15 November 2010

15/11/10

Winter - Bertha Boynton Lum

The unspoken word never does harm. 
-Lajos Kossuth

213 comments:

  1. Apologies for drive-by posting last night; Hi to all old friends and sparring partners.

    BiteBoy:
    The South West Coastal (sic) Path certainly didn’t do anything to improve my manners, but then I never expected it would.
    And the National Trust didn’t do a very good job of looking after me (although most of the individuals I worked with were cool), which is why I’ve been back in London working for the London Wildlife Trust for the past three months. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re doing a far better job of looking after me (even to the extent of paying me), and seem a far more forward looking organisation all round - maybe you should burn your NT membership card and join LWT instead.
    As far as my feelings towards you are concerned, you seem to be confusing having a pathological hatred for someone with simply despising (and in my more generous moments pitying) them.
    I like Sheff’s image of
    “that mosquito, bitey”
    especially as it depicts you as a puny and ultimately unimportant irritant, so will simply suggest you buzz off, even though I suspect this will only fuel your self-righteous sense of persecution, and fuck knows it doesn’t need any more fuelling.

    And after the news, here’s the London-centric weather forecast

    A foggy day

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  2. Morning all. Went to an interesting 'event' last night - there's been a weekend of art-type happenings in the Antigone (weird local res / com development going down to the river in a neo-classical greco-roman stylee - courtesy of M. Freche, natch) and last night was the closer.

    Down at the river, there is an 'esplanade' surrounded by a semi-circle of buildings, which they use sometimes for concerts etc. This time, they were launching 'celestial lanterns' with the idea that as theey rose, they would get confused with the stars.

    Now, it was a foggy evening, so there wasn't anything to get confused with, but it was still beautiful. Dozens of rice-paper lanterns lifted up into the sky by the heat from firelighters (think) attached under neath them. They bobbed upwards, span a bit, caught the wind, and rose, rose, rose upwards, creating moving constellations before disappearing into the darkness. We saw a swan, a bow and arrow, a trapezium flattened into a perfect line, a crazy star...

    It was fairly windy, and with a bit of downdraught, so one or two of them came rather close to the crowd, swooping down before stalling, hovering, and then starting to rise. Cue lots of squealing and ducking (and in one case, getting bumped on the head), and people calling out encouragement , waving their hands, blowing, to get them to lift up.

    One of them, the last one, must have had a wire twisted, as it span round and round so the flame made circles in the sky, and couldn't get higgh enough. It started to drop, scraping the ground, until someone ran towards it, sorted it out, and pushed it back upwards.

    It was close to the buildings, and there was a collective holding of breath as it looked like it would just bounce off a wall and die quietly on the grass. But it didn't! Buoyed up by the encouragement of hundreds of people, it jittered, and rose a bit, and you could almost feel effort as it made it up into the breeze and cleared the top of the building by one a foot or two, before disappearing into the sky.

    Cue huge round of applause. We were actually rooting for that little rice-paper balloon.

    People are funny, no? But it was beautiful...

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  3. pop quiz - most fouled team in the premiership?

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  4. bah, nobody to play with.

    Everton. although they also dish it out quite a lot.

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  5. Woohoo!

    Munchkins on roller-skates stealing giant reject Jaffa Cakes!

    Philippa

    Lovely story.

    Perhaps if the poor and sick pretended to be paper lanterns, people would help and encourage them, rather than giving them a kicking.

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  6. Sounds good AB, I'll set meself on fire and float out to sea. Better offer than negotiating the benefit system for a pitiful dole handout. :-§

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  7. turminderxuss

    Yes, I'm not sure whether you have thought this one through.

    It's no good missing all the lovely opportunities which the flying pizza monster has given you and then complaining about life.

    You could get sponsorship from a firework company, which you allow to strap rockets and catherine wheels to various parts of your body, so that you can make a display and go out with a bang, so to speak.

    Sell tickets to the event and get local bars and shopkeepers to ply the crowds with drinks and tat.

    Get a spot on the local news and set up a charity for the casualties of forlorn enterprises of the final spluttering aerial light variety.

    You were put on this earth to make money, after all.

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  8. annie lennox being interviewed on woman's hour.

    perhaps obtusely, i had never realised that 'here comes the rain again' was about depression...

    loved the eurythmics. brilliant band.

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  9. Yay, a 21st C 'Logan's Run' We can call it Turmy's Bang (tm). When a prole reaches 42 (in honour of St Adams.D) they can elect to end their reliance on the state, thus making way for the next generation. Sponsorship, natty costume with logos, and a 'Balloon race'; a lottery like prize for the person who finds the body part blown apart the furthest!

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  10. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on that sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    - Dylan Thomas

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  11. interesting idea, turm - "this voluntary euthanisation was brought to you by Vodaphone", perhaps?

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  12. I've been asked to pass on thanks to all of you who participated in the weekend's threads; it's amazing what people who think they've got a good idea for broadcasting will pay for a little action research.

    For me then not only was it an enjoyable, fun packed weekend but also one with a certain degree of financial reward. Maybe I'll spend some of it seeing my counsellor to get my head checked out, as some of you very concerned people suggested.

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  13. morning all

    Been listening to woman's Hour too Phillipa. Good woman, Annie Lennox.

    Did you catch the item about child detention? Typical weasel words from the minister, Damian Green, I noticed.

    "we are working towards a commitment to end child detention"

    They made the "commitment" months ago and should now be working towards a policy to implement that commitment.....fucking fuckers.

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  14. Oh and hi Andy - good to see you back - hope you'll stick around now.

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  15. Awwwww nuts. I missed my chance to be on the telly!!

    Gutted.

    Anyways, morning all!

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  16. sheff - now, a programme on the MBA culture, and how with so many highly trained 'masters' around, things still ended up A>T. could be interesting.

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  17. Pipster,

    They do the fire balloon whatsit in Sao Paulo for something or other, and it's all pretty and that, until you remember that there's almost as much traffic above the city as below it.

    Then it just sort of makes me feel a bit queasy and tense....

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  18. "I've been asked to pass on thanks to all of you who participated in the weekend's threads; it's amazing what people who think they've got a good idea for broadcasting will pay for a little action research."

    I can just imagine the pitch now....

    What *do* lonely pedants get up to online between harrassing single mothers and compiling vast databases of forum comments? Tune in this friday....

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  19. ooh, one student doesn't think there's a place for ethics on a business course.

    surprise!

    but the people in charge are very supportive of the idea...

    everything's OK then!

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  20. the bit that got me Phillipa was something like

    'it is assumed people will behave ethically!!"

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  21. shef - said with the tone of voice of the buffer in the golf club bar...but...he was wearing brown shoes! i was completely taken aback...

