31 August, 2005

Dumb sloane still dead

Tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales have been placed at Kensington Palace on the eighth anniversary of her death.

Flowers, photos and messages adorn the gates of her London home.

One visitor, 42-year-old Julia Cain, said: "We camped out overnight and we do it every year because we have to try to keep Diana's memory alive."

"As long as I've got breath in my body I'll be coming here," Ms Cain said.

What in buggering fuck is up with that? Fuck me. Please can anybody explain this? Pathological idiocy, demented disorder, who knows. We certainly shouldn't be earnestly jotting down Julia's thoughts on how the people's princess (tm) and her memory are important. We should be kindly taking her away from the scene giving her a cup of strong sweet tea and then dispatching her in as humane a way as possible before sterilising her whole family - just to make sure, you understand.

International Chav spotting

It is reassuring to discover that moronic criminals aren't just confined to Britain.

Three men trying to steal fuel from a New Zealand farm ended up setting fire to their own car.

Police say the trio had siphoned diesel into a petrol-driven vehicle.

When their car would not start, they examined the fuel pipe using a cigarette lighter.

One click, a boom and the car burst into flames.

"It wasn't a major whodunnit," senior sergeant Ross Gilbert, of the small North Island town of Waipukurau, said. The men, aged 18 to 19, escaped injury but were charged with theft.

"Fortunately for them, there is no criminal charge for stupidity."

Can you imagine if there was though? Once we'd built several extra prisons and sworn in housewives as judges to deal with the backlog of cases, we could be living in a utopian dream.

Empty roads and polite people, always a seat in the pub, every Saturday night a taxi available. I think we're onto something here, and if we can incorporate a "three strikes and you're out" ruling...

30 August, 2005

prophylaxis of evil

I think I'm gonna get me one of those anti-cancer wristbands. They seem to be made of a similar plastic to the flea collars I've just put on the cats, and those are certainly effective let me tell you.

Does anybody know how often you need to replace them?

And you called them stupid

Young Americans not quite as stupid as some people might think. All four U.S. military academies have seen a drop in the number of applications this year compared with last year. I can't imagine why.

Number of Applicants for the Class of 2009 vs. 2008
Air Force Academy — declined 23 percent
Coast Guard Academy — declined 12 percent
U.S. Military Academy — declined 9 percent
Naval Academy — declined 20 percent

It's probably one of those cultural differences, but to this British person having a military academy for the Coast Guard seems a little over the top.

The Coast Guard in Britain spend a lot of time looking jolly in knitwear, liasing with yachtsmen and pleasure craft drivers. Sure they also deal with naughty types breaking the law, but there's a nice homely feel to the service in general.

I suppose stateside it's a non-stop battle with cocaine laden speedboats, mexican border-botherers and Cuban infiltrators, with the possibility of a gunboat tour on the Tigris if you piss off the boss.

Another roadside attraction

Driving or riding in Milton Keynes lately I'm seeing more roadside tributes to the victims of road traffic accidents. Not just floral tributes either, mini flower gardens with toys and nick-nacks, there's even a model windmill at one site.

I'm told there's been a simmering row in the local paper between people petitioning the council to get them cleared away and "bereaved family and friends" tearfully insisting on the right to pay tribute to young Dwayne and his passengers.

This is litter. At best it's cellophane and rotting vegetation, at worst it's fly-tipping.

Stop fucking crying because the neighbours friends cousin's lad crashed his Nova. The location of most of these shrines will tell an experienced driver a little bit about the nature of the accident. Some twat driving way too fast in an unroadworthy vehicle will cover it.

Don't bother sparing a thought for the old couple they ploughed into, after all "they'd had a good innings" and young Dwayne had so much life ahead of him. He was finally turning his life around, staying out of trouble and doing the right thing by Charlene, hence the three-foot floral 'DAD'.

They would have been okay if they'd worn seatbelts, but that was our Dwayne, a rebel. Place a Burberry cap at the roadside and remember him.

