "What happens in Leamington Spa stays in Leamington Spa" doesn't have the same ring about it as Vegas really, does it?

    "Chintzy chintzy cheeriness
    Half dead and half alive"
    always springs to mind when I think of Leamington. I really do need to get up there sometime to disabuse me of that image.

  47. BB - "absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Brown and Blair will be appearing before Chilcott next week"

    aye - keep an eye out for SO19 scouting out for likely targets to shoot, just to make us feel even more grateful and relieved that the pols are keeping us safe...

  48. I will never forget the day after De Menezes was shot watching a news bulletin where a senior officer tried to explain what had happened by referring to De Menezes as "of superficial Muslim appearance".

    Oh, so that's ok then... he looked like a Muslim so you shot him...

    Eeejits, I tell ya!

  49. OOoh!

    Was it Pip that was talking about this on waddya yesterday??

    Bomb detector maker arrested

  50. Hi Folks - just to let you know I am not dead! Off line at the mo (sky switched me off! grrr!)

    Back online late on 27 Jan!

    Will I ever catch up?

    Its dreadful, I have a clean house!

    Hope all are well


  51. The scales fell from my eyes the day of the poll tax riots.. Obviously the biggest news story of my lifetime up to then. On all channels, till mid afternoon, when "some prisoners are on the roof of strangeways (? was it?)" becomes the only news story...

    "There is only one thing I hate more than arseholes, and that is arseholes who treat me like I am an idiot."

    Well said BB! We should deluge No 10 with e-mails saying just that...

  52. BeautifulBurnout

    Without wishing to make assumptions, this looks like a good indication of why both governments and those (like BAE Systems) selling technology to people who think it will trump the need for common sense should never be trusted.

    From your link above:

    The ADE-651 has been sold to a range of Middle Eastern countries and as far afield as Bangkok.

    The Iraqi government has spent US$85m (£52m) on the hand-held detectors, now used at most checkpoints in Baghdad.

    It is understood Iraq paid about US$40,000 for each device. No Western government uses them.

    It is clearly a bit of plastic and a wire coat-hanger knocked together to fool the idiotic and credulous into parting with vast sums of money.

    It shows the stratospheric levels of stupidity our leaders have accomplished to think that they so readily and easily fall for any smart line from a sharp-suited salesman.

    The reason they hate bloggers and the internet and the filthy public at large is because they know we are a fuck sight brighter than they will ever be.

    See a picture here.

  53. It's nothing more than a jazzed-up dowsing rod with a theft tag incorporated into it to make it look like it has some guts.

    I just wonder how many people might have been killed or injured as a result of using this thing.

  54. Good idea Turminder!

    Hi Anne - glad to hear all is well. x

  55. BB - thanks for the link, am glad something's happening to the amoral little shite. really couldn't believe what i was reading when Ben G covered it. he should be done as accessory to murder for every person (and there are many) blown up by someone who had been 'scanned' by one of these useless pieces of shit. is that possible? (please say yes, please say yes, please say yes)

    Ave, annetan! How's the moving going / gone?

  56. I don't think so, Pip, sadly.

    But if any of the families of the people killed or those maimed were to sue, he would be in schtuck.

  57. BB - well, as he's clearly a materilistic amoral little shite, that might do.

  58. BB, Pip, my twisted mind throws in the sore question of whether weapons shall be carried aloft. I am definitely guilty of thoughtcrime. doubleplusungood.

  59. OK - off to make myself glam for this evening now. Have a good evening folks!

    J x

  60. @Deano: The US (well, what is now the US) didn't switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar until 1752. I'm guessing that that explains the 2 different dates for Hancock's birth. I'll confess that I don't have a good enough memory to have realised that I'd put it on the list on the 12th. So, when he was born, the date of his birth was 12/01/37, but by the time he died, the anniversary of his birth was 23/01.

    @Philippa; That's interesting -- I wonder why Cinnamon/Canelle seems like a good name for a cat? I'll confess that, had I been the one doing the naming, she'd have probably been Edwidge.

  61. Hey Turminder!

    I think all the cool kids are in the Midlands right now. Just us dweebs.

  62. turminderxuss

    I check in every now and then in between playing at being bob the builder.


    hard to get to the Leamington Spa from Budapest. Please bear in mind the first rule of keeping cats: not so much that they can live with you, but rather you are allowed to live with them. Yours, dweebingly, etc etc.

  63. Hi everyone

    Back at Thauma's from the pub - we're all pissed, except MsC who has the misfortune to be driving. Thauma has a beautiful hound called Saoirse who is very amiable.

