28 November 2010

28/11/10

Craspedodiscus coscinodiscus Ehrenberg - Stephen Nagy, M.D.
People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people's minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.
-Elizabeth Gaskell

239 comments:

  1. @Sheff:

    Sent to both addresses. Surely one will get there?

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  2. Amusing comment from David Mitchell's thread:

    gritpypethynne

    28 November 2010 12:34AM

    You can say what you like about this government, but it took Margaret Thatcher 3 years to achieve riots and a royal wedding. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have achieved it in 6 months.

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  3. heheheheh, nice one from GPT there, Montana.

    bit cross - up early (day out) and thought would catch the end of TMS but all i got was 'due to rights issues...' message. some cock up at 5livesportsthingy, think.

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  4. Woohoo!

    Space cadet Jaffa Cake!

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  5. Morning all

    Still no snow here - I am beginning to feel quite left out!

    Will have to scrape an inch of ice off my car when I go out later though. Brrrrrr...

    At least the Beeb have given up on the idea of letting Jordan/Katie Price edit Today over Xmas. Phew.

    Nothing to do with her being "common" either (which she isn't compared to the majority of newsreaders - she's a middle-class Sussex gal). I just don't like her persona at all. God knows, if anyone can actually make me feel sorry for Peter Andre...!!!

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  6. We have a teensy bit of snow, but nothing to write home about BB. So don't feel too left out. I'm hoping for a good foot of the stuff by the end of the week... :-)

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  7. I was up nearly as late as Bitterweed last night, by the looks of things - that has to be some kind of record!

    Fantastic show in Leicester with Ian Siegal and Ben Prestage, who was mind-blowingly good. Played guitar, drums, harmonica and sang all at the same time! (Well, not harmonica and singing.) Funniest bit was when he introduced his 'band' and each did a little solo.

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  8. Where was the concert, Thauma?

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  9. Oh I just looked it up. I love the Musician - it's a great venue. We were there a couple of weeks ago. :-)

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  10. Yes, nice place Meerkatjie! Never been there before.

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  11. Oh it's fabby. They always have good musicians - they book really well.

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  12. Salam malikum, visitor from Pakistan! Or is Habib on holiday?

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  13. Hi Turminder

    Often when i've been working/lurking in the early hours it's a bit like the UN here.I've seen flags popping up from all over place.God knows what they all make of us :-)

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  14. Welcome to the person from the Korean Republic

    Are you in a position to talk to us?

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  15. I've asked this before, but no-one answered. How does the visitor nationality work? If I leave the UT page open and go out for the night, like last night, do I continue to feature as a visitor from France all night? Or do I only feature for a certain length of time after opening or refreshing a UT page? Or what?

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  16. I don't know about this one, spike, but the one I used to have on an old site of mine would show you as present when you first visited, then kept you as visible for five minutes. If you were inactive for longer than five minutes, you'd disappear from the log, till you did something again.

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  17. South Korea?

    Maybe it is Bitey on his way back to China.

    One can only hope. :o)

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  18. you've been talking to Meerkatjie again haven't you BB?

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  19. Brrrrrrrr... still no snow here, but extraordinarily cold. Supposed to be getting work done for course on Wed, but about as enthusiastic as a wet mop. It'll end up being 3am Wed morning...

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  20. Us women stick together - you know that! :p

    Anyway, I am getting my own back for the fact that my husband and son have been ganging up on me all weekend with what to do with christmas decs, etc. Fascists*.

    (*BB definition of fascist = anyone who dares to disagree with me...)

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  21. Shaz - I always manage to leave everything til the last minute anyway, so I have given up worrying about it any more. Make hay while the sun shines? Nah. Lie in the sun while the sun shines :o)

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  22. Nearly finished wrapping my presents.

    Am I fucking efficient or what?

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  23. Make hay while the sun shines? Nah. Lie in the sun while the sun shines :o)

    Good idea... and in the total absence of sun, the rugby's on in 20 mins...

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  24. Bloody hell, Spencer... I haven't even started thinking about the 'C' word yet...

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  25. Well done, Spencer!

    I have bought the sum total of three presents so far. None of the wrapped. Sigh. Christmas eve looks like being busy again (see my last post to Shaz! :p )

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  26. G'day comrades

    Fab day here - decent layer of snow, very cold, with a scythe like wind if you're facing the wrong way but brilliant clear blue sky. Love it when I can clump about in snow boots. Have been mooching in stationery shops and munching on hot chestnuts.

    I noticed Israel was flagged up yesterday morning and wondered if it was someone from cifwatch, as one or two of us have posted there in the past.

    Montana

    Its in the bag!

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  27. I am suffering under a self-imposed ban on stationery shops, Sheff... I could almost stock a shop as it is, just can't resist the whole pens and paper thing... and Moleskine paper is gorgeous to write on with a fountain pen...

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  28. I've been digging my neighbours out of the snow, which is a good 14inches thick here, 45mins, I got about 5m! Best tool, lawn hand shovel thing, supposed to be for leaves, v.good for snow!

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  29. Re the discussion of photos of Lewis in the snow, yesterday. Couldn't access the Flickr account but I have upped a gallery to my picasa account (it was overdue anyway, already nearly lost them in a computer crash).

    Charles will recognise the first few but for anyone else interested there are a bunch from the Castle Grounds, which is a fabulous park just outsided Stornoway itself, with great views of the harbour, and some photos of Stornoway from Gallows Hill which is in the Castle Grounds.

    Then there are some from the ferry to Ullapool, by the mouth of Loch Broom, mostly Ben Mor Coigach and An Teallach.

    I stopped in Glen Nevis on the way down and hears that Steall Watefall was frozen so set off to take a look. En route down the road I got a lift from a mountain rescue landrover which was great because they could go further up the road than most other vehicals. There were two couples in it who were going to climb the waterfall.

    And of course, when I got there, the iced waterfall was mobbed with maniacal ice climbers.

    They really are crazy. I did not get a decent photo but in places you could see the water pouring out of a gap below the bit ice that they were climbing up.

    Each to their own, but.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/spencer.woodcock/Christmas09#

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  30. Nope, hasn't worked again. Try cutting and pasting it. http://picasaweb.google.com/spencer.woodcock/Christmas09#

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  31. I don't know why those links don't work. I wonder if it is to do with it being on picasa which is itself linked to Blogger?

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  32. Haven't tried that Shaz - although I should as I suffer in the same way - total addiction to proper ink and beautifully bound paper

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  33. By the way, Spencer, I got your email and I have just uploaded the photos on flickr. They are awesome!

    Linky here...

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  34. Very nice photos Spencer. Its a bit like that at the moment, although there is more snow on the ground.

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  35. Thanks BB. Don't know what the problem is, I couldn't access Flickr and don't seem to be able to link my Picasa album.

    But at least it got me to upload those photos. I had a catastrophic crash of my net book in Spring and lost loads of pictures. So it is a good idea to put them on a web gallery, anwyay. It is just a hassle.

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  36. More snow now? BTW Charles. The forecast seemed to be for lots more snow in the Cairngorms. I would not bet on the train getting through tomorrow, if I was you.

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  37. I've been reading Cif this morning, I am proper bored today and the libraries thread has made me lose the will to live.

    Why are there so many tosspots in the world?

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  38. Have just read yesterdays discussion about vintage cars.Personally i'd much rather drive a vintage bus like THIS BEAUTY

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  39. Good photos Spencer.