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  22. right - work calls. hope telephone is working...

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  23. phillipa

    I don't know whether you like ballet/circus - but this is an interestingly athletic take on Swan Lake by the Great chinese Circus - sent to me by a Palestinian friend as a bit of light relief.

    Please, chaps - don't accuse me of doing a Bru!

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  24. Check out Annie Lennox' version of Whiter Shade of Pale. So good. Makes me a bit teary just thinking about it.

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  25. @turm

    What you're considering sounds very like a Viking funeral which, sadly, is still forbidden in the UK. They were talking about them on Mark Thomas's Manifesto a while back.

    @Atom

    John Cale performing "Do Not Go Gentle"

    And Dylan Thomas reading it on BBC radio in 1952.

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  26. A good to be alive day here in E Yorkshire - stunningly clear, crisp sunny day.

    Away to enjoy the next bit of it. But not before I say..........I've always thought that UT could make the basis of an interesting piece of contemporary drama.

    I certainly suggested it to a young writer I know, and I always hoped maybe Edwin or Elementary or Leni or Montana or any of the other regulars with an interest in writing might develop possibly develop it

    The way I read the daily UT (as a continuous stream of consciousness thing) there really are some amazing and very funny chapters that deserve a wider readership.

    From a writers point of view it almost writes itself.....

    It would really would be sad if (fuck off)bitey was the only one to profit from what goes on here.

    Whoever gets the winning formula and into print first really ought to ensure that Montana gets some of the credit and the reward.....

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  27. Sheff

    U-Nu-Bru

    Spike

    Thanks - Will look and listen.

    Without learning, obviously.

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  28. Spike - thanks for those links will check them out when I'm back from hoying the auld bugger up to the hospital.

    Deano - gorgeous day here too - might sneak off into the Peak for an hour or two since I have the use of the auld buggers' car.

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  29. It's a beautiful day here too, I didn't wake up until 11 today, I am turning into a proper doley, my closed curtains must have really annoyed my hard working neighbours. ;)

    They can console themselves with the knowledge that I missed watching Jeremy Kyle on my giant plasma.

    I don't have access to the peaks but I might have a walk to the park to feed the deer.

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  30. I'm a Dylan Thomas fan and a Swan Lake one too so some good stuff from UT for later.

    Hope your reading Scherf there is more to life than .........irritation by one of the Yorkshire neighbours.....

    Naturally I'm kinda sorry that I get up your tits, but only kinda, I remain totally unrepentant in my admiration of Frederick Furnivall........and lady librarians.

    I hope that one day you will purge the acerbic angst and come back to us on UT - you really were one of the early stars of the show. I can't loose 'cos I enjoy your contributions whilst you seemingly take no pleasure from mine.

    Don't let Bitey have the last laugh on you.

    Sheff - you were, as you often are, correct in the reading of my intentions. (with respect to Bitey/Scherf yesterday)

    I hope your ex's toe is ok - if only 'cos it will save you generous self more supporting activity.

    I think you know that sometimes the male half of old loves, finishes in the same position. My beloved sometime of 40+ years standing, who I ain't lived with for ten years, still gets my help and support on this that.....and our kids too assume its the natural and civilised thing to do.

    I take comfort that if our kids relationships don't quite work out then they will at least have determinedly non bitter role models to look back on (I still have joint bank account with my sometime not that I have a lot of money but she could legally help herself ... I have to say I'd trust her with my toe)

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  31. I've written a few *cough*shortlisted scripts, n thot similar. Blogger Me! was my working title.

    Anyway;

    Oh, Cyber Trolls!

    I know you hate me (I know you like me)
    I know you do (I know you do, I 've checked your IP)
    Thats why whenever I come around she's logged in to you
    And I know you type it (I know you shite it)
    It's easy to see (it's easy to see)
    And with your sick little mind
    I you should be sectioned, n throw away the key!

    [Chorus]
    Dont cha wish your bitey was a bot like me
    Dont cha wish your bitey was a freak like me
    Dont cha, dont cha
    Dont cha wish your bitey was raw like me
    Dont cha wish your bittey was fun like me
    Dont cha, dont cha

    Fight the feeling (fight the feeling)
    Leave the keyboard alone (leave it alone)
    Cause it aint love
    It just a sad dog wi a bone
    Let's keep it friendly (let's keep it friendly)
    You have to play fair (you have to play fair)
    But bittey sticks his finger in the air
    And we all say fuck off we don't care!

    [Chorus]
    Dont cha wish your bitey was a bot like me
    Dont cha wish your bitey was a freak like me
    Dont cha, dont cha
    Dont cha wish your bitey was less psychotic like me
    Dont cha wish your bittey was fun like me
    Dont cha, dont cha

    Vote XUSS 4 Xmas #1!

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  32. deano30
    Talking of drama - about 15 years ago there was an excellent article in the New Left Review written by an anonymous PHD research student who had signed up as a construction contractor - working on motorways. The drawing of various characters involved and the exceedingly murky business arrangements (to minimise any repsonsibility for the big construction companies) was rivetting. I always thought that may be C4 could do a good job as a one-off drama, I got as far as showing it to a mate who used to be involved in Amber Films in the 80s (they did a superb drama about T Dan Smith, and another one called "Sea Coalers". He thought it would make a great basis for a play, but he was pretty certain they wouldn't get it commissioned. "Reality TV" ruled at C4 ...

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  33. ...correction...... of a potential misleader....(me not yet born grand kids might come across this one day)

    I am not in any way suggesting that my beloved sometime wife (we never got around to divorcing)shared any philandering characteristics with Sheff's ex. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    My fine woman was very much a one man lady, albeit that she was never short of male admirers.

    I'm a tramp, she never was. She was always genetically incapable of my latter day choices of life style.

    I just thought I'd best be truthful and fair just in case this is ever read by me offsprings

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  34. Vote XUSS 4 Xmas #1!

    I'll FB it ;-)

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  35. turm your a star I never considered....
    ......UT the Musical - you should collaborate withBW

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  36. I urge you to all write your own 'feem choons' : )

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  37. "perhaps obtusely, i had never realised that 'here comes the rain again' was about depression...

    loved the eurythmics. brilliant band."

    Funnily enough, my beloved and I had a minor tussle about this just last night. He was telling our dogs (apparently the only ones who understand) how dire Annie Lennox was. Just because, apparently. I pointed out how appallingly narrow his taste in music was, and that 'because I say so' isn't sufficient justification for dismissing everything that doesn't have a member of either Joy Division or New Order in it as 'total crap'.

    Domestic bliss at our place.

