27 January 2011


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
-Aldous Huxley


  1. @Leni:

    Not trying to pick a fight with you, but yesterday you said this of smtx01:

    have to say I have often found smtx's comments reasonable and even pacific.

    Every so often she seems to break out into a rage - can't always understand her

    Really? She's always struck me as a mean-spirited, nasty right-winger. I was going to plough through her commenting history to find a few examples earlier but I got interrupted and haven't been able to go back to it. Here is one, though. A response to Arec Balrin from a day or two ago:

    can I just say ur posts have never made any sense to me and what the F**k was the bit about an anti semite baby? and by the way i dony give a fiddlers f**k if ur dystlxekkzix autoustic or wotever.
    say what you mean in laymens terms

    This comment reveals to me someone who is stupid and nasty. She is too dull-witted to see the humour in Arec's comments and too insensitive to take his autism into account for some of the "eccentricities" of his communication style.

    And I'm not even going to mention the appalling spelling and lack of punctuation.

  2. Hi Montana

    Is today's pic perchance the reflection nebula in Orion?

  3. Hi All--Just been reading yesterday's thread.

    Nap--Hogging the thread has fuck all to do with it. You were pulled up on your mistaken comments regarding Israel/Palestine. Many of us have been watching what I would call this turkey shoot of Palestinians for too many years. It is a digusting fiasco backed by the US and many countries in Europe. The point is that it's NOT a fair fight.

    deano--hope the search for Mungo's mate (And your of course) proves fruitful. And any news of the brewhouse would be good.

    Sheff--Condolences on the loss of your friend. Seems to happen too often.

    Re; Oor Rab--Had haggis and The Macallan to mark the day. Damn good it was too. Apparently there are many states in the US that prohibit sheep's intestines! Fucking Philistines some of those people. No sense of adventure other than their foreign policy. (-:

    Hey to young Joe Wildhack and Mom. Doing better?

  4. Hey medve--How you doing? We seem to miss each other regularly.

    And Good Evening Montana. How goes it?

  5. Hello Boudican

    We've finally caught up with each other.

    Thanks, bearing up under the strain. Your tips last year have helped a lot with the insulation. Our apartment is a lot more comfortable now that it is pretty cold here.

  6. Good to hear medve, as you know, a home is more than a roof overhead. For most. You were 'away' from here for a while. We wondered what had become of you given the disaster and political situation. Glad to see you back. How are the boys?

    Been busy myself. Working at the Legion on a big renovation ( I think they call it a sympathetic conversion in the UK) which is a total volunteer job. Challenging but fun too. Mostly out to pasture people like me but all willing if not quite as able as we once were. Mortality and worn out bodies prevail.

  7. My long absence was due to traveling and paranoia.

    Meanwhile, one boy has grown into a man, the other one is four years behind (interesting times). Their mother has gone gallivanting to a conference somewhere in Europe, but will be back next week.

    Good luck with the renovation: keeping active with worthwhile things while we can is one way of giving mortality the finger for the time being.

    Commenting on the political situation here in Hungary is becoming risky. The concern on UT is helpful in that regard.

  8. Giving mortality the finger is a good idea medve. Methinks that is the philosophy most of us take. Btw the oldest of us is 81 and he punches his weight and more. Well, in painting anyway.

    Get your drift with your local politics. Say no more, though you know we would all like to hear some genuine, on the ground news as opposed to the pap we are fed from most of the media. Anyway, glad you and family are well.

    Bedtime for me, laters pal.

  9. Goodnight Boudican, catch you again another time.

  10. Good to see Boudican, medve and olching knocking around here again.

    Someone said a day or two ago that a meme is being planted that David Cameron is some kind of intellectual Titan and not just some thick rich kid with an insatiable feeling of entitlement.

    It must be the usual PR guff which comes out to quell the public's fears that they are again being governed by shysters and mountebanks.

    It's a bit like the PR following an oil spill or other pollution caused by penny-pinching companies putting profits above responsibility. It gets to the stage where you begin to think that pollution is actually good for the environment and corporate profits really are the only thing which matters.

    Anyway, the same thing happened with His Holiness the Blair and his moll, Cheryl Booth-Coleminer.

    Derry Irvine had apparently spotted them as the brightest stars of their generation when they were his pupils.

    There was no mention that he had attached himself to their coat-tails because they had ambition seeping from every pore and orifice like contagion.

    Of course, he later became Lord Chancellor and spent twelvety squillion pounds of taxpayers' money on wallpaper to make his rent-free offices and apartments look like an Indian restaurant.

    Conversely, remember Norman St John Stevas being the one who stopped clapping Mrs Thatcher's publicity bandwagon and actually sniggering behind his hand.

    Politics is a mixture of showbusiness, cult, propaganda and protection-racket.

    We should probably sell off the Palace of Westminster to be converted into luxury lifestyle living spaces and allow our country to be run from a Murdoch or Rothschild yacht, anchored somewhere in the iridescent cobalt blue waters of the Mediterranean.

  11. Have your name in bold, too, medve, so you don't feel slighted or left out.

  12. Morgens all...

    AB - making me laugh as usual ;)

    Just thought I'd park this comment here.... very interesting (from the George Soros thread)

    27 January 2011 9:41AM

    "As I come from a similar background to Soros I have a lot of sympathy for him. My family have been involved in two primary areas for well over three centuries; war and banking. One could say that our story is the story of the rise of capitalism itself incapsulated in one, central European family, or house.

    There have been ups and downs along the way, especially in the 20th century. But whilst we profitted enormously from the rise of capitalism and merged with a Jewish banking family, one could say that we provided the 'muscle' and they provided the 'brains' for our mutual benefit, we never really internalized the fake ideology of capitalism, liberalism. Instead we perceived capitalism to be merely a tool, or a ladder, or a force of history that was changing the world, both for good and for ill; only we never really 'believed' in capitalism as a faith or religion. It was just there, and we used it to our advantage, to gain financial and buy power.

    We were incredibly successful, because we were only loyal to the extended family which was spread all over the place, rather than permanently to any one country. Everthing went swimmingly until World War One and it's ghastly aftermath, when fuckers like Hitler and Stalin,and their clones, proved too much for us, and we lost almost everything, but what remained still left us extremely comfortable.

    The problem with capitalism is that things go off the rails when capitalists strart to really believe in the mythology of capitalism, which is only for public consumption and elections, it's dogma mostly, it is not real. This belief in mythology is incredibly dangerous. It's really important to separate the reality of how capitalism functions, from the myths, the politics.

    What frightens me about the current government is that they actually appear to believe in the public mythology of capitalism, the crass ideology and dogma, rather than the prosaic and harsh realities of a 'free market system' which is anything but 'free' and has precious little to do with a 'marketplace' anymore, if it ever did.

    What this means is that the countries economic policies are not being steered by a pragmatic application of intelligence to reality which is complex and often contradictory; but by the application of crude ideology, trying to force reality to fit into an ideological straightjacket, even when reality is running kicking and screaming in the opposite direction. This dogmatic, faith-based, approach, is a recipe for disaster."

    I wanted to cheer that.

  13. I see the dirty digger is in town to try to extinguish the all consuming scandal that's engulfing News International.

    I daresay his displeasure will be shown by only allowing Jeremy Hunt to fellate him in his Belgravia apartment rather than the normal tag team of Cameron and Osborne.

    I'm genuinely intrigued by the outcome of this. The Tories may well rue the day that they sacked Vince Cable from the BSkyB bid. Now that a Conservative is in charge at the same time the scandal balloons, if it is given the go ahead (which I imagine it will), the Telegraph and Daily Mail attack dogs who rabidly oppose the deal will be unleashed as well as the Conservatives pro-Murdoch agenda being laid bare.

    The Tories can't hide behind the custard yellow veneer this time.

    I reckon the outcome will be Murdoch sacking Rebbekah Brooks etc, promising a "clean pair of hands" at the News International tiller. This will give Hunt the opportunity to show that News International are ethical, have commitment to probity and trust and can therefore be allowed to take over BSkyB.

    I do hope the News of the Screws are sued into oblivion by the 'shalabrities' who can afford the best lawyers.

    However I do have every confidence Murdoch will come out of this with exactly what he wants.

  14. La Rit


    I went to look for the Soros piece because I liked the post you copied here.