    Know what I'm getting the kids, got half of it, no idea about the good lady... : (

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  40. Lovely photos Spencer. I did the An Teallach ridge in my youth although not in winter. Beautiful mountain. Ice climbing is fun if the conditions are good and you've got the right gear, although am a bit past it now.

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  41. *BB definition of fascist = anyone who dares to disagree with me...

    Tell us something new MrsBootstraps.

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  42. Paul

    Just the thing for UT outings!

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  43. Bugger - I thought you were on your way to blogger censorship heaven, BTH. Ah well. :p

    Did anyone read Dr Gerry Mander today? This bit made me laugh:

    Dear Dr Mander,

    Here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea we have successfully built socialism, while you western pigs wallow in the depraved quagmire of imperialist capitalism. I can see how this must drive you mad with envy. But that is no excuse for launching attacks on the bastion of proletarian government from the treasonous puppet enclave on our border. I have watched your greedy banks gobble up the wealth of the people; I have seen how your supine, lickspittle politicians play lackey to the captains of rapacious finance.

    Look at your neighbours, look at how precarious their vainglorious single European currency has become, putrid from usury and corruption! Do you suppose you are immune from the furies that will be unleashed when their arrogant folly is exposed? Is it any surprise that students take to the streets? The workers will be next. Your capitalist house of cards is collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions. Why can't you see it?

    Kim Jong-il

    Dear Kim,

    I can see how you might have got the impression that capitalism is going through a bit of a rocky patch. But you misinterpret the situation. Financiers are not villains, but wealth-creators. They did not bankrupt the economy, they were cruelly led astray by weak regulation. All of our current difficulties are caused by government frittering money away on schools and hospitals. So when the City was in trouble, it was natural for the people to express their support with spontaneous gifts of tax revenue.

    You must have missed the heart-warming spectacle of ordinary folk sacrificing their benefits, services and jobs so that bankers might retain their vital bonuses. Take a closer look and you'll see our system is as strong as ever.


    Heheh.

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  44. >>Why are there so many tosspots in the world?


    Don't knowif you've seen this Jen?

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  45. I thought you were on your way to blogger censorship heaven, BTH

    Exactly. Here I am. Why do you want to stop me from defending women?

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  46. From the libraries thread:

    ianlibrarian
    28 November 2010 7:38AM

    For those without computers, there are libraries
    For those who need help, there are libraries
    For those with no money, there are libraries
    For those who do not live in London or a big city and want to see a book, there are libraries
    For those who need an answer, there are libraries
    For the child and the mum wanting to read a picture book, there are libraries
    For a quiet place to study, there are libraries
    For the lonely retiree who does not see another face all day, there are libraries
    For the disabled man who cannot get out of the house but has books delivered to him by volunteers, there are libraries
    For help with homework, there are libraries
    For assistance with the online forms that are increasingly essential, there are libraries
    For unbiased information, there are libraries
    For the lost and the lonely, for the unemployed, for those who are not tech-savvy, for the child and for the parent, for the chap whose printer is not working today, for the unemployed man who needs to file a CV online, for the child with nowhere to go between school and 6 when mum comes home, for you and for me, there are libraries.

    For the sake of a few pounds each year, there will not be libraries.

    Your choice.

    My current count of libraries closing is 240 libraries and 16 mobile libraries under threat . Your can read the complete list at my blog on http://publiclibrariesnews.blogspot.com/

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  47. Am I alone in thinking that Wearetheworld is shooting for most ironic user name?

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  48. BTH

    "I thought you were on your way to blogger censorship heaven, BTH

    Exactly. Here I am. Why do you want to stop me from defending women? "

    You mean you come onto the UT to defend women? Really? Which women would that be then? Me? Sheff? MsChin? Meerkatjie?

    How has this "defence of women" manifested itself so far? Oh wait! I know the answer to this one - smearing and attacking the women who actually post on here (the majority of whom think you are at best, a bit sad, and at worst, a weirdo stalker) and chucking in a random rad-fem solidarity post now and again to convince us of your right-on credentials.

    Riiiiight. You just keep on defending women in your own little way, then. Talking about it occasionally in theory while attacking actual female posters with whom you disagree in practice through the medium of their perceived shortcomings as mothers/alcoholics/[insert evangelical religious nutter view here]

    Carry on.

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  49. Actually, I think I am very close to the point when I can't be bothered to argue with Tory Trolls on CIF any more. It is not as you are going to change their vestigial "minds."

    Still waiting to hear if I will have a job after April, and more importantly, if there will still be the support services we provide for vulnerable and isolated elderly people.

    But the runes are not looking good. My boss told me on Friday that the woman who runs the kids play schemes in the holidays and half term had rung to say that in 18 months she was going to be made redundant. That is not our schemes, she works for Camden's youth services in term time.

    Now that might not sound so bad. 18 months is a way away. But here is the thing. The whole of the youth services is going. All of it. Everyone who works for it is being made redundant.

    Complete decimation.

    That day I picked up a freesheet on the way out of the door from Islington Council. They are going to cut the police budget by 20%.

    So there will be nothing for the kids to do, massively increased unemployment, less criminals in jail (which could be good if there was decent supervision/rehabilition put in place instead but will be a disaster if it is just a cost cutting exercise)...

    And less police around to keep a lid on it.

    Do you think some Communist cell has got into Eton, Another Country style and now taken over the government with a view to making the whole system collapse in chaos?

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  50. So the Serious Organised Crime Agency, SOCA, is now going to police the net, or what ?

    I first saw it around at CraigMurray's gaff, link to Guido.

    Is that old news by now? Busy on other stuff.

    Still -1 outside in the sun...cooking some frozen beetroot I left by the door last night, now to check on some carrots I neglected to cover ..
    XX

    PS I prefered Paul's double-decker , because you can live in it in one of the "trailer-parks" which will be invading us. My favourite 4wheeler is theLittle Grey Fergie, Le Petit Gris loved and made in France too, a revolutionary machine, and beautiful!

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  51. Spencer - he is such a misanthrope, it is difficult to imagine how anybody actually holding his views makes their way onto the Graun in the first place.

    The problem is, he seems to bring all his misanthropic buddies with him as well!

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  52. bitey

    Why do you want to stop me from defending women?

    If you're that interested in defending women, ceasing to stalk them might be a place to start. Although I think we could probably manage quite well without your good offices, thanks.

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  53. and whilst we're on the subject...Bítethehand said...
    *BB definition of fascist = anyone who dares to disagree with me...

    Tell us something new MrsBootstraps.
    28 November, 2010 14:28


    How predictable. That well-known defender of women's rights behaves like a 5-yr-old. Again.

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  54. Spencer

    That is really bad news for Camden Youth Services. And I hope your job is still there after the budget. It is all going to hell in a handcart at the moment...

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  55. the majority of whom think you are at best, a bit sad, and at worst, a weirdo stalker

    Publicly that is quite clearly the case. Privately I believe some of you at least must admire the integrity of my stance. Be that as it may, I am, quite clearly, failing to get my message across and will take a short break from posting while working on a new commenting style.

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  56. "The whole of the youth services is going. All of it. Everyone who works for it is being made redundant."