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  38. In the interests of historical accuracy...... "She was always genetically incapable of my latter day choices of life style"......nonetheless her tolerance of my indifferences to, this and that, was truly exceptional. That she stood me for thirty + years is a testimony to her determination and generosity of spirit."

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  39. Oh, and he likes Kylie too. But I'm not convinced that's based entirely on her musical abilities.

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  40. Dukes comment on Waddya had just made me very happy.

    He is a class act.

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  41. UT the Musical ?

    I'm thinking big for this one. Working concept:

    "Ben Hur on Ice"

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  42. Sparcticus has more pathos. :-)

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  43. F@ck Pathos. This is Broadway.

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  44. Jazz Hands hmm? I have Be-Bop eyes.

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  45. BTW - good to see you again this morning Andy

    BW T Dan Smith and Poulson (nasty Yorkshire based firm of corruption) always go hand in hand.

    There is a lot of drama (and thus potential popular education) in these things especially when you get down to the nitty gritty.

    I'm still hoping young Jay will decide to teach maths and develop further his skills at getting others to open the eyes.

    Lot of great political education to be had from numbers, imagine how much better PCC would be ( and I think the lady is already ace) if she were more confident with the old numbers. (She often expresses a wish to be better/more confident with numbers)

    A lot of scams play on the number deficiencies of would be decent folk

    My hoped for future grandkids need exposure to learning from better informed confident teachers. Far too many of my contemporaries can't get their heads fully around things b'cos they are intimidated by numbers.

    Jay your skills really are needed in maths teaching.


    I really must fuck off.

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  46. Hi Deano

    Gone off the idea lately tbh, I dont really like kids - which is probably a bit of a stumbling block. Then you'd probably find yourself in some nutjob academy before long...

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  47. Jay - young kids can be tedious but adults or young lively adults 16+ can be a joy.

    The way the world is shaping not much but nutjobs in all areas these days.

    Nearly every organisation I come into 'contact' with these days is so far up its own arse with management consultant speak that its painful.

    I can understand you dilemma my grown up kids all have the same



    def laters now.

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  48. To "Surrey with the Fringe"

    Regulars exclaim "Christ almighty"
    And their posts all read "Fuck off bitey"
    And their posts all read "Fuck off bitey,
    You're a pois'nous toad."

    When the slimy git writes his shite, we
    Curl our lips and snap "Fuck off bitey"
    Curl our lips and snap "Fuck off bitey,
    You're a pois'nous toad"

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  49. Oh, what a beautiful warning
    12 posts deleted today
    I've got an ominous feeling
    Premodding's coming my way

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  50. When you hear the mods deleting
    Hear the sheeple bleating
    I want you to join together with the banned
    We don't want no Julian Glover
    Or his Tory patron lover
    I want you to join together with the banned

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  51. Right, that's quite enough of that. Back to work.

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  52. Sweet Jesus,

    take a look at Airdrie United's (Scottish Second Division) programme from Saturday's match.

    I've always hated Airdrie. Their old ground Broomfield was worse than Ibrox and they have always had strong links to the National Front in the old days/BNP more recently.

    And they took over my home club Clydebank's league membership back in 2002. Scumbags.

    And that programme truly proves it.

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  53. Just clarify there 13DoW old thing. Is that a photo of GermanWWII troops?

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  54. Sheff

    Please, chaps - don't accuse me of doing a Bru!

    No fear of that.Balls are more her speciality!

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  55. there was a sad troller called bitey
    who bored the UT oh so slightly

    when led to the brink
    in the briney did sink

    making plankton quite rightly look mighty

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  56. turminder,

    yes.

    I've just done a bit of looking and the official excuse is- "we thought they were Australian soldiers".

    An astonishing gaffe but if you know anything about that club it maybe wasn't as much of a gaffe as they are making out....

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  57. andysays, yes the South West Coast Path, thank you for the correction. I should have known that having walked a good part of it. Can't say I'm surprised about the reception you got from the NT though, but then the people who run it are hardly its greatest attraction.

    And mosquitoes - sadly not the "puny and ultimately unimportant irritant" you suggest, but a killer responsible for between one and two million deaths a year. Makes my efforts seem quite insignificant.

    Nor do I feel persecuted, quite the opposite. Can you be persecuted and a stalker? I can't imagine anyone ever got reported to the moderators and banned for posting the inconsequential to which no one would take exception; maybe Shallcross, Sheffpixie or Thaumaturge could advise, it's their specialism.

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  58. "we thought they were Australian soldiers??" Jesus wept!! Can't see how anyone could be that stupid...could be wrong of course as have never been to Airdrie.

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  59. sorry folks...I seem to woken the troll.

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  60. Phillipa

    one student doesn't think there's a place for ethics on a business course.

    Only one?

    I suggested to a certain department that as there were outfits like Atos fitting people up with false reports through the use (pathetic excuse) of a piece of software; while other database programmes were increasingly being produced for covert surveillance upon the citizen (ultimately to profile, and then in case they should think to protest against anything, although quite different reasons are given of course); then computing students should also do ethics as a part of their training.

    I don't think they'll be rushing back to me on that one.

    Of course this would equally apply to any business-type courses - an excellent notion - should be compulsory. Doubly so for the financial and economics fields, and a few times more.

    I've frequently observed how often companies and organisations have become more unpleasant after sending their staff on business courses, or upon hiring those who've done their Business whatevers.

    Presumably because they become further indoctrinated in the rituals for how to serve the Economy-god before all others, instead of considering any further the notion of putting being decent first.

    This is how it seems to the outsider. It could as well be the usual thing of not noticing those who don’t afflict you, and those going that way probably being that way inclined anyway.

    Locally there was a case of someone setting out to try to destroy all equivalent educational establishments in the general area just because that part of their own operation wasn't getting the better students and it made them look bad. They didn’t say that of course, but a young and innocent tutor told me the real reason before it became public with quite different reasons given (of course). Solution - say that it would be better for the provision of the area to have it all under one roof - rather than actually focusing on improving their courses. No concern with whether this was in any way an advantage to the young (mostly) persons concerned - just to show successful business acumen.

    Education is meant to be civilising (I get these strange fantasies), but the competition and dire (mostly pointless) tick-boxing initiated by the last government made the atmosphere of education become suddenly much more nasty, introducing all sorts of more subtle underhand trickery by some to try to undermine the courses of other providers and get their students. (Or maybe we were just unlucky that the mega-beastie and its spawn washed up amongst us – sightings were rare – myths were built up upon hazy negatives – was it just a trick of the light?… and the rarer the better); when previously there had been a fairly mutual give-and-take.