    Before I found it, I saw the front-page link to some Lolz Penz article, which had a picture of what looked like a scattering of those sweets which have slogans like: "Fuck yah brainz aht!" and "Yo ma hard sexks grrl" [Do you mean Love Hearts? They have obviously moved on over the years -Ed] with a pretty pink background.

    The slogan on the sweet said: "Girl Power".

    Lolz Penz - The new She-Ra, but without the looks or intellect or humour.

    Anyway, that was as far as I got before the little gulp of nausea which is CiF sent me hurtling to almost anywhere else on the internet.

  15. Duke

    i fear you are right about Murdoch - he will win again.

    we always hope to see the Murdochs, the corrupt politicians and the bloody dictators get their come uppance but they seldom do.

    a few token dismissals, short gaol terms and the very occessional show trial a la Saddam. The rest go free and prosper - power is the live forever monkey gland.

  16. Wybourne

    This will give Hunt the opportunity to show that News International are ethical, have commitment to probity and trust and can therefore be allowed to take over BSkyB.

    Yes, I am sure you are right.

    Isn't it odd that, when the opportunity to remove the shackles and anvil which Murdoch welds and bolts around the ankles and wrists of every government finally arises, the only expected outcome is that our clever government will say: "Actually, you could fasten that chain around my throat if you really want to hobble me and render me totally impotent."

    Still, Julian Assange is supposed to have some dope on Mr Burns.

    Let's hope he releases it soon.

    Every picture of Monty Murdoch looks more and more like a corpse.

    It would be a shame if he popped off before the pot-shot.

  17. Buggeration

    Sorry - morning all.

    Twice I have written a post, and twice Blogger has decided I am not properly signed in, and it has disappeared.

    So, to summarise my summary - Wot the Duke said-ish.

  18. Montana

    i'm certainly not going to fall out with you over a CiF poster.

    I don't condone her post about you and Habib and I think it should have been removed.

    smtx has been posting for a long time now - she is subject to 'mood swing' and can suddenly become abusive.

    Although unpredictable she is sometimes reasonable. She reacts very quickly to anything she perceives as slurs on non European Jews - family history I think.

    My comment to Spike was in no way supportive of her remarks to you and Habib - sorry if you saw it that way.

  19. AB:

    LOL.... that Lolz Penz is such a character thank god I missed it!

    glad you liked the post all the same :)

    This might cheer you up....

    The Ladybird Spider ooooo... lovely


    You settled down now??? ;) Mornin'


    You damn right there, Murderdoch will have all he wants. All I can say for the News of the Screws is hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!

  20. BB, "Buggeration"
    Speaking as an asian, I find that highly offensive.

  21. I hate political correctness - it's taken me twenty years to realise what complete and utter shits Andy Gray and Richard Keys are. It would have saved a lot of time if they had spoken from their narrow minds ages ago.

  22. La Rit

    Oh, fuckeration! (Is that OK, Habib?)

    I had a mad stompy fit on a recent trip to the west country when I encountered what seemed to be a group of smug, hairy-legged arachnids pretending to be lovely, shiny ladybirds.

    I'm afraid I didn't leave until I had squelched every last one of them.

    Sorry, I thought they were monsters.

  23. Habib ;)

    True - Political Correctness serves as a foil for repugnant views.

    Gray & Keys - nasty little sexist pigs who really dislike women (their poor wives and daughters), brains the size of 5 year olds, the pair of them.


    You are cruel!

  24. To all the small-minded people who knock laurie, here's a heartfelt comment from a poster on her NS article:

    i never used to like laurie penny because i thought she was a posh middle class snob,,but now she is my hero for sticking up for the poor and working class people,,the left wingers and right wingers have deserted us and now i see laurie penny as are new leader to help the forgotten majority in society,,god bless laurie, she is the new joan of ark who is prepared to die at the stake for her principles...

    On the other hand, there was also this post:

    The 'quotes' from William Davies are taken from an on-line Guardian Cif article on 21 Jan. 'William Davies' is a pseudonym.

    His comments may well be true and he may well be what he claims to be, but is it journalistically ethical to portray the assertions of an anonymous blogger as somehow being 'facts' to bolster an argument, whilst failing to attribute them correctly?

    Oh dear, busted for plagiarism! Ms mediapenny - saint or sinner? You decide.

  25. Atoms

    Have to speak up for da spiderz - stamp not upon them. Should you evcounter one in distress help him.

    Think of tiny spiderlings standing tippy toe on fences waiting for a caressing breeze to carry them off to new places.

    spiders - the great explorers, always the first to arrive on newly created land. They have pretty faces too.

  26. habib



    LaRit - kind of settled down. I think.

    What I was trying to say earlier before Blogger decided to mess me about was that:

    - Tory Scum will try and use Coulson's sword-falling exercise as evidence that they have distanced themselves from these shocking revelations
    - The majority of the British public are, sadly, so inured to what goes on in the Westminster Bubble now that they might grumble a bit before switching the telly over to X Factor but it will be a storm in a tea cup when the full story comes out which will have little lasting effect.
    - At the time Cable was "stung", I was convinced there were other forces beyond the political editor of the Torygraph involved in it all, because he was a serious thorn in the side of the lick-spittle Tory gits who have their tongues firmly positioned up Murdoch's arsehole (sorry to be offensive, Habib :p )
    - Murdoch will get what he has paid for - and by "paid for" I mean the price of his support for the Scum prior to the general election. We have already seen the cuts to the Beeb, the fact that they are now going to have to cut the World Service as well, an announcement that they are reducing their website capacity - all stuff that James Murdoch was crying about last year - and now Rhymes With Hunt is ignoring an Ofcom recommendation that the BSkyB bid be referred to the Competition Commission or whatever it is called.

    Welcome to Britain - the Best Government Money Can Buy.

  27. I see all the factions in I/P fighting for position and credibility after the leaks.

    I fear nasty outcome once the dust settles - or is it possible that more open and honest negotiations will follow ?

    Wonder what Blair thinks about it all

  28. Leni

    I am Spider-Manager-In-Chief in our house because both the menz are scared of them - the Dad slightly less likely to shit a brick than the Son when they see one, but neither of them will go near them. My beloved thought it might be a good solution to hoover them up until I protested very loudly about torturing them, so I am the one who gets a glass and a piece of paper to facilitate their onward journey out the window.

    # No to spider-stomping on the UT #

  29. "to facilitate their onward journey out the window."

    BB makes spiders homeless! Read all about it!

  30. Leni

    Yes, spiders in themselves are all well and good.

    However, this is something on which I have to agree with Peter Bracken, who could never cope with the idea that people did not use their real names on the internet.

    These spiders were not only imposters, they were imposters parading their, er, impostuousness.

    Basically, they were fraudsters. Spiders in ladybirds' clothing.

    It cannot be allowed.

    It is an affront to god, who made all things bright and beautiful, but not these masquerading hybrids.

    Their Latin name must be something like Johnny Foreigner Fifth Columnist Neither Fish Nor Fowl Spider Things.

    In Latin, obviously.

  31. Morning all!

    Posted on the Tisdall thread:


    This thread is about the EU and Uzbekistan - it's nothing to do with Israel. Any comments which try to drag this off-topic will be removed.

    On my screen, it also seems to be about Belarus, Tunisia and Hungary; Algeria, Egypt and Jordan; China and Russia; and Poland. And more generally:

    The EU must decide whether it is first and foremost a champion of universal values and human rights, which Barroso claims stand "at the heart" of its foreign policy – or if its collective strategic security, political, economic and commercial interests are paramount and will primarily dictate its foreign policy actions.

    For me, that would suggest that an awful lot of situations and regimes would be very much on-topic.

    * * *

    Ah, the contortions they go through because they can't say, "Look, we don't want you lot bringing up Israel because we get shit from CiFWatch and we're worried about losing readers over at Guardian America, all right?"

  32. We leave spiders to do their thing - give hunting spiders and harvestmen (they're not really spiders) a drink of water.

    All webs are left until dusty - that's when you know spiders and hatchlings have left.

    # No to spider-stomping on the UT #

  33. BB

    Oh, I do all of that old malarkey.

    Glass, paper, window, little shake and out they float.

    Then I run outside and stomp on them.

  34. Yeah, I don't really think it's possible to torture a spider, they're just little organic robots. Although perhaps the big ones from South America where you'd have to repaper the walls if you squished them...

    This said, I have a deep and abiding abhorrence for the revolting, filthy, invasive fly, so where spiders are concerned, my enemy's enemy is my friend.