    I'm afraid this has been happening for a couple of years now, in an isolated pattern round the country. Tory councils have been systematically shutting down youth services. The northamptonshire one went about 4 years ago, I think. And you really do feel the effect of that, if you work in youth related fields in this area. Everyone's stretched so thin because there's no on the ground back up from youth services anymore.

    I think tories think all that youth workers do is bounce footballs about and hang with the young people.

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  57. I believe some of you at least must admire the integrity of my stance

    I doubt it. I can't think of anyone who has ever given the impression that they believe there is any integrity in harassment.

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  58. Do you think some Communist cell has got into Eton, Another Country style and now taken over the government with a view to making the whole system collapse in chaos?

    Interesting theory, Spencer. A bit like the famous line from the Viet Nam war, eh? It became necessary to destroy the [country] in order to save it.

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  59. Meerkatjie Sure, but this is a Labour council.

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  60. Yeah, but it's a labour council that just had it's funding hacked by the tories...

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  61. Privately I believe some of you at least must admire the integrity of my stance

    Err...no we don't bitey.

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  62. I think tories think all that youth workers do is bounce footballs about and hang with the young people.

    Even if it were true that that's all they did, it would still be worth the money. Some young people just need that positive attention from an adult to give them a sense of worth.

    Over-privileged cunts with no clue what life is like for some people and too fucking heartless to care.

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  63. Excellent article from David Mitchell on Nick Clegg and student demos.

    Comes to something when the best serious articles on matters of huge political import in the Guardian are written by comedians though.

    What's that about?

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  64. Re Eton moles, etc. I saw The Ghost (yes, I know it's Polanski, but had already downloaded it on cable and been charged for it by the time I realised!)

    Really good film for anyone who likes political thrillers. The basic plot is a writer (Ewan McGregor) who is paid to take over as ghost-writer for the former British PM, who is holed up with his wife on a little island off the coast of Maine. Needless to say the PM and wife are obviously meant to be Tone and Cherie.

    Really good plot to it, with lots of lovely twists and turns.

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  65. Meerkatjie "Yeah, but it's a labour council that just had it's funding hacked by the tories..."

    Indeed. You know what the irony is? At the last election the Tory/LibDem coalition that had been in power were chucked out and Labour took back control of the council.

    When they were in power the ConDem coalition instituted a huge spending review which mostly seemed to involve giving lots of council tax payers money to consultants.

    Be that as it may, they decided that the services our schemes provide for elderly people were excellent value for money. There was even, briefly, talk of giving us grants for three years ahead, instead of the usual one.

    But just after this the Credit Crunch hit.

    And now a Labour government has taken over the council and has to institute brutal cuts because of the Tory/Lib Dem government.

    Funny old world, eh?

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  66. I think tories think all that youth workers do is bounce footballs about and hang with the young people.

    Even if it were true that that's all they did, it would still be worth the money. Some young people just need that positive attention from an adult to give them a sense of worth.


    Spot on, Montana.

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  67. Publicly that is quite clearly the case. Privately I believe some of you at least must admire the integrity of my stance. Be that as it may, I am, quite clearly, failing to get my message across and will take a short break from posting while working on a new commenting style.


    You can actually see it, with your own eyes, from post to post, the Genesis of Giyus.

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  68. Bloody hell, Turm. That made me think of the Genesis of the Daleks, and Davros!

    EEEEEEK!

    (Hides behind sofa)

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  69. Oh the daleks aren't so scary BB. I pee my pants at the sight of cybermen though.

    And as for those bloody angels....

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  70. The Rani's scary, not the Timelord, my mum...

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  71. + 1 on the weeping angels, Meerkatjie...

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  72. I had a dream about them last night! Well, a weird combination of them, and the 'voldemort is in the back of my head' theme from Harry Potter.

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  73. BeautifulBurnout said...

    South Korea?

    Maybe it is Bitey on his way back to China.

    One can only hope. :o)


    Sadly not, in fact it's one of the places still on my 'to visit' list. The

    Kyongbokkung Palace looks very interesting, although it does also look very similar to some places in Southern China, such as the Qing Dynasty Longquan Park in the Zhaobi Mountains of Xinping County.

    And not my posts at 14:28, 14:36 or 15:14

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  74. I think it was AllyF who was talking about "Blink!" - the episode with stone angels, the other day. Far and away one of the best Doctor Who episodes of the current era. Brilliant.

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  75. Blink and The Empty Child, BB. Sheer chilling genius... :o)

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  76. Yeah, although the 'are you my mummy' episodes take a bit of beating in the sheer creepiness stakes. And the image of the Vashdanarada (sp?) in the forest of the dead - though the plot got a bit convoluted in that one. But still one of those hair on the back of your neck type images, I think.

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  77. Just been listening to a great prog on R4. David Walliams and Andrew Motion discussing Phillip Larkin. This one was read rather beautifully:

    The Mower

    The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
    A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
    Killed. It had been in the long grass.

    I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
    Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
    Unmendably. Burial was no help:

    Next morning I got up and it did not.
    The first day after a death, the new absence
    Is always the same; we should be careful

    Of each other, we should be kind
    While there is still time.


    Aubade is an exquisite poem about death but is a bit long so will just put up the link for anyone who fancies it.

    Weird man but great poet.

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  78. Spencer, I got a few photos in but it got dark tomorrow. Depending on circumstances, I might takes some more tomorrow morning before I go.

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  79. 'ning all

    Dr Who.....bloody hell "The Master" was one creepy being didn't like him.........

    does anyone remember the invasion of the fluffy pompom balls in star trek..excellent.......


    go the luvs on Cif will be going into a state of heightened anxiety waddyya is closed........

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  80. akh.. it got dark early tonight.

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  81. Sheffpixie said....

    Privately I believe some of you at least must admire the integrity of my stance

    Err...no we don't bitey.


    Suggest you click on the name at 14:28, 14:36 or 15:14

    Twiceshy might feel clever impersonating me, but I'd be very wary about taking on the might of google.

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  82. A bit of friendly advice here about 'Bitethehand'. The posts at 14:28, 14:36 or 15:14 are from a different blogger account than the 16.17 post (with a different avatar and set up in August) but the other BTH has seemingly posted here before that date and has an account from Dec 2009 . The August account links to a one-off Spanish account set up today called 'twiceshy' with no activity or comments. A bit like luke's Spanish ifitsasix account.

    Somebody's being very naughty. Or maybe BTH is BTH1, BTH2, Luke and ifitsasix all at once. Very weird.

    My own moniker here shows how easy it is to play these games, but I'm not actually BTH, just a well-wisher.

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  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  84. Sorry, link went awol.

    It seems as though Bitey is multiplying like Gandolfo's tribbles

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  85. LOL

    Well whoever it is, if he behaves like an asshole I will just assume it's an asshole and treat them accordingly. And if they behave nicely I will treat them nicely. Not bleedin rocket science, is it?

    :o)

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  86. Nicely, nicely! Please save me from the mighty google.

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  87. Evening all real people - cautious hello to others.

    Paul

    Have you checked new legislation covering would be spouses comong here ?

    They will be required to take English test before being granted a visa.

    This will be an oral test - they will be expected to speak English tp level of average native speaker aged 6.

    This is a start but will not address the problems we have discussed 'cept that it may introduce English speakers into monoglot communities already established here.

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  88. It is a good David Mitchell article today, still a bit blinkered in places but he did one a few weeks ago that was so full of smug, upper middle class priviledge that the entire comment thread consisted of people saying WTF posho.