    Sad really, and some of the carry-ons were sheer farce if you could be detached, but also very damaging to what it was meant to be about - giving people better educational opportunities. How did it advance out nation to have huge swathes of adult education obliterated, and course choices so often decreased for ‘A’ and ‘O’ Levels?

    Or quite likely they do realise that working together is much more effective than a constant savaging away with a survival of the ~ not really that fit but able to make up better paperwork and tell better lies ~ .Wouldn’t want the oι πoλλoι to get an education of too much depth and breadth, when its purpose is to mould them into productive drones in the service of the Economy-hornéd-one.

    Which I think is saying that having an ethics dimension to just about any educational or training endeavour would be a good move, and well done for anyone managing to make it into a reality.

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  61. @Your Grace

    Bit of an own goal for Aidrie.

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  62. Afternoon all

    Haven't had a chance to look at anything yet - just in, feet up with a cuppa. My lad insisting I watch Garrow's Law from last night, so I better keep him happy. :o)

    Catch up with everything later xx

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  63. Jennifer,

    cheers for the compliment, you're not so bad yourself ;)

    turminder,

    loved the Bitey anthem. I now have a mental image in my head of him cavorting a la pussycat dolls........on second thoughts.....

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  64. Deano

    My hoped for future grandkids need exposure to learning from better informed confident teachers.

    The way the world is shaping not much but nutjobs in all areas these days.

    Nearly every organisation I come into 'contact' with these days is so far up its own arse with management consultant speak that its painful.


    I detest and shudder at management-consultant speak. It’s like an alien life form has inhabited a host.

    In recent years I’ve gained four grandchildren; and I find these small people wonderous (although, I admit, I’m quite happy for their parents to do all of the first part), and it makes me want to change all of the world for them, and paint it as a much better picture. Not that I succeeded very well the first time around, but that doesn’t mean submission has occured.

    It’s not looking good though… However, we can still do what we can to point out to them all of the better ways – to be their guide along the way - and hope their lives aren’t too blighted by the world-ruling Economy-god; and try to make something different (better) here and there.

    Actions and inactions are both of equal importance - inactions can be as damaging as actions. Getting it right requires much wisdom (more than most of us have).

    Unfortunately teachers have been trained in these last years to teach according to central dictatorship, and every action carefully checked so as not to fall outside of dumbed-down doctrine – a doctrine established by those far away from the reality of the situation as usual, and so not knowing their a from their e.


    I do like the idea of a disability denial challenge. If I had wealth (meaning whatever follows is an idle boast), I’d employ a good lawyer and have a go at it.


    Right, I’m off to a nephew’s birthday tea – a bit of a break, after a really awful weekend in dementia-land.


    Atomboy

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


    Quite and indeed.


    Spike

    I want you to join together with the banned
    We don't want no Julian Glover
    Or his Tory patron lover
    I want you to join together with the banned


    Also rather moving.


    Congratulations to Alisdair

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  65. Moonwave, u is da bomb. : )

    Aye 13th pictures in my head, I see it as Jame Gumb (aka Buffalo Bill)

    "Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me"

    *shudders*

    Just off for a hot shower...

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  66. Do you think we could fit this into the UT musical ?

    Lyrics are by the famous songster 'Bitey'. Written for a little known back street band 'Radiohead'.

    CREEP

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  67. Moonwave,

    "I've frequently observed how often companies and organisations have become more unpleasant after sending their staff on business courses, or upon hiring those who've done their Business whatevers.

    Presumably because they become further indoctrinated in the rituals for how to serve the Economy-god before all others, instead of considering any further the notion of putting being decent first."

    Having worked for a few multinational companies, I have to agree with you. "Further indoctrinated", is absolutely right, because the one's who had a mind of their own could see that the newspeak was all nonsense. Needless to say, none of us did all that well in those businesses. Can't say I'm gutted about that.

    "Getting it right requires much wisdom (more than most of us have)."

    I agree with that, too, with my kids I aim to not get it horribly wrong. Bit of a cop-out, I guess.

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  68. I've been reading this report which came out in 2006 dealing with the issue of Worklessness in London

    Many people are unaware that a number of London Boroughs have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.That private sector employment in the Captital is a higher proportion of total employment than is the case in much of the rest of the country.And that 45% of all Black and Asian people in this country live in London and they disproportionately bear the brunt of unemployment here.

    The ConDems are hoping that the private sector will create enough jobs to soak up the large numbers who are being forced onto the ddole queue.Well it's not happened here in London where to add insult to injury large numbers of immigrants are being brought here to work on the Olympic Project whilst large numbers of people living in the five Olympic Boroughs remain idle.

    The report i've provided a link for highlights just how high unemployment rates are in some ethnic minority communities in London.Those on the Left however are often reluctant to acknowledge that cultural attitudes within some of these communities may be compounding the problems of poverty,unemployment and under-achievement that exist in these communities.Whilst those on the Right ignore the impact of racism and poor quality education,housing and healthcare and put the entire blame on those communities themselves.

    The fact is that the private sector is never going to provide the good quality education,training,childcare,heathcare and housing that is needed to reverse the unacceptable levels of poverty and unemployment in London or anywhere else in the country for that matter.Plus the inflexibility of the benefit system and the widespread problem of in-work poverty as well means that in a high cost area like London some people are better off claiming the pittance they get in benefits-for excluding HB it is a pittance-and topping up with cash inhand jobs in the Capitals' booming informal economy.(although here in London illegal migrants are often seen as more desirable in the informal economy because they're easier to exploit.)

    When the Captials's unemployed are subjected to the combined delights of ATOS,A4E and Workfare this could well provide the tipping point in those communities which already harbour a deep rooted sense of grievance.And IMO the shit could really hit the fan here.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Your Grace

    Your Happiness Questionnaire is No. 1 on the 1,2,3. :o)

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  71. Ahh, bailed out of work early and am sitting by fire with glass of wine and tired dog. Bliss.

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  72. We have just lit a fire, can't get near it now though the dogs thought we did it for them!

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  73. Tim - well, I suppose it makes sense from the dogs' point of view. ;-)

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  74. sorry james, wasn't ignoring you earlier, the flaming-balloon posts weren't there when I left...

    meerkatjie
    "I pointed out how appallingly narrow his taste in music was, and that 'because I say so' isn't sufficient justification for dismissing everything that doesn't have a member of either Joy Division or New Order in it as 'total crap'."
    hehehehehe. have to say, not a great fan of Annie's music after leaving said Eurythmics, but also wasn't particularly impressed by 'Revenge', or whatever Hooky's mid-life-crisis project was called...