  35. Leni:

    Spiderlings on their tippy-toes waiting to be caught by the breeze??? That made me smile ;)

    Want to comment more, but I've got to go to work.

    Baked Betaiters.....


    Quickie... who was plagarising whom? Am I being thick?

  36. The defenestration of spiders - certainly of teganaria and runabout hunting spiders - is a futile act of cruelty as they quite simply come back.


    we don't stomp on politicians impostering as human beings .

  37. Leni & BB.... all the spiders in our house peacefully co-habit with us....when you've slept in a damp basement and had an outside loo for 8 years, you can live with anything (except rats) ;)

  38. @Leni

    we don't stomp on politicians impostering as human beings

    You say that like it's a good thing. I think you've just demolished your own argument. ;-)

  39. Leni

    Oh. :(

    I do it to stop them being hoovered, though. Surely that is an act of compassion?

    (And I think we should stomp on politicians impostering as human beings. Or hoover them.)

  40. LaRit

    I have our rat sitting on my shoulder as I am slouched on the sofa typing. I have just had to cover his eyes to make sure he couldn't read that!

  41. Spike

    Can I make it clear that to stamp on impostering politicians would be an act of compassion - all in the name of the common good.

    why don't we I wonder.

  42. BB

    We once had a white rat - Finkle.

    We discovered he was blind so had to leave cage on floor under a table. Door was always open - he gradually mapped the room by exploring further each day.

    He, 2 cats and a dog used to snuggle together infront of the fire.

    I have to go to supermarket which means I have to gear myself to face town and rows of intimidating shelves. I hate shopping.

  43. Flippin' 'eck, Tucker! We've got a very light powdering of snow falling here! :O

  44. Leni

    I am very lucky that my other half actually enjoys shopping, so I rarely have to do a weekly shop, as such. Good luck with that!

    Rats have very poor eyesight in general, and white rats seem to be worse than others.

  45. Goede middag all


    Thanks, no slight either way. I have taken over your habit of addressing fellow campers in bold, because i think it helps when catching up on the thread after the inevitable breaks due to time spent on real-life concerns.

  46. Really interesting article on the relationship between Assange, the Guardian and the New York Times.

  47. Supermarket off .

    Urgently need computer bits - always try to support small local shops.Rang to ask 'have you got -?/ - answer no but can get it by monday. This is problem here, local guys can't afford to carry stock, orders online and charges about £2 more to customer. I can buy online ans save the 2 squid. Downward spiral- it means I can put supermarket off till tomorrow but doesn't solve basic problem at all.

  48. "This Shit Has To Go"


  49. Are you still keen on maths tips chekhov?

  50. I see comments on Rusbridger's article about his experiences of Wapping are being pre-moderated.

    Comment is indeed free.

  51. And freely moderated Your Grace.

  52. Hey all,

    Glad the ladybird spider article made it here, did you all also see this one?

    Please sign the petition!

  53. I once had a blog that was solid chit chat.

  54. Pablo Aimless - then what happened?

    Spiders - they're ok, I've live with at least three huntsmen in the house (they are big fuckers) - it's not so good when a trillion little huntsmen hatch and para-glide on super-fine silks from the skylight at 4 in the morning when you stumble down the hallway towards the bath room.

    Which brings me back to cicadas. Thanks Dott, WTFisJames and WikiLeni. Apparently the chrysalis cases of cicadas are huge - I was talking to some bush-mates about cicadas and relaying UT's resident entomologists' theses about life-span and they were telling me about these fantastic shells that they emerge from. Next cicada instalment: waiting for shells to write poems about or use them as metaphors in a cif rant

  55. That nytimes article was very interesting. Cheers for linking, thaumaturge.

    Chamakh The Way Me feel - Jackson 5

  56. Afternoon all

    Just read this article about teachers being given more powers to search pupils as well as other measures that are supposed to help restore order in the classroom.All well and good in theory but it seems to me that if teachers are not getting the support of parents then the only option the former will get in cases of extreme indiscipline is expulsion-which in itself creates a new set of problems.

    Bad parenting is a problem in this country.Additionally there are parents who are now scared to discipline their kids for fear of either social services getting involved or the kids attacking them.Which IMO suggests there was a problem with parenting in the first place.

    Parents should be prepaared to tackle teachers who are either ineffectual or abusive to their kids.However it seems to me that if a kid is totally lacking in respect and disruptive in the classroom then it's unreasonable to expect the teachers to deal with it if the parents aren't supporting them.And if it is clear that bad parenting is the root cause of a kid's bad behavior what should happen if the parents refuse to co-operate to sort the problem out?

    You can read the article HERE.

  57. If anyone online at present has admin privileges could they please rescue my latest 'literary masterpiece' from the spam folder.Cheers!

  58. Q for bitters/bitey about Hazel O'Connor - does the sax break make or break *Will You*



  59. @Medve "Are you still keen on maths tips chekhov?"

    Ooooh yes please.

    I was literally terrified of maths lessons at school but it's actually quite fun when you are not dodging board rubbers!

    BTW: I notice no one has picked up on my previous linky.....talk about "casting pearls before swine"! ;-)

    Come on guys, get with the zeitgeist.

  60. Will try, Paul - Blogger has been acting up lately!

    Schomeboy - I don't think any of the three parties come out of it with a lot of credit.

  61. On CiF today, Sunny Hyundai is saying that Miliband is right to play the long game, keep largely schtum and concentrate on wonkery for a couple of years. On the very same day, he is reporting over on Liberal Conspiracy about disabled protestors congregating at the ATOS corporate HQ.

    For Sunny, this sits well with his own defined strategy of protest against coalition policies coming from outside the Labour party. It looks less partisan and more grassroots. Miliband would doubtless agree with him, as it also means that all that 'fight back' unpleasantness doesn't become attached to him or the party, with its unhelpful connotations of left-wingery and unsettling direct action.

    The problem is that by the time the two years have passed, most of the 450,000 public service redundancies will have taken place. Most of the throwing off people off IB by ATOS will have already happened. People will continue to be given the ATOS thumbs down on an ongoing basis, but the mass expunging from the IB rolls of the idle chavs will have been accomplished.

    The two year deadline is, to put it politely, fortuitous.

    But Ed's happy. Sunny's happy. What's the problem? The problem is that if you don't oppose now - from the benches of elected politicians - then you're not doing what you were elected to do. The family who are losing their home because they no longer qualify for full housing benefits or have lost IB and JSA benefits didn't elect their MPs, saying "We'll go homeless for a while. You take a couple of years to ponder things and get back to us."

    The other problem is even more basic. If you don't actively oppose something, you're tacitly supporting it. The Guardian and CiF would ordinarily agree with this. If the lads around the watercooler are talking hooters and tushes, if you don't speak up, you're as bad as them. We'll even have a people's panel to excoriate you.

    However, fail to speak out because a company like ATOS throws people off IB who have terminal conditions ("Okay Mr Smith, you have brain cancer, but you can chew gum and fart...") and somehow it's principled, smart and wise. Get the Mr Smiths to grab their own placards and do their own protesting. They might fall over a bit, but that just adds to the realism and grittiness of the protest. We're not going to get back into power if we go upsetting the aspirational voters in the Home Counties.

    Of course, what the likes of Sunny and Ed won't say is that New New Labour does agree with the cleansing of the benefit rolls. That it does agree with multi-billions in cuts. It's the big fat, lazy lie at the heart of the Wonk's Retreat argument. Miliband wants to see welfare reform. He's already said that New Labour "didn't do enough" and did it "too late". Ditto cuts.

    Sunny just wants to see his team win the Premiership, even if they have to pass the ball around the back four for a couple of years. Meanwhile, those at the sharp end lose everything they have. It's not even tribalism. It's our-turn-next, using the established play book.

  62. God I come along on here to read nice political discussions and debate and what do I get? The ambomination that is a spider dressed up as a ladybird!!!

    My sis saw a spider once and told me it was a wasp but also a spider - I thought she'd gone a bit mad until I looked it up and found there are wasp spiders.

    Spiders are hideous. I am sorry but they are. They don't just scare me (which they indeedy do) but they repel and disgust me too. They make me shudder.

    They are proof for me that intelligent design is a fallacy - no fancy Dawkins like arguments from me - no intelligent superbeing would invent something as god awful as the spider. And in fact they wouldn't need spiders because if they were that intelligent they wouldn't have invented flies either!