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  89. Spencer said...
    Actually, I think I am very close to the point when I can't be bothered to argue with Tory Trolls on CIF any more. It is not as you are going to change their vestigial "minds."

    Well often there's no need to change their mind since trolls frequently don't believe what they are saying either. They are probably not trying to change your mind either: they are going after the "undecideds"...

    You can change their minds sometimes though, albeit on less fundamental stuff.

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  90. Oh and I agree that the 'Are you my mummy?' episodes of Dr Who were the creepiest (if only for seeing John Barrowman play it straight) but I always thought the angels were a bit over rated.

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  91. Charles. Just saw another weather forecast. I think you will be lucky to get from to Glasgow by coach and train.

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  92. Yes!!!! A 2-1 win.Will compensate for the fact that waddya's closed down.Don't think i could have coped with a double blow!

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  93. Charles I think that when you do get home you would be wise to stay there until after Christmas, the way they are going on it sounds like the snow is never going to stop.

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  94. Hevers, I know, I know. It wasn't a thought out comment, more a sort of groan of despair at the sight of all the idiots saying that all the libraries should be shut as soon as possible.

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  95. Spencer said...
    Hevers, I know, I know. It wasn't a thought out comment, more a sort of groan of despair at the sight of all the idiots saying that all the libraries should be shut as soon as possible.

    Sure Spence, and my comment wasn't a critique of yours, more a reassurance of sorts that regardless of the Trolls' stance, pointing out the reality may still be of merit.

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  96. Leni
    Evening all real people - cautious hello to others.
    Brilliantly put. with you on that one.

    spencer - well, that's just a f-ing stupid idea (the children's services). almost as if all that counts for the brass is the short-term bottom line, with absolutely nothing being connected to anything else.

    if they keep saying it often enough, it will become true.

    mind, they seem to have at least delayed the HB arewipery, on the grounds that several thousand people pointing out that this may cause people to lose their homes seems to have sunk in a bit.

    only delayed though. so only a bit.

    and lovely post from ian the librarian. that needs to be put on a poster.

    and bitey, or whoever the hell that is, you can privately think whatever the hell you like, but for us to agree with the 'integrity' of your activities would require them to involve some integrity.

    you can probably tell from the amount of italicising in the above that, despite going on a day trip, seeing friends, their cats, having a lovely lunch and looking around their village, today has not been a good day and i am therefore seriously considering bringing out yet more html tags and capital letters.

    you have been warned

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  97. plus, the toon failed to beat chelsea so am now officially pissed off...

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  98. Jenni

    The expected long spell of cold weather coincides with an increase in home heating costs. We need to demand a stop on these increases now.

    this is the kind of control mechanism I would like to see a gvt. of any colour enacting. This is definitely a people before profits issue.

    Pensioners are already dying from the cold. Children are also vulnerable.

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  99. hevers 17.52-- subtle stuff there, but after all 'Tory Troll' covers a wide range of possibilities . I engaged a bit with FedEx a while back, and quite liked the bloke, but maybe he isn't really 'real'. Whoops -- it's the whine kicking in .

    ReplyDelete
  100. Spencer

    saw your post on now defunct waddya re Youth Services.

    this has been bif fear for many of us - non-mandatory services supported by local authorities will be first to suffer.

    We managed to get some funding - most from Tudor Trust - not sure if we will still be going next year.

    Our Youth Club rents premises from Council - also used thru day by pre school group (also grant funded ) - rent expected to rise come April.

    ReplyDelete
  101. PhilippaB -- glad to hear of that delay.
    I do think that the idea of people reducing their rent-payment in line with the now postponed future HB reduction could have legs ? Plenty of warning .

    Reminiscent of the Poll Tax Revolt ?

    Why not ?

    ReplyDelete
  102. dave from france said...
    hevers 17.52-- subtle stuff there, but after all 'Tory Troll' covers a wide range of possibilities . I engaged a bit with FedEx a while back, and quite liked the bloke, but maybe he isn't really 'real'. Whoops -- it's the whine kicking in .

    He isn't a bad example, as it happens. He's an example of someone who changed his stance on public sector pensions after it was pointed out that it's hardly going to encourage the private sector to up pensions if the public sector pensions get trashed.

    Meanwhile, he keeps reposting guff about the banking crisis and the deficit in a rather disingenuous way even after its essential risibleness has been exposed. A few of them do that quite a lot... post stuff that may actually be true in fact, but in a way that can easily mislead.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Hi Leni

    Haven't seen you around for a while.Hope you haven't come down with this nasty bug that so many people including yours truly have got.

    Regarding the changes in the law on marriage visas i certainly think it's a step in the right direction.As well as the ability to speak English the rules are also changing with regard to the British partner proving that s/he already has a level of resources that will enable him/her to support the spouse and any children.Don't know whether that includes proving they already have a home whether owned or rented.

    But you're right the other issues we've discussed before haven't been fully addressed by these changes.I'm not convinced there are enough safeguards in place to protect young people being either forced or heavily pressurised by their famillies to get married.The age at which a marriage visa is granted is 21.Personally i'd put it up to 24/25 as some other EU countries have done.But even older people can be duped into going abroad for an arranged marriage.Don't know if you heard of the recent case of the 32 year old doctor who had to be rescued after she was being kept against her will in Bangladesh.

    Also there's the issue of teenagers who go abroad at their families instigation, get married and then apply for the marriage visa once the non Britsh partner turns 21.How do you deal with that if it's quite clear the young Britsh national was either heavily pressurised or forced in the marriage in the first place.But daren't go against his/her family wishes for fear of what will happen.It's a minefield.And if you remember there are an estimated 3,000 mainly young female British citizens who are unaccounted for every year.Who are thought to be the victims of marriages where their wishes didn't enter the equation.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Absolutely Leni, I am sure if the energy companies had known this cold spell was coming then they would have delayed the announcements of price rises, or then again probably not I doubt they care that people will be dying.

    I never put my heating on, I would like to claim it is because I am a big hard Northerner but I just can't afford it, I have an air blower thing that I put on when I get up to take the edge off and then spend the rest of the day under a duvet with a hot water bottle to warm my hands up.

    It's generally not that bad because we don't have extreme cold that often but when it is like this it is bloody miserable and I can easily see how vunerable people could die.

    It is a national disgrace.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hi Leni - not seen you about for a while. hope you are ok? I totally agree with you re the energy company's its a total disgrace.

    Re the DW stuff - I never watch it so can't discuss the scariness or otherwise but did look the weeping angels up on youtube and they are a bit horrible to say the least.

    Is anyone watching the Walking Dead? The first ep of that scared me bonkers.

    I am pissed off today - a filling fell out last night so am in pain and i am really, really scared of the dentist. I am having a nightmare with an insurance claim for water damage. And now to top it all off our car won't start! At all.

    ReplyDelete
  106. hevers--- I'm less active on CiF than ever before, but if i come across him, I'll engage one of the X points he raises, and then tell him to go to GolemXIV for the big picture, and we'll discuss that !

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi Paul

    the death of a family member and of a close friend left me feeling a bit run over by the bus of life.

    ReplyDelete
  108. PCC-- not even with jump leads etc ...?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Leni I am so sorry to hear that, sending a virtual hug. x

    PCC

    I have been watching the Walking Dead and it has given me a couple of bad dreams so far but I can't seem to stop watching, it is great TV.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I'm with Jen, the angels are OK but they seem to me a rip off of an old Rolemaster RPG monster, called a Shard, that appeared as a statue, or moved with blinding speed. Yea, and this was in the mid 80s, verily.