    (ducks to avoid flack from Tim)

    moonwave - another very good post. I think there's a lot of the 'cult-like' stuff around on courses relating to 'modern business', as ably demonstrated by turminder's experiences at a communal job interview cum evangelical event. which is just bloody bizare, really. people have been studying economics for a while now, how did this 'new way of doing things' (which is rarely 'new' in any way shape or form) become so, well, cult-y?

    because that's all business studies / courses is for me - economics with the hard stuff taken out because that would take too long to understand.

    bit like studying music through the medium of S Club 7 because Bach's just too complicated.

    have suffered one or two of them meself. ended up being categorised as 'a plant', which pissed me off a bit. and another time they were throwing stuffed toys around to 'realise delegation strategies', although fortunately wasn't at that one, or would probably have thrown up.

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  75. so, in brief
    Education is meant to be civilising
    damn right. and it's meant to be hard too, or there's no bloody point.

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  76. Paul - I agree London could be a very interesting one to watch.

    Thaum and Tim - yer barstewards. I have always wanted a fire. A lovely roaring open fire, never had one.

    Deano - And physics - don't forget that. My other half bought me a sort of laymans guide to quauntum physics and it nearly made me cry after three pages. It messed with my head it fair did. All these atoms behaving differently if they weren't being watched than if they were and making waves and things. Complete head doer.

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  77. All these atoms behaving differently if they weren't being watched than if they were and making waves and things.

    Are you watching me now?

    Shall I change?

    *Waves* o/

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  78. You know that doc we discussed on here a bit the other day - Britians Trillion Pound Horror Story. Well apparently the guy who did it has links to the Living Marxism crew - according to Golem's thoughts - who are now it seems re-branded as Living Neo-Liberalism-pretending-to-be-something-a-bit-more-edgy.

    I don't know much about the LM mob except that most people on the 'left' in Sheffield didn't think much of them. Read quite a bit about them this morning - very strange how a whole collective seems to have gone from being commited libertarian communists to being free market right wingers.

    Even more strange - and worrying - is how much air time Channel Four are giving them.

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  79. Have been on my (un)fair share of managementy-type courses and they are all fucking pants. They're supposed to 'motivate' employees and they just make me want to puke.

    Princess - don't get too jealous; mine is fake! Although it *almost* looks like a real fire. Kicks out a fair bit of heat too.

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  80. princess - try 'schrodingers cat' (and follow up 'schrodingers kittens') by gribbin. chatty. still a bit of a headfuck, but way easier to get to grips with that some other 'introductions' out there...

    All these atoms behaving differently if they weren't being watched than if they were and making waves and things.
    ah, where physics and philosophy meet. there was a cracking thread on CIF Belief a while back where the ATL-er made such an elementary error re particles / waves and made this such a fundamental part of his article (it was something to do with a cow, think) that even I spotted it, and there ensued a complete shredding by the science-y side of the CIFBelief squad.

    *particles at atomboy*

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  81. Princesschipchops
    "I have always wanted a fire. A lovely roaring open fire, never had one."

    You've never been to a Chatsworth estate then?

    Make poverty history! Cheaper drugs now!

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  82. Spike, great stuff, especially:

    "Oh, what a beautiful warning
    12 posts deleted today
    I've got an ominous feeling
    Premodding's coming my way"


    I'm sorry to drag it down but Turminderjie did say: "I urge you to all write your own 'feem choons' : )" So blame him for this:



    Oh Wilduck, (or Hermit), Oh Bitey, Oh Bracks
    I took the piss just right out of ya,
    I forgot your game (I forgot your game).

    But Jennifer, AllyF, Philibee, Sooz, Thauma and sheffpixie, too
    (I forgot some names)
    Turminder, Bitterweed, monkeyfish, Paul, BB and Scorpio, too
    (I forgot some names)

    ...I love you from the bottom of my laptop case.

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  83. hey, heyhabib! nice lift from the one song that does actually mention me by name....

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  84. Collected the auld bugger from the medical centre where he had his foot done. Small NHS state of the art centre that seems to specialise in foot surgery. He was still full of anaesthetic so no pain and very amiable. Large bag of mega strong painkillers clutched in his fist. Only slightly miffed that he can't drink for a fortnight.

    I know I keep saying this but thank christ for the NHS.

    Princess - isn't that Claire thingy who's always on the Moral Maze an ex LMer? Hate the woman!


    Your Happiness Questionnaire is No. 1 on the 1,2,3. :o)

    Recognition of your brilliance at last Yr Grace Take a bow!

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  85. Good evening.

    BiteTheHand

    "I've been asked to pass on thanks to all of you who participated in the weekend's threads; it's amazing what people who think they've got a good idea for broadcasting will pay for a little action research."

    In that specific case, I exercise my rights under the Data Protection Act to access all data held in respect of myself.

    Seriously. This is a formal request.

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  86. Oh and just heard Kenneth clark expounding about the cuts to legal aid on the news. Unless you go for a no win no fee lawyer, if you have a medical negligence case for example - you'll be stuffed.

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  87. habib

    You're forgetting that to us Sheffielders, the Chatsworth Estate is that very posh place in Derbyshire.

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  88. I'd take a fake fire too Thauma. Saw a lovely one as that was flueless so we could have it but was told they cause condensation and we have tons of that every winter as is.

    Philippa - I will give that a go - cheers for the recommend.

    Habib - Been to Chatsworth yep -I am probably being really thick but don't get the fire connection? In fact I love Chatsworth. I try not to but I do. I love it in winter in the gardens when no one else is there and then in my head I pretend to be Eliza Bennet at Pemberly - but don't tell anyone that.

    I am off for a rest now as suddenly gone very tired. Might catch you all later.

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  89. P.s Sheff - Yeah that claire woman is!

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  90. Princess

    I love it in winter in the gardens when no one else is there and then in my head I pretend to be Eliza Bennet at Pemberly - but don't tell anyone that.

    And there was me thinking it was just me who did that!!

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  91. Evening all.

    I was in Chatsworth back in Spring as it happens. My mega walk from London to Stornoway went up the Derwent Valley and so took me right past the house.

    Beautiful hot day and a Sunday so it was absolutely hoaching with people. I would like to go and walk around there when it was quiet.

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  92. Hee hee, just listened to Tascia's 16:27 link: perfect!

    Here's another by some local lads: Stalker.

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  93. Moonwave, heyhabib, Princess, Philippa, thauma, turminder, et al !

    Yes a lot of those courses are about sect-like 'motivational' bullshit , but some are even worse . I recently read about the deliberate programme by FranceTelecom to select a few thousand of cadres for these courses, where they were literally taught how to go back and make life such absolute Hell for other staff that they either resigned ( objective for the employer ) or, in some cases, committed suicide .