  63. @pcc

    It gets a bit complicated then, because without flies, you lose all sorts of birds, etc. But I agree that a personal god could have either come up with more user-friendly ecosystems or, more simply, made us fond of flies and spiders.

  64. Another good post, RapidEddie.

    Politicians love to tell us that they are our servants - as long as they have no fear that we will ever take them up on it - but they are merely the bag-men and facilitators for big business.

    They can shuffle across the benches and slide another logo onto their PowerPoint displays whenever we pretend that we have voted for change, but as Peter Mandelson said, we are now living in a post-democratic age, in which the crippled little rainbow of red, yellow and blue has been mixed together to produce the colours of shit and scum.

    No government will now serve the interests of the people because those interests are against the needs and wishes of business.

    It is now, basically, do it yourself or it won't get done.


    ...er, dum de dum, is there a pattern here?...

    ...oh, yes...Broekn Britain.

  65. Sorry princess, you've got to love a pretty spider!

  66. I have never seen one Dot! Actually that is a lie - the only spider that doesn't freak me out (and apparently I am unusual in this for an arachnaphobe) are those patterend tarantulas. I can't stand the brown ones they make me really sick - but the patterned ones don't bother me because the colours are nice and they look furry not hairy (it is only the ones with the bright orange and red markings that I can look at) - they remind me of massive eight legged bumble bees.

  67. My favourite!

    I see really nice iridescent green ones all the time on fieldwork!

  68. Eddie

    What Atomboy said.Good post!

  69. Paul - there were 3 others of yours in there from last night, also! Dunno what you've done to piss off the spam gods.

    Allow me to join the chorus of approval on Eddie's post and also to heap praise on this little gem from Atomboy:

    the crippled little rainbow of red, yellow and blue has been mixed together to produce the colours of shit and scum.

  70. Chekhov thanks for the link to the Zeitgeist presentation.

    Makes excellent points, shows very graphically how corrosive capitalism has now become and that we have to be rid of it.

    but what we have is a politics based economic system and the way we get rid of it requires organisation and yes - poltics.

    What its showed s that we now have the technological means topotentially give every human being on the planet a decent life.

    Global protest is certainly part of it (viz Tunisa Egypt) but at present these things are not happening in the west. In 1917 capitalism broke at its weakest link it ultimately proved too weak to make a successful revolution.

    it has to take place in major world economies first and there has to be a leadership that is dedicated to real change or we will end up with more psychopaths in charge(like Stalin Mao, Pol Pot etc).

    These guys claimed not to be socialist or Marxist either because of a fear of the reaction of a brainwashed population. But we Have to reclaim the word s socialism and Marxism.

    Had any of these guys read Marx? If they did they would have seen that modern capitalism has the very flaws Marx described they have just got infinitely nastier since his time.

    The proposals for the future were too detailed and a bit sci fi! More than a bit of 'brave new world about those concentric cities.

    Not enough art, too functional. Give us bread but give us Roses too please! A bit off putting and had implications of a world governed by Robots where people were 'cared for'.

    A bit like a global old folks home They dismissed politics as though politics could only be the shite we have now.

    To create a humane world we need a human politics or we won't get there.

  71. The problem, AT, is that if the political class is of one mind - and largely, it is - then often DIY doesn't get done. At the risk of stating the overly obvious, government policy can only be changed by governments.

    If public opinion doesn't reach the magical 50% + 1 (i.e. the point at which something is just plum unpopular) then the breadth and vehemence of support won't be acted upon by the politicians of the day. It's worth noting that at no point during the miners' strike did the strike ever command popular support in opinion polls. As long as Maggie had that silent but populist wind at her back, she felt at ease facing them down.

    ATOS is the most compelling recent example of the party consensus. Nobody will speak out against what ATOS is doing, yet everyone knows that they're shearing off very sick and vulnerable people from benefit rolls. Why would caring, compassionate - and progressive, never to forget progressive - politicians stand for this?

    Because the Westminster consensus is that there are too many lazy chavs swinging the lead on IB. In order to get rid of these people, you might end up taking a few (thousand) vulnerable and genuine claimants off the register. It's the civilian equivalent of collateral damage and it's a price all the parties are willing for the genuine claimants ATOS dumps to pay. After all, it's not their sons and daughters, mothers, brothers, fathers or sisters.

    The fact that the Guardian isn't sending the likes of Nick Davies into action to look into the murky depths of the ATOS and A4e procedures suggests that the class-based discomfort with the idleness of the Chav Nation is almost universally accepted by the liberal-leftish.

  72. oh Dot no! That is awful. The garden spiders with the big fat bodies are the ones that I like the least - that one didn't have a fat body but it made me shudder.

  73. "Another good post, RapidEddie". - Agreed.

    Leni - You wondered.... "Do you think the forum (Davos) "will achieve any tangible results orsimply act as talking shop for ideolgues to further entrench their positions?"

    With this lot: [Corporate particpiants at Davos] involved I'm inclined to the Adam Smith view....

    "..men of the same trade seldom do get together but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public interest...."..(as I roughly recall the wise words)

    Boudican et al - Mungo decided that of all the rescue dogs we've walked and talked with we should adopt the pretty Border Collie from Whitby. (Link to her picture Miss Hiedi ? of Whitby ) .

    She has had a rough start in life and has been abused and terrorised and is now very timid. I'm hoping some of Mungo's natural ability to "hang cool" will rub off on her. I'm collecting her next Monday and I think/hope she will settle in and have a great life with us. She deserves a break......hard choice, So many great rescue dogs out there but we reasoned she needed us just that little bit more.

  74. Hi PCC - can you email MsChin with the details of:Louie Dog @ Rotherham Dog Rescue

    He's a bearded collie cross and looks a delight - he could just be the dog to ease the passing of Bismark. I'm sure he'll find a home. He's the perfect beggars dog. I enquired about him but he's better re-homed on his own or with a lass dog.

  75. Good news on Miss Heidi, Deano! Mine was similarly traumatised and timid when I got her but no-one believes me now.

  76. RapidEddie

    At the risk of stating the overly obvious, government policy can only be changed by governments.

    If public opinion doesn't reach the magical 50% + 1...

    In a technical sense, yes, government policy can only be changed by governments, but they are also influenced by things like pressure groups, which may reflect only a tiny minority of views, but get results by virtue of concentrating effort and propaganda onto those who, ultimately, legislate and form policy.

    The default setting of most politicians is probably somewhere between Stephen Byers and his stick five grand in the meter and - brrrmm-brrrmmm! - watch me go and the usual pocket the money and perks with as little effort as possible and wait for the lovely pension.

    I doubt whether most politicians swallow the gunk that we need to pursue benefits cheats either with particular vigour or at all.

    However, they probably do think that the market is the only way to solve anything and have one eye on the revolving door and the other on the Daily Mail if ever a critical thought enters their heads, suggesting that maybe the state has a responsibility to its citizens and maybe tax money should not just be handed over to Atos and A4E in order to do a demonstrably worse job than the existing state methods.

    The big business, political and media classes at national and international level are a fairly small bunch and they furiously network for all they are worth and all they hope to become worth and they basically operate as a cohesive pack, sharing a cloud-brain.

    Beyond their world is the domain of the filthy civilians. They are in their castle and we are at the gate.

    We won't get in by imagining that The Guardian will lower the drawbridge or throw the key from a high turret.

    It is not just the skivers and fiddlers and those nearby who are expendable as collateral damage.

    We, the people, are the enemy.

    Billionaire tax-fiddlers are their templates to emulate, foster and adore.

    We are about to see, not two nation Toryism, but the haves and have nots spun off into separate worlds.

  77. @Annetan;"Not enough art, too functional. Give us bread but give us Roses too please! A bit off putting and had implications of a world governed by Robots where people were 'cared for'."

    I share your reservations but at least some people are willing to challenge the received wisdom and with some truly awesome ideas.

    If ever we needed visionaries, we need them now!

  78. "...We, the people, are the enemy..." - a succinct way of putting it AB.

    A42 - did you see the Andrew Neil prog "Posh & Posher" on the public school/Oxbridge dominance of contemporary politics?

    It's on iplayer.

    Sadly demonstrated the enormity of the difficulty of reclaiming the Labour Party....