    Are you my Mummy, v.good. Girl in the Fireplace and Vincent are faves.

    ReplyDelete
  111. my gas bill has just gone up to 78€ pcm, which would only mildly annoy me if the flat wasn't f-ing brassic all the f-ing time. vest shirt jumper cardi blanket and i'm still chilly. putting the heating on only seems to heat up the bathroom (no windows). am thinking of relocating in there. and while it's cold here relative to what it's usually like, i dread to think what it would be like if i was 'higher up', with snow and genuine weather and stuff.

    brrrrr, jen. horrible.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Leni

    I'm sorry to hear your bad news.Make sure you look after yourself.x

    ReplyDelete
  113. Leni - ah, so sorry. another virtual hug heading in your direction...

    ReplyDelete
  114. Not watching the Walking Dead, but just starting the graphic novels, vol 13 just out, my new nerd pal in the village has lent 1,2&3 to me, he said episode 2 [TV] was a bit disappointing, but 3 picks up again.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Leni

    Warmest wishes and sicere condolences x

    ReplyDelete
  116. Jenni

    I am working on thermal undies powered by a small solar panel.

    It is almost beyond belief that people cannot afford heating.

    Stay snuggled up - the water bottle is a great invention.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Thanks peeps

    Both of my friends have closer family than I but I have 2 people shaped holes in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Leni, I am terribly sorry to hear that. x

    ReplyDelete
  119. Leni-- the whole idea of a Council actually charging a Youth Club for a few hours use of premises is completely weird to me here in France.

    It reminds me of one of my most-prized rare 'memory-hole' books, about US politics, Corruption and Lobbying in the Sixties, "You Never Do Anything For Nothing" sums it up. That your Council does it is a significant decline, not arrived here yet.

    Premises should be rent-free for Charities,etc. Full Stop.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Leni

    I have only just thought of the hot water bottle (doh) before that I was just continually making coffee so I could hold the mug and I was getting totally hyper.

    Hands are the only real problem for me, gloves aren't really an option if you want to do anything.

    How bizarre is it that I have actually tried wearing gloves in the house?

    ReplyDelete
  121. Managed to stick this on the old thread by mistake, and then was horribly confused as to where I left my post. Not that it was exactly pearls of breathless wisdom first time round, but hey ho, let's try again:

    Is it just me or is the what do you want to talk endlessly about thread broken?

    Either way, did anyone else watch Peter Bracken's little film clip, and find themselves, squirming on the floor weeping in terror? No? Just me? Ho hum. One day I'll learn to stand on a chair, and actually be able to climb back down again unaided....

    ReplyDelete
  122. jen - trust me, have tried it.

    my typing was not improved. need to go fingerless, think.

    (glove-wise)

    ReplyDelete
  123. film clip? was a mouse involved?

    ReplyDelete
  124. No, just very, very sickeningly high heights.

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  125. Dave

    the charging for premises by councils is one of the results of grant funding. Councils see an oportunity to profit from vol work. Everybody involved in our YC is a volunteer - we use hours - costed at min. wage - as match funding.

    I am trying to keep up with trends developing fom BS notions - I think we will see much more profiteering of this kind from councils. There is a possibility they will sell off communiyt centres.

    ReplyDelete
  126. oh fuck. just found it. mmmmeeeeeee-aaaaaaaarrrggghhhh.

    ahem.

    not great with heights.

    ReplyDelete
  127. On hot-water bottles-- .

    Living in a cold French peasant's cottage, with a woodstove in the kitchen only for the past 27 years, Buy some CocaCola, just for the bottle . Fill it at the hot tap, ( hoping you have one ),wrap in a woolly sock, does the Bizness.

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  128. Bite the Hand(s)

    Identity Confusion Syndrome?...try the link

    http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/bodyswap/Default.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  129. Dave

    Great idea, when we were kids we used to have the glass bottles pop used to come in as hot water bottles, worked a treat.

    ReplyDelete
  130. reminds me of an incident at last work when there was a 'problem' at the building site over the road. we were evacuated due to said incident. which was assumed by many people to be the usual 'ooh, 'elf and safety' over-reaction, but was actually because one of the tension cables had gone on one of their high-rise cranes.

    really - heard it go, it sounded like someone had let off a rifle at 10x the volume. followed by a hideous creaking noise as the arm of the crane twisted down, and round the tower.

    think of the noise it made when the iceberg hit the titanic and the side ripped open.

    so we're all standing there in the carpark waiting for the crane to fall onto our building and wreck everything, and for some reason our bountiful HR director couldn't get any info out of the site manager.

    my immediate boss could. mainly because the first thing she said when she saw the crane looking like a giant corkscrew sticking up in the air was "oh my god, is the operator OK? did he get down alright?". so the site manager recognised her as a fellow human being. yes, he was fine. shaken, but OK. your lot best go to the pub, lady, we're not going to clear this up for a while...

    those things stand over the london skyline like a bunch of outsize birds, so it's very easy to forget that there is somebody connected to the ground only by a very very narrow ladder.

    eep.

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  131. Does that experiment use Bayesian principles, MF? We don't want any of that inferior non-Bayesian hocus pocus.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Leni 18.57 , my dear---- they sound as much your ENEMY as the bloody Forestry Commission. So much for "Democracy" and "Society".

    Got to find some way of shaming them, pressuring them. Occupy the building, or is that too foreign;)

    ReplyDelete
  133. Trivia alert

    ent into city of Swansea yesterday. Swansea is only an honorary city - just a town really.

    Determined to shop early for Christmas. Headed for first 'book' shop. It was full of Christmas rubbish - some books , deccies and lots of plastic rubbish masquerading as toys.

    Clothes shops were an abomination to the eyes - does nobody wear proper clothes any more ?

    Piped music, artificial snow and ugly little plastic elves. The noise, the horrors around me chased me away.

    I realise I have now become a Bumpkin. Help

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  134. Meerkatjie I watched a little bit of the beginning. Don't know why as he did warn you and I don't really do heights. But I realised early on it was a bad idea.

    DavefromFrance "Leni-- the whole idea of a Council actually charging a Youth Club for a few hours use of premises is completely weird to me here in France."

    I am guessing that it stems from the days of Thatcher when they introduced the internal market for the NHS and so many other great wheezes.

    The Community Centre where my scheme is based doesn't get enough money from the council to run without charging other groups. For example, my scheme has to pay rent for the office and there is a charge for use to be supervised by the Community Centre manager too.

    They are getting hefty cuts so even if our grant survives we may not have a base. Or maybe we will limp on for another year or so...

    It is more complicated though because the Council has been trying to get the Communty Centres to lease the buildings for years.

    If they were to do that then the (voluntary) "trustees" on the management committee would become liable for the debts, should the community centre go bankrupt.

    So not surprisingly, none of them are prepared to sign the leases.

    It is funny because the right goes on about the bloated public sector but though a large chunk of public spending might go into the public sector, for the last thirty years, less and less of it is really public in the sense that the government or local authority take responsibility for it.

    Instead charities get lumped with the responsiblities and private firms get all the public money for consultancies (to say nothing of the A4E, Capita etc type firms).