Sub standard pt2

A new category is required in the sensational "Golden D'uuur for stating the bleedin' obvious" Headline awards. A special tribute when a sub employs a headline so stupid it leaves you slack-jawed in amazement.

The Times Online gave us the following story:
Cockney accent is dying out in parts of its spiritual home, according to research. A study of speech in the East End found that the accent of London’s working classes is being replaced with a new dialect.
With the headline...

"Trouble and strife for cockney rhyming slang"


I'm hoping this talented individual will be headlining stories about the current New Orleans weather situation

"Katrina and the Waves"

29 August, 2005


Children should be taught how to watch reality TV so they can understand that the "reality" it presents can be manipulated, Germaine Greer has said.

Professor Greer told Edinburgh TV Festival her experience on Celebrity Big Brother taught her that all TV footage "can be slanted".

Which just goes to show you can be a professor, regarded as part of the intelligentsia invited onto Late Review to spraff away with Tom Paulin, and still be as dumb as a post.

Sixty-six years old, many years spent appearing on television before she understands the concept of editing. I don't think it's the kids who need to learn how to watch TV Professor brainiac.

27 August, 2005

Test my faith

Giant roadside dinosaur attractions are being used by Christian creationists as pulpits to spread their version of Earth's origins.

The 45-foot-high concrete apatosaurus has towered over Interstate 10 near Palm Springs for nearly three decades as a kitsch tourist pit-stop. Now he is the star of a renovated attraction that disputes the fact that dinosaurs died off millions of years before humans first walked the planet.

Dinny's new owners, pointing to the Book of Genesis, contend that most dinosaurs arrived on Earth the same day as Adam and Eve, some 6,000 years ago, and later marched two by two onto Noah's Ark. The gift shop at the attraction, called the Cabazon Dinosaurs, sells toy dinosaurs whose labels warn, "Don't swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution."

"We're putting evolutionists on notice: We're taking the dinosaurs back," said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian group building a $25-million creationist museum in Petersburg, Ky., that's already overrun with model sauropods and velociraptors.

"They're used to teach people that there's no God, and they're used to brainwash people," he said. "Evolutionists get very upset when we use dinosaurs. That's their star."

"Dinosaurs lived in the Garden of Eden, and Noah's Ark? Give me a break," said Kevin Padian, curator at the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley and president of National Center for Science Education, an Oakland group that supports teaching evolution. "For them, 'The Flintstones' is a documentary."

Polite request to all the Charlie-Church types:
If you really do want to believe in God and heaven and biblical truth, why not leave a little mystery and enigma surrounding it eh? This desperate shoe-horning of every event or phenomena that pre-dates the Judeo-Christian tradition into a pure biblical truth worldview is ridiculous. What next? Bhudda was Jesus' fat brother in law.

Have enough fuckin' faith to believe. Faith to quietly put your trust in an unprovable idea because it gives you strength. Fuck it, you can even wear a smug grin and pity me for being blind to Gods love because I'm hung up on a shallow, logical approach.

But if you try and take on a scientific fact-based approach to prove this stuff, you will fail and look stupid, so don't bother. Deal?

24 August, 2005

keep on truckin'

It's official, people want a big vehicle because they are safer. Safer if you are inside the vehicle that is.

A sport utility vehicle rammed into the operating room toward the end of a cataract procedure at the Northern New Jersey Eye Institute in South Orange.

Floyd Hunt Jr., 77, (you know I think you can probably lose the junior when you're over seventy years old) of Newark, was trying to back his Toyota 4Runner out of a parking space outside the operating room, but failed to put the car into reverse.

The front end of the sport utility vehicle smashed through a wall and stopped just inches from doctor and patient. The vehicle destroyed steel beams, the ceiling and damaged a $70,000 ultrasound machine used to remove cataracts. Dr. Bernard Spier said that if the accident had happened moments earlier, it could have damaged the patient's eye.

Meanwhile a West Virginia mother was killed when she was run over by her own SUV.