    I just found it, a Machiavellian brainwashing of the 'chosen ones'.

    This example is even worse than the extreme US system of firing 10% every year (which I've heard of, but don't know how widespread it is ) , because it is deliberately designed to 'break' individuals, and quickly .

    It's been discontinued, supposedly, but the new cadres who betrayed their colleagues ( including personal friends ) are in place now. The swine.

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  94. MsChin, princesschipchops, Spencer,
    my apologies, Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire is impressive. The one I was alluding to was the one from "Shameless", a channel 4 series.

    I suspect, if we look back in history, the behaviour of it's creators would be no less reprehensible than the behaviour of the imagined characters of "Shameless", nor for that matter, those who engage in real, wanton violence in "sink estates".

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  95. Angie124 15 November 2010 7:26PM is Sailing extremely close to the wind on waddya ... gmg and offshoring ...

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  96. Princess

    "I don't know much about the LM mob except that most people on the 'left' in Sheffield didn't think much of them. Read quite a bit about them this morning - very strange how a whole collective seems to have gone from being commited libertarian communists to being free market right wingers."

    This is where they live now...about one article in ten is well worth a read..

    http://www.spiked-online.com/

    ...of the other nine...six aim at some kind of pseudo-marxist class-consciousness raising which often masks a libertarian agenda...and the other three are just weird posturing.

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  97. heyhabib, no doubt the makers of Shameless were having a little joke.

    Actually it was built by Bess of Herdwick who was a fairly brutal and ruthless type, ended up imprisoning her own grand daughter.

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  98. Spencer

    You were walking from London to Stornaway?!!

    Props!

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  99. Habib, rightbackatcha! 18:24

    UC? just fer auld times sake?

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  100. The G's readers editor , Chris Elliott, is being given a hard time. Well he asked for comments on the G's business journalism...

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  101. BB Still am. I'm doing it in bits. I have got to Bridge of Orchy in the Highlands. Plan to do a bit more after Christmas, weather permitting.


    Here's the Chatwsorth bit on my blog. http://onthewaytostornoway.blogspot.com/2010/05/stage-11-cromford-to-hathersage.html

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  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  103. Great blog, Spencer.

    What made you decide to do the walk? And are you doing it to raise money? And do you just find B'n'Bs on the way or do you plan it all in advance?

    Really am fascinated by this, being the sort of lazy person that can't even be arsed to make the 20 minute walk to the station most days... :o)

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  104. Turminder,

    "UC? just fer auld times sake?"

    Okay, but, by my honour, I'll wait until it's finished, get it off I-player and post my score first - just one point per correct answer. It would be good to have PeterJ around in time to make both of us feel embarrassed. I look forward to it in the next hour.

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  105. For anybody who's interested, that's playing University Challenge, in real time, whether in i-player or otherwise and posting your score.

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  106. BB. Not for charity. Just for entertainment. Walking along A roads in the pissing rain is my idea of fun.

    My parents moved to Stornoway when I was seventeen and I have hitched, got trains, gone by car, by coach, and ferry, by plane... even once sailed from Troon. But mostly I just whistle through England and Scotland and it ocurred to me that I was missing a lot on the way.

    So I decided to walk it, and take a look at the place. Which has been great because the funny thing is I have found that there are vast swathes of the country that I don't know at all.

    Partly that is because the roads and railways tend to go on the lowlands and miss out the Pennines and hills of the Southern Uplands. So I got to go through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines, Kielder Forest... all places I have never walked before.

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  107. BB to answer your question I plan it in advance. I have to because train tickets are ruinously expensive unless you book them weeks ahead. Difference between £20 and £150 or so at times.

    This is a pity because of course you have no idea what the weather is going to be doing six weeks away. I look for cheap B&Bs or stay in Youth Hostels, or with family and friends. So far I have avoided having to sleep out.

    I don't mind camping but I really, really don't like walking carrying the extra weight!

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  108. You're on, habib; I'll wait for iPlayer too.

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  109. Sounds of wild sniggering re selfmademan's most recent whaddya post.

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  110. Selfmademan's post on WADYYA is fantastic...

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  111. I knew 2 or 3 more but didn't say them b4 Paxo ; )

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  112. Spencer - just went back to your very first posts to have a read. It's a marvellous project!

    Meerkatjie - Selfmademan is the best poster on CiF evah! :o)

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  113. habib

    Do you have to take the points away when you desperately guess answers?

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  114. I love the way SMM replies to posts as if they were letters. Brilliant little touch.

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  115. If it's right it's right Jenn! : )

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  116. "Meerkatjie - Selfmademan is the best poster on CiF evah! :o)"
    First time I've ever had the pleasure. i was most amused. I particularly like his profile.

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  117. Evening all

    Dispatches on C4 is interesting.Looking at the generous salaries,pensions and transitional grants on offer to MEPs and EU Commisioners.Mandelson for instance has been given £103 thousand pa in transitional grants since he stepped down as an Eu Commisioner.

    The programme is also looking at how the allocation of the annual 30 billion euro budget for structural redevelopment in deprived EU areas can have unforseen consequences. Twinings in North Shield have been given a 10 million euro grant from the EU structural and redevelopment which they are going to use to transfer the factory to Poland.The 250 North Shields workers will be made redundant in the New Year but will be expected to train up the Polish workforce before they get their cards.So Twinings get the grant on account of North Shields being a deprived area and use it to shaft the North Shield workforce in favour of a cheaper workforce in Poland.

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  118. Paul

    That has just gone off the scale on my what-the-fuck-ometre...

    So the EU are giving grants to move production from one impoverished area of the Union to another?!

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  119. Hmm, my 15 yo neice likes this on facebook;

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  120. Paul -- I think French workers would be rather less ..er.. co-operative . The government too, even tho it's often delaying tactics .

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  121. Spencer, fancy meeting up for a pint or a walk in the castle grounds up in Stornoway when you arrive? I am guessing it won't be until sometime next year though. Also if you are passing through Glasgow again perhaps we could meet up, even if only for half an hour when you transfer between trains. I live very near the centre.

    Also, I believe the poster DurkheimWasRight lives down in Harris. Interesting coincidence.

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  122. Jenn, first answer counts. University Challenge is on i-player now, good luck to all who sail.

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  123. I must be happy as happy can be on the cameroonyhappymeter, cause I nearly pissed meself on that selfmademan post !

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  124. Mr selfmade is a rare treat to be savoured!

    Love it when he drops into CiF with his wonderful epistles.

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  125. (I've been looking forward to playing along with the UC thing for months, but now I'm able to watch it and actually take part, it turns out that I'm really fucking thick!!)

    Philippa

    No problem, although I did think that you were maybe protesting the 'pipster' thing.