    It is a fucker too because I have worked at the same place for ten years, working with the retired people, but I get absolutely no pension provision and it has always been insecure (with grants given to continue the project year by year).

    ReplyDelete
  135. "Does that experiment use Bayesian principles, MF?"

    ....there's other kinds?

    There used to be (..used to be?) a joke about a physicist who was into super-string theory...his wife finds him in bed with another woman..

    "Don't get upset dear...I can explain everything"

    ..the minds such an enigma...such weird and wonderful random connections...I wonder why I was reminded of that joke when I read the word Bayesian

    ReplyDelete
  136. i'd chip in with the stupid vat rules relating to community spaces but i'd probably end up beating the word limit and boring the arse off all of you.

    suffice to say that you need to be me (ten years specialist experience of the sector) to understand even 50% of the rules, and the knowledge that it's always the other 50% that is going to get you...

    and the contrast between how 'commercial' and charitable third party providers get treated, well, i have that lined up for my thesis.

    'full cost recovery', my arse.

    'big society', Dave's arse.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Jenni -- off to pop two in my bed right now. According to my Chinese laser infra-red thermometer it is 12.2° there. Due to 'disability' I'm a 40% French OAP, but far from being a Brit one, so no allowances, but luckily I'm from that part of the older generation that is neither very ill or gone soft. Yet !

    ReplyDelete
  138. god, that sounded self-aggrandising - my point being that someone running one of these places has to know the rules for accounting. charity accounting, H&S, direct tax, business rates, charity law, property law, and have their budget in front of them, so knowing the finer points of VAT, while vital from a VAT perspective, is hardly something they can concentrate on.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Spencer

    Vol. trustees are in a bind over responsibility for debt.

    As it stands now a trustee who would not otherwise be sufficiently aware of finances or depreciation of assets etc. would not be deemed responsible - leaving the whole risk to professional members who would be expected to understand the risks.
    the vol, sector is little understood by the general public.

    I managed thru EU funding to set up a pension scheme for our employees it. We tied it to the LA scheme so quite where it stands now is anyone's guess at the moment.

    I also insisted on taking out redundancy insurance as this is not covered through grants. There will be a lot of dedicated people dumped onto their own resources. It is true that if you spend your time trying to improve things for needy people you finish up in need yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  140. ...and Leni there, throwing in something else i had not included.

    see? 'big society', eh, Dave?

    Easy.

    Arsewipe.

    ReplyDelete
  141. monkeyfish

    Good news. In common with 27% of the 1098 people who have completed this activity, you are showing no sign of Identity Confusion Syndrome!

    ReplyDelete
  142. Leni - I am so sorry to hear that. Sending you big cyber hugs.

    Jen - it has given me horrible dreams too. I found the first episode really horiffying actually and things like that don't normally bother me (ghost story's scare me to death but zombie stuff normally doesn't).

    Dave- don't think its the battery because the engine turns over but it won't start. Him indoors has put some anti-freeze or some such in somewhere and sprayed it with WD-40 (think thats name of it?). But its an oldish car now - ten or eleven years old. its cost us a fortune so far this year and it guzzles petrol too so not very eco friendly (was spied in it by a fellow green and felt the shame) but it is about the only thing that can get up and down the very steep hills where we are in the winter and we often have to take my mum and her husband out if it snows as they are otherwise totally stuck.

    It is a mystery but thinking (hoping) its just the extreme cold. Was minus two here today in the day, according to the temp in the car, so overnight must have been much colder.

    I am off for now as I need a bath to warm up- and a medicinal brandy - for the tooth you know! Will try to check in later.

    ReplyDelete
  143. you're not special, BTH...
    you are showing no sign of Identity Confusion Syndrome!
    neither am i, and i'm pissed.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Identity confusion

    I have been trying to work out if a Shaman who believes he becomes his totem animal at certain times suffers from classic identity confusion.

    You know the whole "I believe I can fly " thingy.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Leni "It is true that if you spend your time trying to improve things for needy people you finish up in need yourself."

    That is very true, but I have to say that my outrage is more general than personal. I do think it is fucking outrageous that anyone should be expected to support elderly people, paid by public funds, and have no security or pension provision themselves. I really do.

    But on the other hand, if it had been a permanent, secure job with such benefits, I very much doubt if I would have been there for so long. I never could cope with the idea of my future being mapped out, and I think that the very fact that it has always looked like it might finish in six months or nine months or whatever, has meant that I could cope.

    I just keep thinking, oh fuck it, I might as well hang on see it out.

    And now that things are the worst they have ever been it really does not look worthwhile to try and find someone to replace me and make sure that the scheme continues if I fuck off...

    Apart from the fact that there will be bugger all jobs if I pack it in now, of course...

    ReplyDelete
  146. Spencer

    I know your frustration is not personal - there are going to be so many casualties . I feel angry for children and the elderly across Britain - trying to explain just why so many schemes will be abandoned will be hard for lots of people. The idea of just walking away from people we care about is hard.

    I will just tell them Dave and Co have pulled the money and given it to their rich friends. This will not be a comfort of course.

    I cannot see well funded private orgs. bothering with small, local - but very important - initiatives.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Shit! Have you seen the news front page of the Guardian?

    ReplyDelete
  148. Spencer

    Bloody hell that will take some sifting through but will there actually be any consequences I wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Leni, absolutely.

    I mentioned it to some of our members last Sunday. Just that we were not sure. I have tried to let them know that we are not secure because, though I don't want them to worry about it, I don't want them to get too dependent on something that might cut at any time.

    The subject came up so rather than mislead them I said that we were lobbying to save our funding (which we are) but we did not know what was going to happen come April.

    They are not stupid, and this bunch are fairly OK in that they don't have onset dementia etc, otherwise I would not have said anything.

    Still, they were really not happy about it. And it made me wonder how I would be able to give them the news if we do get cut.

    One good thing though is that they offered to help lobby, so I am trying to think of a way that we can use their input.

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  150. Spencer and Leni

    By 2031 around 23% of this country's population will be over 65 compared to 16% today.And as the over 65,s make the greates demands on the NHS the increase on health spending is going to have to massively increase to care for the majority who won't be able to afford to go private.Call me a cynic but i think the sheer pressure of numbers will probably ensure that the terminally ill will be allowed the necessary to commit suicide in this country rather than have to travel to Switzerland.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Spencer 19.13-- absolutely dastardly.

    I spose you got your very Basic Pension 'rights' but no more . My last salaried job here was as a roofer in 2003, I got Complementary Pension contribs, plus the rate for 10 years experience , which of course i didn't have .

    Looking at the Big Picture. Not that long ago Jeb Bush said (about some truthful book or other) "Who cares, only a million Americans read books, out of 280 mn." Well, 100,000 Irish on the streets did not need to read much.

    People on the streets, and doing similar guerilla ops here and there, and everywhere, just could get them off balance.

    I bought Che Guevara's 'Guerilla Warfare' in I think 1964, following the principle to 'know one's enemy'. Could well have been a Tory Troll then , hehe !

    Good thinking on the lobbying .

    ReplyDelete
  152. you're not special, BTH...
    you are showing no sign of Identity Confusion Syndrome!
    neither am i, and i'm pissed.


    Neither am I, and I'm thick

    ReplyDelete
  153. BTH

    "monkeyfish

    Good news. In common with 27% of the 1098 people who have completed this activity, you are showing no sign of Identity Confusion Syndrome!"

    yeah...I knew that...but what about the REAL BiteTheHand?