The 25-year-old woman had gotten out of the vehicle with one of her children while two others were inside. One of the children put the Dodge Durango in gear. It started coasting off a driveway and Andrea Johnson tried to stop it.

Officials said the woman fell under the vehicle after about 75 feet, and was dragged about 50 feet ending up in a drainage ditch. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

So there you are, they are big, their owners are not clever, and you'll put someone's eye out with that if you're not careful.

Language watch

Never before have the terms airline-food and gourmet been used in the same sentence quite so often.

22 August, 2005

the neon god they made

The people of Britain were today called upon to observe a minutes silence to commemorate the loss of my wallet. A gut-wrenching tragedy that left a generation scarred, until I found it. By my keys. I forgot I'd put it on the stairs.

Not since Sunday 7th's silence for Jean Charles de Menezes has a country been united in such a way.

Apart from the minutes silence two weeks later on the 21st for Mary-Ann Leneghan. Killed in Reading. In with a bad crowd. Bit of a slapper probably.

After the emotional minutes silence for scouser Bigley. A saint amongst us who chose the difficult path of taking enormous tax-free pay cheques for building air bases in war zones and came a cropper, it was felt that one minute was not enough silence. Two full minutes were had in July to show our contempt for terrorism.

If you know someone who isn't observing a silence, please call the hotline.

Synthesiser pioneer Dr Robert Moog has died at his North Carolina home aged 71

Let's join together and observe a minutes awesome electronic noise, with some outrageous wobbly analogue bits.

21 August, 2005

Shuttle cock

20 August, 2005

Weekend news update

Westlife singer reveals 'I'm gay'

In a hurricane of disinterst reactions ranged from "What, they're not all gay?" to "Westlife? hmm, no, sorry"

And make it snappy!

Residents of Los Angeles have been trying to spot a fugitive alligator basking in a city lake, which has outwitted captors for over a week.

Visitors have been tempting the alligator with food such as tortillas, French bread and doughnuts, but to no avail. It has not been seen since Wednesday.

This is an alligator for fuck's sake, not a New York cop. Their diet doesn't have a very high doughnut content, and shouldn't that be freedom bread?

The 'and finally' heartwarming news item. Chav of the week

18 August, 2005

Hearts and minds

FORT BLISS, Texas (AP) - A military jury convicted an Army reservist of assault, maltreatment, maiming and making a false official statement on Thursday for assaulting a prisoner who later died at a detention center in Afghanistan.

The jury acquitted Brand of charges that he abused a second detainee. Both prisoners died just days after arriving at the detention center at Bagram Airfield north of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Homicide charges against Brand, who served in the 337th Military Police Company, were dropped earlier this year.

Prosecutors had asked that Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 27, be sent to a military prison for 10 years with a dishonorable discharge. Instead, the panel reduced his rank to private.

For those unfamiliar with military acronyms Willie was demoted to private from private first class.

17 August, 2005

let's see who salutes it

A man fell to his death after climbing a 22ft flag pole as a prank during a Christmas night out with friends, an inquest has heard.

Julian Brooks, 22, died on 17 December 2004 after falling in Church Village near Pontypridd.

It appears that Julian is not the only person who may have had a few too many drinks. Coroner Philip Walters recording a verdict of accidental death remarked;

"One has to accept that when I was that was that age and other people - it is the sort of thing many of us would have done at that age,"

As true today, I think you'll agree, as it ever was. It might also go some way to explaining why it took eight months to unravel this not very complex case.

16 August, 2005

Taking the P

US rapper Sean "P Diddy" Combs is changing his name again - by dropping the "P".

Combs said he now wanted to be known just as "Diddy" as his old name was causing confusion and he wanted to "simplify things".

"I even started to get confused myself - and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long."

Currently holed-up in the Knotty-Ash borough of New York City working on new tracks for his rhyme syndicate the 'Diddymen' he pronounced the latest track about niggaz in the Jam Butty mines to be 'tattyfelarious'.