  79. PS

    It's worth noting that at no point during the miners' strike did the strike ever command popular support in opinion polls. As long as Maggie had that silent but populist wind at her back, she felt at ease facing them down.

    The media lied, either deliberately or because they were uncritically following the pack and the police and the courts acted as simple agents of the state, embodied and personified by Mrs Thatcher.

    We need to forget any ideas that there is a body, a group, a gang of heroes or a cavalry waiting to come over the hill.

    There never was and there never will be.

    We need to see that we are a vast collection of orphans and refugees.

    We are now being set against each other, having successfully been taught that steel-jawed individualism is the way to get what you want and co-operation is for wimps.

    Funny, though, that companies can have simultaneously opposite characteristics.

    They are the powerhouses which keep the world going, they create wealth, they are powerful and dynamic and they are the buttress against everything which may afflict us.

    They are also too poor to pay taxes or proper wages and need the government to feed them workers who are funded exclusively by the state, they shirk and wriggle out of responsibility and have to be cossetted like ailing children.

    They are the recipients of more loving care and largesse than a sick kitten and the people are there merely to be kicked and robbed.

    Perhaps we need to form a massive, collective company, with a huge PR department and a lobby group and maybe then we could actually be listened to by government.

  80. AB

    Perhaps we need to form a massive, collective company, with a huge PR department and a lobby group and maybe then we could actually be listened to by government.

    Hm, yes, we could call it The Real Labour Party.


    'Cloud-brain' was also fantastic. You're on fire.

  81. The more bloody-minded, stroppy and argumentative the people, the less the representatives of the rich and powerful in government try to get away with.

  82. Deano, saw the Posh and Posher thing today via the wonders of torrent sites. Good docu from Brillo. For those outside the UK, it's already on YouTube in two parts...


    ...and here.

  83. Spike - one word: Berlusconi. ;-)

  84. chekhov

    @Medve "Are you still keen on maths tips chekhov?"

    Ooooh yes please.

    I was literally terrified of maths lessons at school but it's actually quite fun when you are not dodging board rubbers!

    First of all, i would echo Leni: at your daughter's age developing confidence and skill in arithmetic will give her a great advantage.

    Taking what you have stated on these pages about your own experience of mathematics education at face value, it is important that Amelie must not be affected by your classroom attitudes of old. Perhaps you can say that you suffered from poor maths education (as i see it), but now an internet friend has persuaded you that really maths was invented to make life easy for lazy people.

    To have an easy time with maths (ok arithmetic at this stage) you will need some friends to help you. The characters Zero and One are two such friends. Add Zero to any number and you have the answer right there. Subtracting Zero is equally easy. Our new-found friend One provides similar services in multiplication and division: a hard number times One is just that hard number and dividing by One is just as easy.

    [Advanced homework, optional]
    Multiplying by Zero is also very very easy: the answer is always Zero itself! So why is dividing by Zero not a good idea?

    Concentrate on mental arithmetic, because that will pay handsome dividends and it can be learned verbally in a playful setting. Ask whether a particular number is odd or even. If she gets it right -- she will! -- she can ask you one and so on.

    Take turns playing a doubling game: start with our friend One and double her: two. Then it is your turn to double two: four (All done in the head mind!)

    cheat sequence for you:


    If you happen to be reading out of 1001 nights, point out that that happens to be a very hard sum indeed:

    Deal with the various times tables in the same playful way. It will not take long and won't cause any grief if they are learned well like this.

    If i haven't freaked you out completely yet, have a look at some elementary arithmetic.

  85. Thanks, thauma and deano.

    Sorry, not ignoring you, just not able to give this my full attention.

    Back later.

    Will try to fit in some spider-stomping - the UT hobby of choice.

    Or have I got the wrong end of the furry little multi-jointed stick-leg on that one?

  86. @medve

    I don't know if it's because I've become a pointless old bastard, but although I'm generally against learning by rote, I think it's such an advantage to know your times tables by heart.

    I was shocked that my republicdaughter didn't have to learn them for school and I think it's made life harder for her.

    How practical is it to need a calculator to work out what a 20% discount is or if you've got enough money to buy you and your two mates a drink?

  87. Spike: That's two of us in the pointless old bastard club. I am even more pointless, because i am emphasising mental arithmetic. Seems to have worked out all right for my boys though ;)

  88. Can I just add to the support for both AB & RE posts.

    Pity that not many will read that and be fed the propaganda from the MSM.

    Not seen the Andrew Neil prog "Posh & Posher" but I have enjoyed watching him make politicians squirm on him Daily Politics show.

  89. @Medve; thanks for that.
    Agree,confidence is half the battle.

    The thing is the kids are tested on their mental arithmetic against the clock.

    I went to have a word with Amelie's maths teacher and she said were allowed up to 15 seconds to answer each sum but that actually she was only supposed to give them 5.

    I suggested this was totally bonkers and guess what? She totally agreed with me.

    So there you have it; a stupid idea which is totally counter-productive (for most kids),but what the hell carry on regardless because some fuckwit of a policy wonk at the DofE thought it might be a good idea.

  90. Deano - What a lovely dog! I will indeed send that link to MsC.

    I have to say that MSChin was ON FIRE last night. She was a blinder and basically answered the whole quiz. I was useless but she got about eighty percent of our correct answers.

    MsC - my ex-colleagues were well impressed with you!

    I have had a terrible hangover all day and been in bed - on two glasses of rose (albeit large ones) I hate ME sometimes. But I am going to try to have one night out a month even if it does make me ill the next day (its hardly as if I am out drinking and dancing all night!)

  91. @medve

    With you all the way. I've tried to work with the RD but she has this visceral antipathy for maths. I've told her she's going to get ripped off if she doesn't know what her change is supposed to be, but she just shrugs. Ah well.

  92. Deano - I have shown your new companion's photo to my stepfather - he is very envious - he loves collies and agrees with me she is lovely.

    I am trying to persuade him and my mum to get a support dog. I know having a dog would really cheer them up and be a great help but he isn't sure yet.

    Thauma - meant to say earlier re disappearing posts etc. This happens to me all the time on here and sometimes other blogs - when it is really bad I end up not posting because it drives you mad when it disappears. And some days I can't even easily access the blogs to read.

    Have wondered if it is my version of windows or something that I run my netbook on?

  93. Princess

    Best not let on to ATOS that someone with ME can have the occasional good day-although they may pay dearly for it afterwards.They'll have you declared 'fit for work' in no time,shipped over to A4E and either working 40 hours a week in Poundland-the one A4E 'success' story- or earning your keep doing workfare.And as you won't physically be able to do that you'll
    be expected to simply disappear from the stats and join the ranks of those economically inactive people who don't get a penny in benefits.

  94. PCC - tell her to double click on his picture....there's a second great photo of him!

    Glad to read that you are determined to have some fun. Good on you girl.

    medve/Chekhov -"Spike: That's two of us in the pointless old bastard club - make that three.

  95. Evening all

    Have an acquaintance who had ME, PCC. So debilitating. Sending you positive vibes, hon xx

    Deano - give Mistress Heidi Dog a welcome cuddle from me. :o)

    Medve - wasn't until much later in life that I realised I could actually do maths if I put my mind to it. What is so wrong with the teaching of maths in this country that so many people are bloody terrified of it at school? I know I was.

    Thaum - your doggie? Timid? Bwahahahahah! :o)

    Good points re lack of opposition, everyone. A chap called PeterWicks posted on waddya today, ex union guy, calling for a new party. He is spot on.

  96. PCC

    "I am trying to persuade him and my mum to get a support dog. I know having a dog would really cheer them up and be a great help but he isn't sure yet"

    Tell 'em from me (what you and most dog nuts already know), the right dog can have enormous beneficial effects on both physical and mental health. Worth a a ransom any day.

    It is near on impossible to be totally unhappy/distressed with a Mungo/dog around.

  97. Hello everyone

    had a thought earlier - I do sometimes.

    workfare - could disabled people set up a coop organisation and ask for help to replace lost benefits such as mobility allowance thus 'employing' workfare people.

    This could not , of course be the end of it. they could learn together, hone skills and then set up Community Enterprise and apply for funding - benefitting everyone. If they registered as charity they could collect publically thus publicising the plight of both the disabled and the unemployed.

    Councils still will have to provide some basics from newly structured ILF - coop members with building skills could compete for installation contracts for showers etc. this could be extended to include skills exchange or even running classes in basics.