    ReplyDelete
  154. spencer - bloody hell is right.

    the pentagon 'papers' seem so old-hat now...

    ReplyDelete
  155. I have been trying to work out if a Shaman who believes he becomes his totem animal at certain times suffers from classic identity confusion.

    No confusion Leni, when you're a bear, you're a bear. When you're a person, you're a person. : )

    ReplyDelete
  156. I'm not sure if Iran maintains a Christmas card list, but if they do, Saudi Arabia would appear to be off it...

    ReplyDelete
  157. Not to mention Jordan and Bahrain, Philippa...

    ReplyDelete
  158. monkeyfish

    yeah...I knew that...but what about the REAL BiteTheHand?

    Will this do?

    monkeyfish said...
    Delete Comment From: The Untrusted

    Blogger monkeyfish said...

    Ah well...since we're getting all confessional these days I've got something to tell...

    Bless me Georgina for I have sinned..it's been 35 years since my last confession...and I'll gladly take on the 100 rosaries and 200 Hail
    Mary's...I'll even chuck in couple of Holy Queens to vouchsafe my contrition..

    For some time now, I've been operating under multiple aliases...as well as monkeyfish and the others I've already admitted to, I'm also:
    Bitethehand, MoveAnyMountain and Polly Toynbee.

    You must do what you must do Georgina...please wipe every filthy trace of my duplicitous deceit from your site and never let me defile the place again. I have sinned, I have most grievously sinned.
    13 September, 2009 21:57

    ReplyDelete
  159. dave from france said...
    hevers--- I'm less active on CiF than ever before, but if i come across him, I'll engage one of the X points he raises, and then tell him to go to GolemXIV for the big picture, and we'll discuss that !
    28 November, 2010 18:31


    Yep, you're right, that's precisely the sort of thing that'll dismay. When I chatted with him about the banking crisis he seemed rather determined not to consider the big picture, and to instead focus on the people who may have defaulted on loans. Rather than the dodgy ways they were sold the loans in the first place, and the way the banks turned what should have been ordinary defaults with the usual protections into a crisis of epic proportions by not properly pricing the risk, by not keeping adequate reserves, and by packaging the loans up in dodgy ways, and selling them on to the unwitting, causing banks no longer to trust each other and hence a liquidity crisis that threatened the whole system. Oh, and shorting the people they sold them on to, as well.

    There is a desperation to either blame it on the poor, or on NuLab... anything or anyone, rather than the banks and Tory policy imbibed by the hapless Labour entreeists. You might think, talking to some of them, that the banks had not been involved at all, that somehow we are living in some parallel universe in which NuLab lent the money to the US sub-prime loanees and the oh-so-noble banks bailed us out or something.

    Listing the many-and-varied ways the banks screwed up hence does not necessarily fill them with joy, and hence can be considered something of a good thing. One banker chose in a fit of pique in response to regale me with how he was going to... wait for it... enjoy his dinner at some plush restaurant that night, as if it might engender jealousy and make it all alright, which was rather comical after his original pleading outburst...

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  160. shaz - think Iran may be currently stomping off the field, taking their ball with them, and refusing to play any more.

    this could get nasty.

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  161. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  162. According to the Wail, wikileaks is under cyber attack. I wonder who could be doing that?

    ReplyDelete
  163. turminder

    No confusion Leni, when you're a bear, you're a bear. When you're a person, you're a person. : )

    The San people of the Kalahari would agree with you there, they had an incredibly vibrant shamanic tradition. They have rituals where they drum and dance themselves into their animal persona - or at any rate they used to, before they were hunted like animals by the European settlers. They were peaceful and cultured and produced beautiful and sophisticated rock art. The few that remain are still persecuted and nobody gives a shit.

    Some examples of their art and religionhere

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  164. @Meerkatjie

    I'm sure G&T will tell us his theories as to who in due course.

    (Probably the House Spam...)

    ReplyDelete
  165. I thought this was interesting:

    "There, John Curtice, now the nation's top elections expert, reveals what a nasty little racist country Britain still is. There can be no other explanation for the fact that, allowing for all other economic and social variables, ethnic-minority candidates fielded by the major parties in largely white constituencies fared worse than their white counterparts in similar seats. In the privacy of the polling booth, too many of us will not vote for a party because the candidate is the wrong colour. That is a shaming thing."


    Independent article

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  166. Flying visit.

    Leni - sincere condolences. Hope you are OK. x

    Re Wikileaks - thanks for clueing me in. Just having a quick read. This was interesting:

    The cables published today reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Meerkatjie

    "According to the Wail, wikileaks is under cyber attack. I wonder who could be doing that? "

    If you look at the main story, it is amazing the number of first-time posters on there from the US of A telling us how it is an abomination/it will all blow over/it really isn't news etc etc.

    Langley and Grosvenor Square are on overtime tonight... :o)

    ReplyDelete
  168. "tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material."

    That's shameful, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  169. The CGI cartoon of Beowulf has just started on Five, for anyone who might be interested. I saw it when it came out and it's really not bad at all.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Meekatje

    Expect a lot of people are shitting bricks - diplomats are often very frank in their internal communications and a great many political noses could be put seriously out of joint with these leaks. could be quite entertaining!

    According to the wikileaks twitter feed the UK Government has issued a "D-notice" warning to all UK news editors, asking to be briefed on upcoming WikiLeaks stories. Its also saying that the Groan, Der Speigel, NYT will be publishing stuff tonight.

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  171. Perhaps we'll get some inside info on what the US gets up to in that den of spies at Menwith Hill.

    ReplyDelete
  172. I'm always astonished by the very poor grasp that tory supporters have on ideology. They honestly think that Labour is 'left wing' for example, and that if you criticise the right, you must necessarily feel that Labour is the final answer to all political problems. It's bemusing, isn't it?

    Sheff, yeah, I saw that. Might restore my confidence in the Guardian a smidge after the libdem debacle, if they don't bow to US pressure on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Is JSMilitant for real, or is he some kind of conglomerate caricature of a right wing twat?

    ReplyDelete
  174. For those who didn't see Have I Got News this week, at one point they showed a picture of a pillar box in gaudy yellow and black, and someone said it was Anne Widdecombe.
    Martin Clunes, chairing, said, "A firm Anne Widdencombe," then looked aghast and added, "I wish I hadn't said that."

    The idea of 3 biteys has me feeling a bit the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I was struck by how much Grayson looked like hermione's avatar... :-)

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  176. Evening all.

    Interesting stuff from Wikileaks. Glad to see the Graun publishing it.

    And JSMilitant is just plain irritating, meerkatjie.

    ReplyDelete
  177. merrkatjie - "That's shameful, isn't it?"
    well, yes, but I can't work out how frequent flyer numbers would help...

    although am now imagining junior diplos following people around and carefully 'bagging' their discarded wineglasses at receptions...

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  178. It would help them to track their movements, I imagine?

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  179. hevers -- It's far worse than a few hundred billion worldwide of miss-sold dodgy loans etc. Quick repost from Keegan thread-

    I mention the 'different world, because historical bubbles bursting resulted in your tulips being good for animal fodder, or your house halving in value, tangible stuff in the end . But especially with derivatives, particularly the higher orders such as Synthetic CDO's (with built-in CDS's) there has been the creation of an inverted pyramid of supposed value that only exists on the dealing slips and contracts, and computer records.