15 August, 2005

Caption competition

New Super-Tuesday featurette
weekly winner
Substantial prizes

NDA to buy “Really big rug”

by WhiteBoyBob

Decommissioning the UK's ageing nuclear power stations will cost billions of pounds more than originally expected. In its first report, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estimates that £56bn will have to be spent cleaning up 20 sites. NDA wants to speed up the clean-up, including that of the ageing Magnox plants, from 125 years to 25 years.

NDA Chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver said today, “We tried chucking it in the sea when no-one was looking but it kept washing up on the beaches and killing things”. So, with a new strategy in mind the NDA has decided to buy a really big rug to stick over much of Lincolnshire under which they plan to sweep all high level nuclear waste from decommissioned plants.

“This option is obviously a lot more expensive than chucking it in the sea, but when the Jocks and Micks kept dropping down dead we decided an alternative solution had to be sought. My sister-in-law came up with the idea a few weeks ago at a splendid barbeque we were at, and we all thought it was a super idea. It’ll save a lot of time decommissioning the old power stations and anyway it’s not like anyone goes to Lincolnshire is it? Well, anyone that counts.”

Brave Texan makes intelligent case

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush might have made his peace with the antiwar encampment outside his Texas ranch, but his next-door neighbor has taken up arms.

The incident occurred Sunday morning as activists gathered for a prayer service in the tent village set up by Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq and who is demanding a meeting with Bush to discuss the war. On the other side of Prairie Chapel Road, Larry Mattlage hopped into his pickup, barreled across his pasture and pulled up to a fence within a few hundred feet of the protesters. He climbed out of the cab, retrieved a shotgun from the back and fired at least one blast into the air.

"I done made my case. It's over," he said as he shooed away a reporter from the gated entrance to his ranch.

"I wish I had the nerve to do something like that," said Army Sgt. Vernon "Dusty" Harrison, who spent a year in Iraq and owns an adjacent property. "I salute his bravery."

The White House declined to comment on the incident.

Quoted verbatim from The L.A. Times

14 August, 2005

Bird's custard sold online

Proposals to crack down on internet sites that trade in human sperm and eggs are set to be unveiled this week by the government.

The plans are part of a consultation on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The websites currently fall outside existing regulation, and so do not have to comply with the same safety and quality procedures as clinics.

More recently, websites to match egg donors and surrogate mothers have also appeared on the internet.

Commenting yesterday an anonymous Sutton Coldfield reisident said "I think women should be able to get eggs on their computers, fair's fair - I often get spunk on my keyboard".

13 August, 2005

Sham sandwich

An international research team has proposed new techniques that could bring meat production out of the farm and into the lab.
Developments in tissue engineering mean that cells taken from animals could be grown directly into meat in a laboratory, the researchers say.

Vegetarians are steeling themselves for yet another crashing bore to corner them and relate this 'soft news' story with a smug tone at tonight's dinner party.

In a free wheeling diatribe any vegetarians present will be invited to defend the shocking hypocrisy that is their lifestyle on issues such as leather shoes, recycling and even the nuclear deterrent.

With a flourish he hopes is reminiscent of a steely-eyed poker player, the boorish dinner guest will reveal his masterful point. "What's point of making pretend meat foods eh? Vege-burgers and vege-sausages".

Vegetarians throughout the room upon hearing this fatuous comment will merely mutter the word "cockpiece" under their breath.

12 August, 2005

Fantasy archetype under threat

Sales of schoolgirls' trousers have overtaken those of skirts for the first time, figures suggest.

Retailer Woolworths said trousers had accounted for 52% of the relevant market this year, an increase from only 2% in 2002.
"If the decline continues at its current pace, skirts could be a thing of the past in schools by 2017," a company spokeswoman said.

Specialists are worried about the future impact on demand for schoolgirl themed scat and bongo mags. "A pleated skirt that can be lifted up with an innnocent look to camera is pre-requisite" said Dirk Johnson from his tawdry Essex home yesterday. "You might as well ask me not to pull roughly on her ponytail, as I plough her tight khaki buttonhole".