    Admin and management skills would be needed too.

    needs working on/

  98. Evening all.
    Sad to hear that Mandela's been so ill. I know the man is 92, but somehow, he's still that little photo of a man in his 40s that was the only picture we were ever allowed to see of him while he was in prison. And he's still the man who walked out, while we all held our breath, terrified it was a ruse, and that some bastard would step out of the shadows and shoot him.

  99. PCC - unless your folks know a lot about Collies I wouldn't recommend one without some careful prior research about the breed.....most of them require a fair bit of mental and physical exercise when they are young if they are to be happy.

    That said......Rotherham Rescue have some male collies at the minute and the pictures aren't yet up......

  100. "... we all held our breath, terrified it was a ruse, and that some bastard would step out of the shadows and shoot him....."

    me too Meerkat

  101. Evening all.


    Thanks, he's very fetching, but I honestly can't have a dog at the moment.


    Gi' o'er, it was a team effort. And tell the old fella about the dog deano mentioned, at the Rotherham dog rescue.


    princess doesn't claim any benefits, so Atos isn't a problem for her.

  102. Not to worry Chin he'll surely find a home and there'll be a super dog for you when the time is right.

    Sounds as though you is quiz star young miss! Good on you.

  103. Deano - if you need any proof that an abused dog can become a functioning member of society, see BB's post. ;-)

    Leni - that's an excellent idea. This type of co-op organisation is exactly what is going to be needed. Unfortunately it plays into the Tory Twats' hands as far as the BS goes. They will just say, "See, you didn't need government to do all this for you."

    Bit of a conundrum. :-/

    Meerkatjie - could you write a piece for UT2 on SA? It would be really interesting to hear first-hand experiences and views.

  104. Spike, chekhov, deano, BB

    As BB says What is so wrong with the teaching of maths in this country that so many people are bloody terrified of it at school? I know I was.

    Quite. I have only been a maths teacher for a total of two years even though i love teaching maths (but greater need for adventure and/or money) and i spent most of those two years defusing that kind of terror as experienced by my students. If they found the work to be too hard i agreed with them or said that it was hard and too much like hard work. I then encouraged them to find easier ways to solve problems.

    It needs to be done with a touch of imagination so it can be fun and playful and hence easy.

    Nevertheless, i will say again that a good (almost instinctive) command of the tables and other mental arithmetic at the ages of 6 to 10 is a huge -- and these days already unfair -- advantage. Just use fun and games to achieve it.

  105. PCC - I was thinking of Border Collies above....Bearded Collie crosses are altogether different.

    Take Chin's advice - Louie boy at five years, and house trained and with basic commands understood sounds as though he has a lot going for him .....and nowhere near as demanding as a Border.......he looks as though he might have winning ways so I don't think he will be looking for adoption for long.

  106. My second dog, a Doberman, had been mistreated & was so terrified that he slumped down onto his belly if you put out your hand to stroke him. When we first went to see him, before he went into rescue, he had a ripped ear and was shaking with fear. I made up my mind that he was coming home with us & it took an hour to coax him into getting in the car. The other half was not convinced. Once the dog was in the car, he put his head on my child's lap and we knew he was going to be just fine.

    He was an absolute twat for a while though, needed lots of patience and attention, but he was a fabulous dog in the end.

  107. It's funny, I always tested high in my aptitude for maths but did not do well in the event because I was also afraid of it.

    Found out I liked algebra (cos it's like a puzzle, innit - cf Medve) but hated geometry, probably mostly because of a very bad teacher. Came close to failing the course. Told myself (and parents) that it didn't matter because I would never use it.

    What did I end up working with?

    Geometric CAD software.

    One day, mucking about with the software, I had a St Paul-like conversion and suddenly understood the concept of original and relative axes. Had a semi-hallucinatory experience where I pictured 3D axes on every object in view and understood the significance of their relativeness. Realised it was very cool, and bloody useful if you're designing a car.

    But in school, we were just forced to memorise theorems that didn't seem to have any point to them as far as I could see.

  108. Sure, if people would find it interesting. It's a long time ago, now. Tim was there for some of the riots that happened in the mid to late 70s around Bantu education. I was more of a 'death throes of apartheid' type, in the mid/late 80s and early 90s, and the reconstruction period. I left in 99, though.

  109. Sorry, that was a reply to thauma - I meant to quote.

  110. Meerkatjie - yes, a joint effort, why not?

    I think it's all been mythologised to some extent now and hearing from people who were there were be very instructive.

  111. *were there were -> were there would


  112. "...Nevertheless, i will say again that a good (almost instinctive) command of the tables and other mental arithmetic at the ages of 6 to 10 is a huge -- and these days already unfair -- advantage. Just use fun and games to achieve it...."

    I agree.

    Chekhov - I was taught to see multiplication as no more than a kind of shorthand for repeated addition thus:

    5X3 is in fact the same as 3+3+3+3+3 ( that is 3's added together 5 times)


    3X5 is the same as 5+5+5 ( 5's added together three times)


    5X3 is of course exactly the same as 3X5 so once you remember the answer to one you have the answer to two sums!

    turns out that division is really no more than a form of repeated subtraction.....

    Really is a case of practice breeds familiarity .....and then confidence...which will all help your daughter's confidence

  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. Good grief, this whole maths teaching business makes my piss boil.

    The thing is, if most of the kids are like my daughter (and I suspect they are) they can work out the answers given a bit of time but put them under the cosh and they freeze up and just hazard a guess and hope for the best.

  115. I think it's myth for us too, though. It's layered over with all our hopes and fears. Like with Mandela - I recognise the weaknesses of the man. Politically, I know there's a degree to which those of us who were hoping for substantial social change were sold down the river, with the oolicy transition from RDP to GEAR.

    And I'm still sitting here, weeping buckets at the idea that he might not be with us much longer.

  116. thauma

    But in school, we were just forced to memorise theorems that didn't seem to have any point to them as far as I could see.

    I don't think i have ever memorised a theorem at all. You don't have to if you understand what it says. For example, if you have a length of string and mark out a square using that string as the sides and also a circle, holding down one end of the string and going round with the other end, you might wonder how many of those squares would fit into that circle.


    Just a concise poetic language really.

  117. chekhov Just practice with her during your "quality time" with her in a playful way. Have fun with it the two of you together and she will be better able to cope at school as well without freezing. Besides, once these sort of problems are associated in her mind with good times with her dad, you will be encouraging her in school even though you are not actually present.

  118. chekhov

    Oh yes, and a word of warning: You run the risk of getting quite good at arithmetic yourself if you aren't already.

  119. Princess

    My last post may have come across as a bit heavy so i just wanted to add that i'm glad you had a day when you were Feelin' Good!

  120. Excuse me for banging on about this but being numerically competent is crucial and it's been proven that people who are earn more money and manage their finances better than those who break out in a cold sweat at the sight of sheet of numbers.

    In one way it's to Amelie's benefit that I was once in the latter category since I am much more patient with her when she is struggling, unlike my parents who just thought I was thick!

  121. "Just a concise poetic language really."

    Indeed, once you stop being scared shitless of it, it becomes sort of magical and enchanting!

  122. must bow out to go to the pub - good night all

  123. "Oh yes, and a word of warning: You run the risk of getting quite good at arithmetic yourself if you aren't already."

    You make that sound like a bad thing! ;-)

  124. Chekhov - sad reality is that a very large number of Primary School teachers only got maths at grade C at GCSE......they are thus mostly not brilliant at the subject.

    Truth is that it's only in the last few years that it became mandatory to have at last a grade C at GCSE. Thus a considerable number of older Primary teachers could actually be teaching maths without any qualification in maths themselves......

    I've often wondered if the political naivety of many otherwise decent people is down to a lack of facility with numbers.

  125. is it my imagination, or is smtx a gargantuan prat?

  126. meerkatje, I remember beautifulburnout saying here some time ago that you 'went to prison for your beliefs'. Is that true? Can you share?

  127. Paul

    Just un-spammed your 21.04 post to princess.

  128. @Meerkatjie

    Leni seems to have some time for smtx. I must say I'm not impressed. Originally struck me as the usual Hasbara auxiliary.

    Have you read John Pilger's Freedom Next Time? I was extremely depressed by the South Africa chapter and I was wondering what you thought if you'd read it.