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  126. We are not worthy, we are not worthy … ; )

    C'm on James I posted 8 once!

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  127. Yes, well, had I managed 8, I probably would have posted.....

    ;0P

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  128. Hi Charles. I am up at Christmas but I don't know how long for. It depends on the weather mainly because I want to go and do a few days walking on the mainland if it is not blizzards or, worse, really warm.

    A Hearach eh? Not sure if I have run acrooss him/her. Will keep an eye out.

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  129. Yeah, perhaps ask him on a thread, (sort of like 'btw do you live....')

    Hopefully I should be up for Xmas too, we could just go for a wee walk in the grounds or something.

    I'll send you my phone number via your blog, nearer the time anyway.

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  130. Woo UC has dumbed right down, I got 23, turns out I am red hot on demons, the latin names of fruit and veg and words with 3 As in them. ;)

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  131. Nonsense Jen, maybe it is just you became cleverer :)

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  132. (and no it hasn't dumbed down, you daft 'app'orth!)

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  133. Oh, soz Ian - I missed your score.

    Ian wins \o/

    *BB isn't playing because she is actually not all that bright outside of her chosen field*

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  134. Nah Peter J is the winner, plus I use the cunning tactic of giving the same (most obvious) answer to all of the non starter questions, you almost always get one right.

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  135. I was saved by the demon and the 'A' rounds, really.
    Otherwise I would have been in real trouble....

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  136. I managed to recognise Jack Kerouac, but not William Burroughs.

    But I, too, was sound on vegetables.

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  137. D'oh.

    I think it's time I went to bed, cos I misread PeterJ for Ian.

    Although it's too early for bed yet. I don't need to be up til 7.15 for once.

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  138. That didn't make sense did it?

    What I mean is that if the question is about American poets you just say Ezra Pound until you are right, if the first answer is Ezra Pound (it often is) then you move onto Robert Frost.

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  139. I got it Jen.

    It's a favoured technique in this house too...

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  140. @jenn

    I do that too. This time I noticed that the obvious one was usually the last of the three, as well.

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  141. Jen - great strategy! I like this one, if we're talking (briefly) about Robert Frost...

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

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  142. I don't know Jen. I would have thought that the answer to American poet questions was Walt Whitmen unless it was Beatish then it would be Alan Ginsberg or that bloke who sounds like spaghetti.

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  143. Absolutely Peter, they made me wait until the last question for Verdi, the swines.

    That is what I mean about dumbing down, it was obvious in the maths question that -i was going to be one of the answers, you didn't need to know anything about the subject just how the UC question setters think.

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  144. Spencer

    Whitman would work just as well as Pound, it would have worked better tonight in fact. ;)

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  145. I love that poem, Shaz. Particularly the last stanza. Frost is such sumptuous loveliness.

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  146. Ha, Burroughs was the only one I did get! Just like the old days ; )

    NN pals p x

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  147. @Spencer

    Ferlinghetti! I would have got him, but they showed Gregory Corso instead.

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  148. Shaz - that poem paints a lovely picture.

    Hope you are well !

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  149. Jenni "Whitman would work just as well as Pound, it would have worked better tonight in fact. ;"

    How come Pound and not Eliot? Does Eliot not count as really American in quiz setters minds, do you think. Ferlanghetti, was that him? Something like that anyway. But he would be too obscure for UC or "Ignorant Children" as we like to call it in the Tybo mansion.

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  150. @Peter J - That's the begger. Cross posted.

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  151. "I am discovering J.B. Priestly who is sure to be the next big thing when others get to hear of him"

    clipped...

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  152. Now I am going to sound a bit obsessive here but if they are going to mention Elliot he tends to get a whole round to himself.

    I haven't actually watched for a long time but I did used to watch it a lot and it doesn't seem to have changed.

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  153. And this one, lovely for a cold, bleak day... but not remotely American

    The Stolen Orange

    When I went out I stole an orange
    I kept it in my pocket
    It felt like a warm planet

    Everywhere I went smelt of oranges
    Whenever I got into an awkward situation
    I'd take out the orange and smell it

    And immediately on even dead branches I saw
    The lovely and fierce orange blossom
    That smells so much of joy

    When I went out I stole an orange
    It was a safeguard against imagining
    There was nothing bright or special in the world

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  154. Add Wallace Stevens to your American poets.

    This is my favourite.


    The Emperor of Ice-Cream

    Call the roller of big cigars,
    The muscular one, and bid him whip
    In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
    Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
    As they are used to wear, and let the boys
    Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
    Let be be finale of seem.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

    Take from the dresser of deal.
    Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
    On which she embroidered fantails once
    And spread it so as to cover her face.
    If her horny feet protrude, they come
    To show how cold she is, and dumb.
    Let the lamp affix its beam.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

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  155. "I am discovering J.B. Priestly who is sure to be the next big thing when others get to hear of him"

    Loved him on Beverley Hills 90210....

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  156. jen - *whispers* - I used to keep score giving myself 10 points for the starters and 5 for the follow-ups (allowing myself to answer all the follow-ups, on the grounds there was just one of me) and then see if I could beat the weaker team...

    wish i could get the i-player here....

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  157. Meerkatjie: sumptuous loveliness

    A perfect description of that particular poem...

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  158. The important thing about poets is not whether they were born in America or not but whether they spent time in Highgate, of course.

    It is less the case with novelists. But J.B.Priestly did live in Highgate, in Coleridge's old gaff.

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  159. @Phil

    Try Googling virtual private networking. For a fairly small sum, you can apparently bounce your connection to the UK, so iPlayer thinks you're a resident.

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  160. Spike I love that poem.

    How weird is that, I only know about 5 poems (I never claimed to be intellectual) and two of them have been posted here tonight.

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  161. spike - proxydave is the usual here, but just can't be arsed to deal with another download that makes my anti-virus software wet itself and start sobbing...

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  162. Jen,

    If someone posts 'the man from nantucket', I'll have me a full house...

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  163. Do you know this one by the same poet, Jenn?

    The Plot Against the Giant

    First Girl
    When this yokel comes maundering,
    Whetting his hacker,
    I shall run before him,
    Diffusing the civilest odors
    Out of geraniums and unsmelled flowers.
    It will check him.


    Second Girl
    I shall run before him,
    Arching cloths besprinkled with colors
    As small as fish-eggs.
    The threads
    Will abash him.


    Third Girl
    Oh, la... le pauvre!
    I shall run before him,
    With a curious puffing.
    He will bend his ear then.
    I shall whisper
    Heavenly labials in a world of gutturals.
    It will undo him.

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  164. Well, if we're talking American poets here, can I put a word in for Langston Hughes?