Other grumble experts are less worried. "I can't remember the last time I saw a French maid in real life" remarked Brad Shooter, "But I still love to throw my muck over those frilly white headress things until her face looks like a plasterer's radio."

Wet bog

by WhiteBoyBob
Staff writer

THE world's largest frozen peat bog is melting. An area stretching for a million square kilometres across the permafrost of western Siberia is turning into a mass of shallow lakes as the ground melts, according to Russian researchers just back from the region. The sudden melting of a bog the size of France and Germany combined could unleash billions of tonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

The news of the dramatic transformation of one of the world's least visited landscapes comes from Sergei Kirpotin, a botanist at Tomsk State University, Russia, and Judith Marquand at the University of Oxford. Kirpotin describes an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming". He says that the entire western Siberian sub-Arctic region has begun to melt, and this "has all happened in the last three or four years".

Carbon dioxide that has been slowly trapped over hundreds of millions of years in the form of fossil fuels has been released in a few decades, and we are not slowing down.
Well, nice hot summers for us; hooray. Well, maybe. Unless the Gulf Stream shifts and we end up like Canada. And the currents feeding into the Gulf Stream in the southern Atlantic Ocean are already shifting north.

Hard evidence of sustained global warming is piling up like salesmen in early morning fog on the M4. Yet the popular press is still chanting the mantra “Blip in the weather. Just normal cycles of hot and cold. Warmer summers; good for tourism.” It’s like the heavy smoker who insists that it is not really as dangerous as doctors make out because they haven’t died yet. And lets face it, the public would much rather listen to the voices that tell them to keep consuming because everything is going to be all right. Why listen to extremely intelligent experts in the field when a selfish dullard like Jeremy Clarkson can reassure you that by being greedy and thoughtless you are doing the right thing. We are repeatedly told that do-gooders are trying to spoil the party, and to a certain extent that is true.

We all live together on the surface of a small, delicate planet with finite resources and space. We cannot afford to continue to party like a drunken teenager, not thinking of the consequences. But then as a neighbour of my parents said, “It’s not my problem and I’ll be dead and gone when it is. Our children and grandchildren will sort it out I’m sure”. Long live altruism.

Nobel Winner facing long stretch

John Robert Schrieffer 74, a Nobel laureate in physics may face prison time for slamming into a van at more than 100 mph last year, killing one passenger and injuring seven others just south of Santa Maria, Calif.

Defending himself Schrieffer insists that by looking at the road traffic accident, crash investigators had actually changed the outcome.

Furthermore because of the Lorentz Transformation, or "time dilation", the clocks in his moving Mercedes had slowed down by a factor of 1/?(1-v2/c2).

11 August, 2005

Road to Damascus, extremely abrasive

A woman who apparently jumped from a Hummer limousine as it traveled on Interstate 405 early today was killed, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation showed the woman was struck by several cars after jumping out of the limousine, said police Sgt. Loren Wyrick, adding that investigators have not ruled her death a suicide. "We don't have her ID yet, we don't know what the motivation was and the circumstances leading to her death," Wyrick said.

Investigators are working on the basis that the victim had a sudden debilitating insight into the state of mind that leads anybody to believe a Hummer is in any way at all an aspirational vehicle, not merely a grotesque indicator of multiple personality disorders.

This was probably compounded by the awful realisation that stretch vehicles are now purely the preserve of minor porn entrepreneurs, and ten-a-penny cackling hen-nights.

"When you look at it in this light, it's not really surprising"

Man trapped in bush

In an artist imitates life story, musician Brian May, 58 Revealed that he too has spent two days trapped in a bush.

May who wrote hits for his band Queen like Spread Your Wings, Sweet Lady and Seaside Rendevous, said he was glad to be out of the dense prickly patch.

In a bizzare parallel with events in North Yorkshire yesterday the be-permed guitar twiddler, performer of such hits as In The Lap Of The Gods, You Take My Breath Away, and Coming Soon, commented "At first it was funny, but before I knew it I was stuck" He tells of a dark night enmeshed, in the bosky tendrils.