  129. Meerkatjie, your imagination is not a gargantuan prat.

  130. Hi Deano: I'm not sure that the qualification is crucially important when teaching maths to primary school kids providing the teacher has good grasp of the basics.

    The people who "taught" me maths were all highly qualified so they couldn't understand that what was so glaringly obvious to them went completely over my head!

  131. This comment has been removed by the author.

  132. Medve - you went into scary territory with that example! ;-)

    An infinite number of squares would fit into the circle (supposing the square to be smaller than the circle), unless you make rules about them not overlapping.

    I mostly remember triangles from geometry class. Lots of ways to be uninterested in their properties, which could be looked up anyway in the unlikely case that the information might be needed.

    (Tesselation of surfaces being one of those cases!)

    Chekhov - maybe try playing some board or card games that require a lot of score-keeping? Have been playing some Yahtzee recently which has kept me on my toes with basic arithmetic after the 3rd glass of wine!

  133. Chekhov

    a game I have found helpful in giving a child number sense.

    In S America there isa tribe of people who do not count beyond 4 - any more than this is an 'I don't know how many' or a 'handful' or perhaps 'more than 4' they do not use money which I think is very significant.

    However - tell Amelie she can only count upto 4 - beyond that is unimportant in this game.

    Tell her to take a handful of rice and ask her how many grains she holds in her hand. The answer will be 'I don't know '

    how can she count them ? Only in groups of four. Once she has 4 groups (16 grains ) she has to start another serie - until she has perhaps 16 groups of four in lines of 4. She has her 4 times table and then has to ponder the value of counting and understanding number. Grains of rice perhaps don't need counting but children in a class do. If we count in 4 what to do with the 3 girls left over - they are three fourths of a full group or three quarters.

    the whole team is more than a handful.

    You as the adult need to think backwards to not know what you know now. Imagine you are trying to understand groups of 4 or 8 or whatever.

    hope this helps

  134. "The people who "taught" me maths were all highly qualified so they couldn't understand that what was so glaringly obvious to them went completely over my head!"

    A bit like some of the board rubbers,if I ducked in time!

  135. Rapid

    Bastards - "This video has been removed by the user."

    Pity it would have been good if comrades overseas without iplayer could have had access.

    As BW noted the message was not new to many. But the depth of the penetration was still likely to be unknown to many...

  136. Deleted my post, as I realise the query from penny was posted in a hostile way, not an interested way. I have no real desire to play with prats like smtx on here. Run along dearie.

  137. Oh, actually, screw it. I wrote it. I'll let it stand.

  138. This comment has been removed by the author.

  139. Meerkatjie

    I was scared a lot of the time, and too often didn't do what I thought I should because I was too scared to act.

    Most of us, I would reckon, have never been in this position. Sounds to me like you did everything you could without being foolhardy.

    The world needs foolhardy people like Mandela and others, but no-one can be *expected* to step up. And the support for the foolhardies is people like yourself - the reason that the apartheid state was broken.

  140. Nicely put, thauma, as ever.

  141. chekhov

    Don't know what is happening here - whole sentences are being eaten.

    I'll try again.

    Looking at a football team - how do we count the numbers of girls if we can only count to 4 ?If we count in 4 what to do with the 3 girls left over - they are three fourths of a full group or three quarters.

    the whole team is more than a handful.

    Ask Amelie if we only counted upto 4 how would we know that the teams are fair with matching numbers of players. Would it be easier to ensure fairness if there were 8 or 12 players in each team?

  142. @Leni

    Have you been following Whaddya? IMO, smtx is a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

  143. Spike

    had a quick look earlier - smtx seems to have gone into nasty mode permanently. i find it rather odd .

    i admit I was defending someone who was perhaps not deserving of defence.

  144. Hello Leni: I think I've got the gist...will give a whirl and let you know how I get on.

  145. I was held overnight in a police cell. It wasn't a big deal, it just kind of happened really.

    So a bit less traumatic than the thousands of innocent people who were arrested, interned, tortured etc in eg Northern Ireland at the same time? You're right - it wasn't a big deal, but beautifulburnout still cited you as some sort of hero and you didn't refute this.

    As thaumaturge says, 'Most of us, I would reckon, have never been in this position.' And she's right - which makes it all the more despicable that people like you boost your ego with dishonesty and nonsense to armchair warriors like gandolfo who 'prays for riots', not knowing what that actually involves and who gets seriously hurt.

    Run along, dearie. You're a joke.

  146. At times, it's been very High Noon/handbags at dawn here and on Waddya tonight.

    I think I'll retire to bed with a hot water bottle and a remaindered book on female executions. Tomorrow is another day - Friday in fact!


  147. I didn't see BB say anything about it. Clearly you watch the threads more carefully than me. I've not been about much the last week or so.

    Realistically, if I wanted to be seen as a 'hero' I would have drawn that picture in my post, wouldn't I? I could claim anything I wanted to about that history, and no-one would know any better, really would they?

    Again, I really don't care how you view me. You're an anonymous interwebby person. I don't know you from a bar of soap.

    I know who I am and what I am, I'm aware of all my weaknesses, and there are many. And I don't have to defend myself, or my history to you. If you think I'm a joke, stmx, I honest to god don't care.

    You're just pissed off because someone got in the way of the swings you were taking at hermione. Had you hoped people would pile in and agree with you? Ironic really, since you were going on just the other night about how horribly mean everyone here was. Dress it up as politics if you like. Bang on about my apparent middle classness, whatever other flaws you feel I have, if it makes you happy. But if anyone's shown themselves up tonight, lovely, I don't think it was me. Not really.

    Go have another glass of wine or six. This too will pass.

  148. meerkat

    i stood in solidarity with Black Sash outside the SA Embassy - a poor thing in comparison to the risks taken by so many - some of whom paid with their lives.

    Just been on the Uganda thread about the murder of David Kato - what can we do inthese situations when we are not there ?

    we can letter write and sign petitions - remaining aware that others are risking their lives.

    You were there, you committed yourself. You did not shrug and walk away.

    well done.

  149. Penny - I reckon that's a bit harsh.

    Those who stand up and get their heads kicked in by the polis are undeniably to be admired. But it is getting the majority on-side that counts, and that is usually done by more subtle means.

    In NI, it took years of patient work to convince Prods that Catholics weren't evil Jesus-eaters, and vice versa, to achieve some sort of peace. Some of the violent acts shocked both sides into acceptance of the idea, but mostly the violence - and the resultant counter-violence - polarised people.

    You trivialise Meerkatjie's night in gaol, but I expect it would have marked her out as a person to be watched.

  150. Back from pub.


    An infinite number of squares would fit into the circle (supposing the square to be smaller than the circle), unless you make rules about them not overlapping.

    Sorry, my apologies. The example was not clear. We pick a certain length of string and stick to that. We make square of that length and also a circle of that particular radius. We are able to show pretty easily that the relation i gave for that case is right.

  151. "the thousands of innocent people who were arrested, interned, tortured etc in eg Northern Ireland at the same time?"

    Ooh look, grown up language!

  152. You trivialise Meerkatjie's night in gaol, but I expect it would have marked her out as a person to be watched.

    I know a South-African who had his arm broken on purpose in police custody. I think even one night in an SA cell whether black, or white, or whatever, is no bagatelle.

  153. "beautifulburnout still cited you as some sort of hero and you didn't refute this."

    You're a nob end. Let's see if anyone refutes that.

  154. Habib - just another argument for abolishing faith schools. I went to one of the very few 'mixed' schools extant at the time, and somehow couldn't imagine that my 'other-faith' mates were as evil as I'd been told.

    Or evil at all, in fact.

    Anyway, that's it from me - I should've been off an hour ago or so.

    NN all.

  155. Fuck off, badpenny, whoever you are.

    There is only one joke round here, and it is snidey little creeps like you who snoop about the place collecting data like that other mad archivist Bitey, then sneak up and post shite about people.

    I think it is pretty fucking heroic in a repressed state to stand up and be counted to the extent that you are not afraid for your own life. I don't give a shit about the opinions of snivelling little internet warriors who bitch and gripe and snarl from behind the comfort and safety of their computer screens.

    Fuck right off. And shut the fucking door behind you.

  156. Ooh look, grown up language!

    Your point, heybaib? Is it funny that people are arrested and tortured because they're Catholic in NI, or black in SA, or Coptic in Egypt or Kurdish in Irag etc etc? Ever been thrown in jail and beaten up in the UK because you're a 'paki'? No? It's a laugh though, isn't it? Make another joke, mate, and then play a record. I'll respect you.