    I, Too, Sing America


    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I'll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody'll dare
    Say to me,
    "Eat in the kitchen,"
    Then.

    Besides,
    They'll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed--

    I, too, am America.


    Certainly shamed my adolescent white ass.

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  165. @Jenn, well I hope that they are all Highgate poets!

    Gerald Manley Hopkins? Eliot? Andrew Marvel? Coleridge? Houseman? Betjemen? Christina Rosetti? Blake? We can let Keats in at a pinch but I am going to put my money on Manley Hopkins and Blake in this case. And maybe a side bet on Eliot.

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  166. There once was a man from Nantucket
    Who kept all his cash in a bucket
    Once his daughter named Nan
    Ran away with a man
    And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

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  167. A touch more Thomas?

    Once It Was The Colour Of Saying

    Once it was the colour of saying
    Soaked my table the uglier side of a hill
    With a capsized field where a school sat still
    And a black and white patch of girls grew playing;
    The gentle seaslides of saying I must undo
    That all the charmingly drowned arise to cockcrow and kill.
    When I whistled with mitching boys through a reservoir park
    Where at night we stoned the cold and cuckoo
    Lovers in the dirt of their leafy beds,
    The shade of their trees was a word of many shades
    And a lamp of lightning for the poor in the dark;
    Now my saying shall be my undoing,
    And every stone I wind off like a reel.

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  168. On the breast of the barmaid from Yale
    Was printed the price of pale ale
    And on her behind for the sake of the blind
    Was printed the same info in braille.

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  169. @Montana

    I like the Hughes. I see he died in 1967, so I hope he got to sit at that table.

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  170. Each night father fills me with dread
    As he sits at the foot of my bed
    I'd not mind that he speaks
    In gibbers and squeaks
    But for seventeen years he's been dead


    Edward Gorey (approximately, from memory)

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  171. Two good poems there, Montana! :o)

    And it is time for bed now. NN all xx

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  172. No I don't know that one Spike, like I said my poetry knowledge is sadly limited, I obviously have innate good taste though. ;)

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  173. some good poems there - particuarly liked that Hughes, Montana.

    but must sleep.

    night all

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  174. Goodnight BB and Phil!

    @jenn

    Obviously.

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  175. Montana

    I know sweet FA about poety but i liked that one from Langston Hughes.It said a lot with relatively few words.

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  176. Thanks Montana.

    Although I remember the northern comprehensive school version being somewhat different.

    Still, BINGO!!!!

    Night Philippa!!

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  177. James

    How has the trip home been so far?

    Are you sick of cheese yet?

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  178. Hello everyone; not played the UC game before so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
    I managed to rack up 13 which, considering it was halfway through before I got my first point on the scoresheet, was a bit worrying!

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  179. Sick of cheese??

    Never!!

    (I had it melted today)

    So far it's been a bit bitter sweet, given that it's the first time I've been back since we went properly daft.

    The news has become a bit of a health hazard for me....

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  180. As in the news on the TV.

    Seems to just wind me up!!

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  181. James

    I know what you mean.I usually log on to see the news headlines and if it's something either big or a particular subject that interests me i'll watch either the news or newsnight if i can to see if i can glean anymore info.But most news is either depressing in varying degrees or not reported as impartially as it might be.

    @Hello Jen and chekhov

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  182. princesschipchops said...


    Deano - And physics - don't forget that. My other half bought me a sort of laymans guide to quauntum physics and it nearly made me cry after three pages. It messed with my head it fair did. All these atoms behaving differently if they weren't being watched than if they were and making waves and things. Complete head doer.

    Haha, you are not alone. Did my head in too, when I had to study it. Especially the "making waves" thing. And quite a few seemed non-plussed by it. It is tricky, counter-intuitive stuff, but to be honest many of the textbook accounts make it worse. They give you a jumble of stuff but don't properly explain why. The reasons are buried in there, but you have to join quite a few dots, it's not necessarily made explicit.

    If you look at the history of Quantum Theory, it helps one to get "why" they did things the way they did. Why they started treating matter like waves. Layman accounts leave out the hard stuff, but that can leave you wondering "why" all the more. Coming at it from different angles, and reading the history of the theory, makes it easier to get things like why they started treating matter like waves and stuff.

    I blame Newton. I think Newton said he deliberately expressed his calculus in obscure geometrical terms to stop us plebs misapplying it. You get the feeling at times that others may have had the same idea.

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  183. Paul,

    Yeah, It's like FOX news took over all the channels without anybody noticing.

    Plus the fact that they're the medium through which Cameron enters my living room, tries to nick my wallet, pisses on the carpet, and innapropriately fiddles with my cat, while I'm distracted getting apoplectic at whatever bollocks he's spouting today....

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  184. @hevers

    Agreed on the historical route to enlightenment about quantum physics; if you start from Maxwell it gets much easier to understand the constancy of the speed of light, for instance. I learned a lot from that kind of approach, much of it after I'd finished the degree of which it had formed a part.

    I was even reading a website the other day that finally explained eigenvalues so I understood them, instead of just working them out as I did at one time.

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  185. I started reading a book about the universe (big book) by Micheal Green, I think it was, and I had to stop after a bit because it was really freaking me out, it didn't help that he kept using the Simpsons to illustrate concepts but the real problem was that I kind of kept half understanding what he was saying and it felt like balancing on the edge of a mental cliff, counter intuitive doesn't even start to cover it.

    I did a lot better with Simon Singhs Big Bang, I might see if I can find Micheal Greens book again, give it another go.

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  186. @PeterJ

    Yep, I get the impression that it's true for a lot of people. They don't really "get" a lot of it till after Uni, coming at it again at their own leisure.

    This is especially true for those who studied applied science subjects, where they race you through the theory to get to the applications of it.

    Whereas the Physicists and Mathematicians, they get three years just to do the theory.

    (Or maybe four years, at Cambridge).

    I mean, we got something like a week on Relativity, and that was with other stuff going on. If you study maths or physics, they seem to get much longer on it.

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  187. @jenn

    That sounds like The Elegant Universe, I think, by Brian Greene.

    Incidentally, I really hate that stupid analogy thing that American science popularisers do, as Greene does with the Simpsons. And their habit of putting themselves and their feelings into the story. I was reading a book about E. Coli by Carl Zimmer, and the first chapter was all about him looking out of the window at his garden.

    The rest of the book wasn't much good either. The information was there, but it was fantastically-badly organised and presented.

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  188. Ah that sounds right Peter.

    I've just realised that I always spell Michael wrong, I spell a lot of things incorrectly but on a more random basis, if I ever decide to sock puppet I will have to watch that.

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