Finally the lanky banjo botherer, author of Escape From The Swamp freed himself of the thick matted growth with one of his trademark rapid licks.

10 August, 2005

Fact Hunt

There's a new entry for the sensational "Golden D'uuur for stating the bleedin' obvious" Headline awards.

Prayer 'no aid to heart patients'

Spotters badge goes to Boba Fatt, our man in the North. Send your entries to secure the coveted prize. I'll just need to dig out the badge-maker Bob.

Idiocy evolved

President Bush, touched upon a "intelligent design" this week, a subject dicussed previously in this blog. I'm not suggesting that the Bush administration takes a lead from this blog, or that it sets the agenda, that is for other people to say.

The president has suggested that the theory of "intelligent design" should be taught in the classroom.

I.D. proposes that life is too complex to have developed through evolution, and an unseen power must have had a hand. There is an important distinction between the way the Commander in Chimp and any scientist who uses the word theory. Cheerleaders for creationism and their slightly more *ahem* evolved friends pushing I.D. point to the damning evidence that scientists admit Evolution is 'just a theory', like I.D. and they should get equal time.

In science theories lead to hypotheses, testable by empirical fact and analysis, the results must be repeatable and are held up to an incredibly high standard of peer review. Even then no scientist is arrogant enough to pronounce it 100% solved FACT, it remains a strong theory, like gravity or quantumn mechanics. The scientific mentality is to question assumptions and remain open to new evidence; it does not imply that there is any competing theory that is considered viable by the scientific community.

Alan Leshner, the chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that the proponents of intelligent design are "trying to cloak a religious concept in the mantle of science". "There is no science to intelligent design, it's not even a scientifically answerable question".

If some dimwit from Texas wants to believe that every night he talks to a big man with a beard who lives in the sky, that's okay by me I suppose. I don't think they should be able to hold any position of responsibility like say a bus driver, but hey, that's just me. "What did your imaginary friend say to do George? Hmmm, I don't think that's a good idea"

09 August, 2005

Hazel nuts

The renaming of ethnic minority groups is being explored to allow communities to show pride in both their ethnic roots and their Britishness.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said in a newspaper interview that she found the idea of US-style hyphenated terms like Asian-British or African-British, "quite interesting".

Quite interesting?

Your colleague John, born in Swindon, just like his folks after his grandparents moved to Britain before the war, now becomes Asian-British? How terribly exciting to discover after a quarter of a century living in the Thames Valley that you're actually a foreigner. Perhaps they could be made to wear a little badge detailing where they're from, or at least to carry a bell.

If you'll excuse me I must repair my horned helmet, the pillaging season is upon us again, and those East Anglian women aren't going to rape themselves you know.

08 August, 2005

Discovery crew confident for re-entry

Nasa has been forced to delay space shuttle Discovery's return to Earth by about 90 minutes due to bad weather.
The seven crew members aboard Discovery have been preparing for their re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

In a shuttle programme first, it has also been repaired by crew member Stephen Robinson during one of three spacewalks.
The astronaut removed material from the shuttle's belly, to prevent any possible repeat of the problems which doomed space shuttle Columbia and her crew.

"We're getting ready here and we're looking forward to coming home," Discovery commander Eileen Collins told mission control in Houston, Texas.

Meanwhile her interior monologue reflected on a summer BBQ hosted by the Robinson family. Specifically the shoddy finish on the rear decking and the crappy shelving coming away from the wall in the den, which Steve seemed really proud of. Come to think of it he broke the coffee maker in the office too. Damn good pilot though, hmm I better get on with the pre-flights.

Commander Collins described her current state as "Bricking it"

06 August, 2005

Weekend news update

A jury in the US state of Virginia has decided that a man with learning difficulties on death row is intelligent enough to be executed.
To escape execution in Virginia, an inmate has to prove he has an IQ of 70 or less; but Atkins scored 76 recently.

He had previously scored 59 in 1998. The intellectual stimulation he got from constant contact with lawyers in the case is thought to have raised his IQ above the threshold of 70. Defence teams plan to fly in a crack team of Radio disk jockeys to do a "talky bit" about big brother.