    And our governments have been gaily taking on that flatulent bubble and either paying for it in full (see TARP), or pretending it is not still there on the fraudulent balance sheets of most financial institutions ..

    Gotta go. I recommend our CiF commenter GolemXIV's blog for more detail , and better explanations than mine --

    Golem.

    On one thing we all should agree with William --

    No one I know seriously thinks that the financial crisis is over.

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  180. Sheff

    YOu can get moved on from the fields surrounding Menwith Hill under the Prevention of Terrorism Act - I dunno if you have seen the film "Taking Liberties" but there is a clip in there of a couple of middle-aged ladies being questioned by the police because they are within about a mile of the place. Really funny - well it would be if it wasn't so totalitarian...

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  181. Surely we've known for a long time that all of this info was being collected?

    We are one of the richest countries in the world - able to find billions whenever it's deemed necessary; and we can perfectly well afford to support our population's health, education and security.

    As people become more aware of the way wealth flows upwards in this country, and how unnecessary are many of the cuts, and how often are they focused in the wrong directions - as the cuts hit harder and more unfairly - as all of the lies about it being necessary become more apparent, with equivalent sums going to those to whom our lives are being sold - I do believe that there will be a rebellion, and already there are signs of its stirring - first the young, next the old...

    We have an oven. Does the world - all those strange foreign visitors who look in - really want to know this? Well, that's our central heating when the temperatures dip too low - leave it on with the door open - quite effective actually.

    One of the old-fashioned stone hot water bottles is the business - like my gran always had (and we do have one) - much better than the plastic rubbish, which all too soon becomes all too chilly.

    I'm sitting here with a bit of a fan heater in a big coat, and I've lost track of where the layers start or stop; but nobody's dying. My old mum has the room with the gas fire. Otherwise we make do until the milder weather returns. I don't think of us as fuel poor - just as not having the resources to pay high heating bills. I hate debt situations.

    Do the power companies care about dying pensioners or people in freezing homes? No.

    That’s why all our services are steadily being given over to the privateers, so they don't have to bother to pretend any more – to the great profit-is-all-that-matters god, who must be bowed down to and obeyed; and forget all of that shite about blesséd are the poor, and instructions to the rich about how they should share out what they have to the less fortunate – an error in translation that was mate.

    Often I have mentally survived the woes of life by taking my entertainment from comedies and fantasies. I can get enough of the dramas and unhappy endings for free, thank you.

    I admit that I can remember watching the very first Dr Who episode, and one of my brothers now has a huge collection of what’s findable (they should never have wiped those tapes); although we were not such wimpy children as ever to be scared of a few rather shakey monsters.

    put another log on the fire

    Each of the more popular episodes of the recent Dr Who series – ‘The Empty Child/TheDoctor Dances’, ‘Girl in the Fireplace’, ‘Blink’, ‘Silence in the Library’ – were written by Steven Moffat, who consequently was asked to replace Russell T Davies, upon his departure to the U.S., as lead writer and executive producer for this last series with Matt Smith.

    a bad date

    Moffat is also, with Mark Gatiss (another Dr Who devotee – writer of the ‘The Unquiet Dead’, ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ and 'Victory of the Daleks' episodes, as well as the lead in ‘The Lazarus Experiment’) – been responsible for the new bbc modern Sherlock creation (where Gatiss also plays Mycroft Holmes).

    a study in time

    Moffat and Gatiss are an interesting talent. (I'm taking notes - like maybe a fantasy production about the overturning of the rule of the banksters - 'The Dime War'?)

    let's do the time war again

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  182. Meerkatjie said...

    I'm always astonished by the very poor grasp that tory supporters have on ideology. They honestly think that Labour is 'left wing' for example, and that if you criticise the right, you must necessarily feel that Labour is the final answer to all political problems. It's bemusing, isn't it?

    Well, that's partly because Tories will treat any debate as an excuse to bash Labour. So yeah, criticise them, or anything, frankly, and they will try and bring NuLab into it. We were having a non-party-political debate about think tanks once, and one of the regulars came barrelling in completely off-topic to have a pop at NuLab. Not even a casual attempt to connect to the topic.

    But yeah, many have assumed that Labour are currently socialist because they equate Socialism with redistribution and State authoritarianism a la USSR. Even those at pains to tell everyone that they are Oxbridge-educated economists seem to struggle with this. The fact that the NuLab embrace of neoliberalism is rather at odds with the workers controlling the means of production was completely off their radar.

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  183. Nice to see WADDYA taking on a veneer of civilisation, what with PG Wodehouse jokes (only comprehensible to aficionados like me).

    Also gratified to see Patrick O'Brian fans on board. It's always infuriated me that O'Brian's 20-volume magnum opus is so often relegated (with some disdain) to the 'historical novel' category, as though it were somehow to be compared with the bodice-rippers of Georgette Heyer or the sub-Brigadier Gerrard-meets-Rider Haggard works of Bernard Cornwell.

    In fact, taken as a whole, the Aubrey/Maturin series is one of the great works of 20th century English fiction and makes the likes of Iris Murdoch look like the silly, posturing, one-trick pony that she was.

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  184. meerkatjie - aye, but easier to get their passport numbers, surely? which they would definitely need to use each time...

    jackcade - ah, another o'brien fan! love 'em. fascinating stuff - strangely, given my usual liking for espionage and international political shenanigans in fiction, i was always happiest when they set sail again. aubrey on land, particularly, was a fish out of water - as uncomfortable for the reader as for him perhaps.

    20 completed books seems a very round number, so i always assumed the last one was meant to be the last one - have the 'fragments' of the intended follow-up somewhere, but it's a hollow thing...

    so, by serendipity really, they ended up, just heading off towards the horizon...

    anyway. [checks bookcases] damnit. those are in the parents' box room as well...

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  185. No disagreement here, Jack. I've read the O'Brian books twice from start to finish, and there's never a time when re-reading some Wodehouse doesn't cheer me up when even booze and fags fail.

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  186. Have you read any Georgette Heyer, Jack? I don't think she deserves such dismissal.

    Admittedly I only read one and it was a long time ago, but she was comparable in terms of research diligence to O'Brian (though she also apparently invented certain things such as Regency slang terms of her own).

    But though O'Brian is famously accurate in terms of his research, some of the stories do stretch credibility. I have not read them all but keeping Maturin and Aubrey together and the winning formula going, suspension of disbelief gets a bit strained later on, as Maturin becomes some sort of super-spy.

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  187. That's shameful, isn't it?

    Yep. That pretty much sums up the US government.

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  188. @Philippa

    Passport numbers would only help with travel to and from your own country, or between friendly nations. Frequent flyer numbers would give you wider coverage, and airline systems with a presence in the your own country (as all major airlines have in the US) would be easier to crack.

    Say, for example, somebody is flying from Tehran to Damascus. It's easier to extract that info from the Gulf Air system in the US, or just ask the Bahrainis for it.

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  189. Dammit! My Wodehouse books must be with my Don Marquis books in the box that's (hopefully) in someone's basement.

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  190. O'Brian introduced me to the cuntsplice, which I'm pleased to see features on ScoutWiki.

    @Phil

    Yes, Aubrey's really out of his element on land, but that's part of the charm of the characterisation.

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