  157. badpenny
    any chance to use that word, hey?

  158. I wouldn't even have given the arsehole the pleasure of knowing you had even read it, habib. Twats don't deserve to be acknowledged. It only encourages them in their fuckwittery.

  159. But BB, badpenny may come back' it's fun to clock the time it takes it to do so.

  160. I think it is pretty fucking heroic in a repressed state to stand up and be counted to the extent that you are not afraid for your own life.

    Of course you do, you've never had to do it yourself. It's fantasy land to you - you'll never get your legs broken or your ear-drums pierced. What you do is talk about these frightful things 'from behind the comfort and safety of your computer screen.'

    You're a joke too (with an ego to match).

  161. Yey!!! Fucking hilarious - gotta be Hank!

  162. "you'll never get your legs broken or your ear-drums pierced."

    No... you're right, Ed. A parachute not opening... that's a way to die. Getting caught in the gears of a combine... having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go!

  163. I get the sense that badpenny's own little ego must have had a bit of a bashing at some point.

    Heyhabib, if badpenny is hank, then smtx is also hank. Because badpenny and smtx are clearly the same person.

    Surely smtx isn't hank?

  164. Unlike some, badpenny, I spend a good deal of my life making sure that people who have had their legs broken, their ear-drums pierced, been incarcerated without trial, been beaten black and blue (either at home or abroad) get the protection they deserve. Not from the comfort and safety of my computer screen, but in the real world.

    Do me a favour. Like I say, shut the door behind you. You are making yourself look increasingly foolish and twattish by the minute.

  165. Mind you... the hostility to habib, hermione, bb... Telling me off for interfering when they were swiping at hermione....

    There is definitely an emergent pattern.

  166. "Surely smtx isn't hank?"

    No, and it's wrong of me to suggest that bad penny is. smtx thinks I'm antisemitic, bad penny thinks and acts in obvious ways. Hank has much more about him than that.

  167. Badpenny is Monkeyfish.
    The other day badpenny referred to me as Narodnik Karamazov (based on one ill adivsed correlation I made). The only person who ever previously called me that was Monkeyfish.

    Secondly, 'badpenny' only came into existence shortly after Monkeyfish told us (to great fanfare) of his screed against Penny on the liberal conspiracy website, where he could display his martyrdom complex after he was subsequently blocked from that. Coincidence?

    I generally recognise the similar writing styles as well.

  168. Habib

    Far be it for me to pry into your sex life, but you want to die from getting your nuts bitten off by a Laplander?

  169. you want to die from getting your nuts bitten off by a Laplander?

    Just an everyday hazard in Stretford, BB.

    Charles, wash your mouth out with soap! Monkeyfish could never ever be offensive and boring.

  170. Well, he was funny at times BB, but I am pretty sure it is MF. Anyway, I said I would stop trolling the UT and it's only fair so I will retire for the night.


  171. I saw goody osborne with the devil... :-)

  172. NN Nap

    I am off to my pit too. Been sitting up waiting for some papers to be emailed for tomorrow and just got a text to say the client will bring them to the tribunal. So I have no bloody idea at all what I am doing til I get there. Happy days.

    NN all. xx

  173. This comment has been removed by the author.

  174. NN to those going to bed and Hi to the night shift.

    Here's another track from Mr Donald Byrd

  175. Just a point: I don't claim to know who "badpenny" is but one of the things I love about this site is that it is un-moderated.
    I'm in the "give them enough rope" camp on this one.
    If people want to come on here and make a tit of themselves; bring it on, and that includes me!

    BTW: I don't apologize for flagging this up again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

    This movie should be compulsory viewing for anyone over the age of sixteen.

    However I have to think about my motives for posting the link are and tbh I want to know what you guys think about it.

  176. I managed to watch QT until the end. As usual, Will Self was a godlike genius.

    But Katie Hopkins a businesswoman? Who are they trying to fool? The woman's brain dead! Who's actually running the business fronted by Katie "as seen on TV" Hopkins? I think tonight was the only time I've seen a panel member on QT whose every speech was greeted with total audience silence. Fuck me, even Nick Griffin got sporadic clapping from one or two dickheads! Katie Hopkins is the incarnation of the Daily Express after a radical lobotomy.

    And is it me, or is there increasing hostility from audiences towards the coalition? I certainly hope so. I notice that not only are the Tories blaming the recession on the weather, but in January, they're saying "the winter was the coldest since 1910". Simple past. Funny, I thought the winter was still continuing, but apparently not.

  177. And now Charles Clarke and Michael Portillo side by side. I can't actually follow the programme because with those two pairs of colossal ears poised, I'm waiting for the sofa to take off. Didn't Steve Bell depict Clarke as an elephant? Someone give him a feather to hold!

    Anyway, night-night.

  178. Chekhov you have been given some excellent ideas re number work.

    As a former adult numeracy teacher One simple idea for tables is to remember that you build a table 'from scratch' by counting in 2's 3's 4;s etc.

    You can also create a 100 square in Word (use the table facility) top row 1-10, then 11 -20 and so on.

    Fi;; in all the threes, with felt tip/coloured pencils. Do this by counting on 3 so 3456, 6789, etc.

    Go all the way to 30 (or 36 if you like).

    You get a pattern with some amazing properties. First of all you get a series of diagonals take the one starting with 3 its 3 12 21 The digit sum of all the 2 digit nos make 3! 1+2, 2+1
    Same for 6 - 6 15 24 33.

    The secret is finding number games That are fun! There's loads on the net I've got a list sites somewhere not on this hard drive I'll search out the memory stick its on. Trouble is some of its awful! and some sites just want to sell you something!

    Meanwhile have a look at the BBC education site.


    Good luck and have fun!

  179. @Annetan: thanks to you and everyone else for the maths fun. It really is quite fun and I'm loving it.
    Mind you all subjects are fun and it never ceases to amaze me why the cretins who taught me history and chemistry and biology and physics managed to bore me to tears!

    It must take a special sort of talent to make such fascinating subjects so mundane and dreary!

  180. Well, he was funny at times BB, but I am pretty sure it is MF. Anyway, I said I would stop trolling the UT and it's only fair so I will retire for the night.

    God, you're an idiot.

    Monkeyfish has forgotten more shit than you will ever know. And badpenny is NOT Monkeyfish. Loads of people saw your idiotic, puffed-up comment about going "out amongst the people in the narodnik style" -- calling you Narodnik Karamazov only proves that badpenny saw it, too.

    Recognise the writing style??? You're barely capable of recognising your own reflection.

  181. Thanks Chekhov -
    It must take a special sort of talent to make such fascinating subjects so mundane and dreary!

    Yup it does - that and the National Curriculum - teachers are too busy ticking boxes to be creative! In the past you did get those who were still droning the notes they made in their first year when they retired.

    I don't think I ever taught a lesson in the same way twice - the classes were different.

  182. In case you didn't notice, which I'm sure you did, I didn't include the Arts and English literature and languages in the mix because they were taught in a manner which was inclusive of everyone regardless.

  183. Chekov - I have just been discussing the Zeitgeist lot over on The Torygraph. It is odd because a fair few right winger types seem to like it but as far as I can see it is really suggesting a sort of socialism?

    It doesn't call itself socialism but surely the idea of getting rid of money, having technology and food enough for all if we just share it out a bit better - well its socialism isn't it?

    Maybe however we should just keep that really, really quiet - if some right wingers are getting turned onto it and don't see it as the 'red menace' in any way sense or form, then that can only be a good thing.

    Of course on the other hand they have been described as cult like and technocratic dictator wannabes and NWO types. I am going to watch this one now - not seen it - thanks for the link.

  184. Hi Princess; forget about the "isms" just watch the movie. This is about a new way of thinking and I'm sure one you would identify with!

  185. Oh yeah Chekov I definitely agree that it is good stuff - I have watched some of their other stuff but only the shorter bits on youtube about resource based economy - ever so good. Didn't they set up - or were involved with - the Venus Project too?

    I am watching this now laid in bed. It is great. Fascinating how they weave it all together. And such a sweeping view of it all - makes you realise that all those Keynsian versus Friedman arguments are all pointless because the whole damn thing is completely fucked!

    I am going to have to turn it off now because I am shattered but it is brilliant. Will watch rest of it tomorrow.