Astronomers Claim Discovery of 10th Planet
LOS ANGELES - Astronomers announced Friday that they have discovered a new planet larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun.
"Fucksticks" Mystic Meg, yesterday.

Italian river 'full of cocaine'
Scientists have found large quantities of a cocaine by-product in a river in northern Italy - suggesting consumption is much higher than previously thought.
The River Po was found to be carrying the equivalent of nearly 4kg (8.8lb) of cocaine daily.

Italian industrailist signor Wonka, speaking from his magical Milanese Charlie factory said the waterfall was key to the fluffieness of his Colombian Flake.

Expert BBC aviation reporters, in contest with health correspondents to claim the coveted "Golden D'uuur for stating the bleedin' obvious" Headline awards.
Crash jet 'too far down runway'
Vitamins 'do not stop infections'

05 August, 2005

Barking filth

Military chiefs escaped the prospect of unprecedented legal action by promising to do more to to root out sexual harassment in the armed forces.

In another recent case concerning Catherine Brumfitt, a military police officer, a tribunal heard that a male sergeant used sexual scenarios to illustrate points in training sessions, and frequently used the terms "cunt", "tommed up the arse", "butt fuck", and "wanking over the bed sheets".
The Guardian

Leaving aside for a moment the naiveity of anyone called Brumfitt joining the forces expecting a quiet life (let's be honest, it's like having a new kid at school named Kocksux, or Jaques Meoff), I think we're missing the real story here.

If only we can track down this rouge sergeant, reality television has a new star. Someone who can inject a much needed shot in the arm to genre. Any idiot can swear, but it takes an artisan, a poet of profanity to illustrate the minutae of military policing procedure using sexual scenarios. I like to think I have an exhaustive command of profane metonyms but I've never even heard of "tommed up the arse", and this man, this collosus amongst lesser vulgarians was using the phrase frequently. To teach policing.

Christ alone knows what fine point of technique was repeatedly drilled home with the epithet "wanking over the bed sheets" but you can rest assured it's a lesson those raw recruits carry with them to this day.

Y'know there are some teachers that you never forget.

04 August, 2005

God still at large in Toronto area

Relief after 'miracle' air escape BBC

Miracle fireball survivors Sun

'A miracle' no deaths as Air France flight skids off runway, burns in Toronto CBC

Canadian Transport minister Jean Lapierre commented...
"I would say this is a miracle," he said. "It's nothing short of a miracle."
He then wildly shouted into the still-turbulent skies an anxious prayer entreating his vengeful God to spare the airport infrastructure.

On the accident, Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesman Steve Shaw said the reason for so few injuries was because of the speed and professionalism of everyone involved. "The aircraft was evacuated very rapidly, the emergency services responded very quickly," he said. Luckily an angry mob swiftly descended on the heretic, and his foul pernicous lies were stopped with the purifying flames of righteousness.

Devious sinners may suggest that the lack of huge numbers of fireball related deaths was attributable to a small amount of fuel available at the end of a long-haul flight from Paris to Toronto. Or the relative difficulty of atmospheric ignition of fumes in a torrential downpour. Or that Toronto's Pearson Airport had been under a "red alert" since midday on Tuesday because of the danger of lightning, and had well trained experts on the scene in seconds. Their godless ways will see them suffer in a lake of brimstone for eternity.

Editors have been informed of the papal decree from the vatican on the strict definition of the term miracle, and it's usage in news reporting. Supporters in the campaign for the beatification of John Paul the second point to "the miracle of the free car-park space near the trolleys" and "the miracle of the sun rising in the morning".

03 August, 2005

Monkey, or organ grinder?

It's funny where your meanderings across the information highways and byways take you. From reading the consistently excellent A Free Man in Preston Blog archives, via a circuitous route I found myself looking at some video content online that left me confused and curious. And this time it wasn't deutsche bath boys.

the smoking gun is the modern-day equivalent of the salacious fifties scandal sheets that delighted in the public airing of dirty laundry. This page finds it gleefully enjoying damning footage of Dubya at a 1992 wedding razzing on friends for not smoking or drinking, apparently being in a state of refreshment himself.