    No one has fallen out yet and Hank says he's not drunk - but will be shortly. Cool bananas, fuck the bollocks from Bitterweed. Speak to you all later. Love Sheff. xx

    Cheers for the champers Bru...

  64. So jealous! Glad you're all having a great time, though.

    Medve: She has already made herself queen of all she surveys and has let it be known that I will learn how to type with a cat on my lap or I will stop all this silly internet business. The bit that really gets hard is when she decides that my left shoulder is the perfect spot from which to survey her realm.

  65. Montana: looks like you are coping happily enough though ;)

  66. Atomboy: re homeoffice suggestion of paranoia -- posting redacted post that got deleted:

    Direct Communications Unit
    2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
    Switchboard 020 7035 4848 Fax: 020 7035 4745 Textphone: 020 7035 4742
    E-mail: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk


    Our reference: T19102/9

    6 November 2009

    Thank you for your e-mail of 29 October to the Home Secretary. As I am sure you will appreciate the Home Secretary receives a large amount of correspondence and is unable to reply to each item individually. Your e-mail has been passed to the Direct Communications Unit and I have been asked to respond.

    I note your concerns that you are worried that you are under surveillance but I cannot comment about whether any other Government Department has you under covert investigation or surveillance.

    You may wish to make a complaint to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) at PO Box 33220, London, SW1H 9ZQ (telephone 020 7035 3711).

    The IPT is a statutory independent body established as part of the checks and balances set out in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), to investigate complaints made by people concerned that public authorities have deployed covert investigatory techniques against them unlawfully. If the IPT determines there has been unlawful covert activity, it is required to notify you. It may, if appropriate, quash any authorisation, order the destruction of relevant material, award compensation or make any other order as it sees fit. Information on the outcome of its adjudications is not made public, but information on the number of cases it deals with is included in both the Interception of Communications Commissioner's and the Intelligence Services Commissioner's reports which are published annually.

    The IPT will not be able to tell anybody whether or not they have been under covert surveillance. This is because if criminals were to be able to find out whether they were under covert investigation this would hand them an obvious advantage. However, what the IPT will do is investigate fully the complaint and say whether there has been any unlawful covert activity. The IPT will therefore be able either to get to the bottom of what is happening and also reassure you.

    Unfortunately there are many people distressed by thoughts that they are under surveillance and being watched, attach sinister meanings to what are otherwise ordinary events or have unfounded suspicions about other people.

    If such thoughts are making you feel very anxious, seeking professional medical help can be a good idea. May I suggest consulting a doctor or a cognitive behaviour therapist about these thoughts as they will be able to help you separate those things that have some basis in reality from those things that do not.

    May I also suggest you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau who may be able to assist you with your problem. You can locate your local CAB office by visiting their website at: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

    Yours sincerely,

    D Beaney
    Direct Communications Unit


    looks pretty genuine

  67. We're playing otis Reading - Hank is complaining we're not doing it fast enough and there's not enough northern soul - bastard! Hank has his own charm and has three beds in his room - we're not guessing why.

    Thauma's dog has got the horn for Hank. Will link to some music in next post.

  68. Am leaving CiF well alone for the foreseeable: too full of shitheads, who know the value of nothing.My Dad died today, unexpectedly and before us (my wife, a doctor, gave CPR in vain and the ambulnace and hospital resus failed). Some of the fuckers on there lack even a billionth of dad's humanity, and can fuck off.

  69. Sheff and all - glad you having a great time. Gutted I couldnt be there. Bit disappointed that no one is pissed yet though. We await the tunage.

    But... I want pics!

  70. Sheff - a much appreciated post to make the night shift smile, regards to the lot of you!

    Hank has his own charm? - try telling Bru that!

  71. Alisdair - all the love and affection I can give you comrade. It's a tough time when you loose one of your folks. Both mine are long gone but forever warmly remembered.

    They sit warmly and wisely (and usually quietly) upon your shoulder for the rest of your time - mine have.

    Best Wishes - deano

  72. oh Alisdair - I just read your post. I am so, so sorry about your dad. You must be in such a state of shock right now.

    I hope you are as okay as you can possibly be at such at time. I send you and your family my thoughts and love.

  73. Just back - Alisdair, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I will chant for your Dad in the morning.

    So very sorry. xx

  74. Sincere condolences, Alisdair, thoughts with you.

  75. Alisdair, I'm so sorry. My deepest sympathy.

  76. Alisdair - I was very sorry to read what has happened.

    Our thoughts and wishes are with you.

  77. Alisdair, sorry for your loss, something we all go through, but are never ready for. My condolences.

  78. Alisdair - can only feel sad for you all. Take care.