I'm so used to seeing George as a simple-minded puritan zealot fumbling for his words that it came as a shock to see the mask slipped, to reveal a relaxed easy performer with a sense of humour, hell I found myself warming to him.

It got me to wondering, how much of the "Aw shucks, simple guy like you folk" persona is a routine that plays well in the heartland - hiding a slightly more sophisticated than you think political operator. Someone who knows that big chunks of the electorate are mistrustful of smart-alec types like Nader and Gore.

Isn't it stretching credulity a bit to insist that a complete moron made it to the top job, not once but twice? And if you insist that he's an imbecile, well what does that make us? Wasn't it the late, great, Obi Wan Kenobi who asked "who is more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?".

Anyhoo these days, just like Osama, Dubya is sworn off the drink, and neither of them party hard any more. In the interests of a more friendly debate I think world leaders should gather together for tequila shots, and perhaps chop out a chubby line of racket.

Not that I endorse cocaine use you understand, I just like the way it smells.

02 August, 2005

Another important poll

The latest quarterly Anholt-GMI Nations Brand Index - the equivalent of a global popularity contest - put the UK fourth, behind Australia, in the top spot, followed by Canada and Switzerland. Germany came in seventh and France ninth, while America lagged at 11th, continuing a downward trend that is worrying some analysts.
Guardian story

Well I'm glad they approached it scientifically. You've got to admire the sheer chutzpah of someone who sets themselves up as a 'nation brands' analyst. Why didn't I think of that wheeze, the technique's a doddle, ask people from all over the world what they think about foreigners.

It turns out that some folk think the French are a bit snooty. A searing insight that was previously unknowable I think you'll agree. The official website is brimming with similar pearls of wisdom. The kind of genius only possible when you ask thousands of world citizens for an opinion and then boil all your findings down to a cliche, sometimes quite amusing if like me you enjoy a cheap joke...

"When the international panel was asked how much they trust a country’s government to make responsible decisions on peace and security, the U.S. came 19th just above South Korea."

I could only assume Paul Hogan's oeuvre is still the hot ticket in some of the more backward parts of the world when I read this little gem...

"Australia - low rankings for products and culture are a concern. The latter finding is a surprise given the strength of Australia in popular culture for example, in music and movies."

Yeah, and I hear there's this new beat combo called INXS.

For these important findings and more visit the Official website for those who need to get on with some actual work here's the final results. Cue Paul Hardcastle, The Wizard

Complete ranking of all 25 nation brands:
1. Australia
2. Canada
3. Switzerland
4. UK
5. Sweden
6. Italy
7. Germany
8. Netherlands
9. France
10. New Zealand
11. United States
12. Spain
13. Ireland
14. Japan
15. Brazil
16. Mexico
17. Egypt
18. India
19. Poland
20. South Korea
21. China
22. South Africa
23. Czech Republic
24. Russia
25. Turkey

01 August, 2005

Sub standard

Some waggish sub-ed at BBC online headlined the following story...
Alder Road in Balsall Heath, Birmingham Hundreds of residents were left homeless Residents whose homes were affected by the tornado in Birmingham have hit out at the city council over the time taken to restore the area.

Tornado residents slate council

Well I suppose they had a few spare.

The Daily Mail responded with...
Tornado to hit motorists' pockets

The Sun's hard working subs are still looking for that elusive Big Brother angle. However in their haste not to be scooped by the other red-tops with the shock news that Bond will drive a Fiat in his next cinematic outing they couldn't even wait for the lad who knows how to work PhotoShop to arrive in the office. Undaunted they produced this meisterwork of TattyShopping. Readers of a sensitive regard for the rules of perspective, sympathetic composition or skill may wish to avoid. Taoski's TattyShop masterclass has been alerted to News International's plight.