Saturday, 27 August 2005

Only in America?

Been a bit quiet on the comment side lately - what about a bit of a stir-up. Hello ex-teacher in Welsh Wales.
Half the population will dismiss this story - but a new study claims the cleverest people are far more likely to be male than female.Men are more intelligent than women by about five IQ points on average, making them better suited for tasks of high complexity, according to the authors of a paper due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology.Genetic differences in intelligence between the sexes helped explain why many more men than women won Nobel Prizes or became chess grandmasters, the study by Paul Irwing and Richard Lynn concludes.They showed that men outnumbered women in increasing numbers as intelligence levels rose. There were twice as many with IQ scores of 125, typical for people with first-class degrees.When scores rose to 155, associated with genius, there were 5.5 men for every woman.I don't think I'm even going to touch this one - and Paul Irwing and Richard Lynn, right or wrong, will have enough feminists on their hands to deal with for the next few years.


I think I'll get a big version of this picture for Ms. Beaky. She prefers to travel on the back seat and not in the cargo bit where she is supposed to be. This should remind her to know her place.


This is from a site where people can report street conversation they have overheard. Makes me realise what I am missing since leaving London where people all live so close together.

Queer on cell: Wear tights...No, you don't pad it! You just push it up so it looks like a big baked potato, like what dancers do. Just hike it up to the sky!...The bits and the pieces. It's not very comfortable, but it gives a good visual effect of...mass...What? Pointy? Ew, no! Pointy's bad! Yich, pointy is such a turnoff.
--Union Square

Job opportunity

Someone sent me this with suggestion that it might be something within my capabilities now I was getting a bit old. Cheek of it!

Friday, 26 August 2005

Well - bless my soul!

We are back! I asked Blogger help what had gone wrong with the posting page. They sent back a standard email suggesting that I look in x to the power n pages. I didn't bother - I replied asking them to take the monkey away from the server, give it a banana and then get a human being to read my complaint. Bingo - seems they have a glitch. They knew of it. Didn't bother to tell anyone though.

Normal service will be ...............

Don’t know whether it is me or the programme but I seem to have lost a vital bit of the Dashboard. Vital to me that is. When, as a small boy, I used to open up the new blog window I got a row of short-cuts along the top edge. These allowed such things as changing colours, inserting pictures etc. This feature is now missing. Also, if I use Picasa2 +Hello I do not get the chosen picture into a blog. Don’t know if this is anything to do with Word for Blog. Have rebooted but this made no change, ditto (not the cat!) refresh. So, for the moment – no pictures in the photoblog. Sorry for that – but maybe no one cares anyway.

No more Dixon

The state to which our police have fallen is nicely outlined by a police officer who blogs. and another good one is (Don't know what is up with bloody Blogger - no way to embed links except html and we all know what that means to me) Anyway, retournez a los moutons or somesuch. Instead of the old pride in the job, we now have the situation where the guys have to resort to covering the bits that they know will cause them aggro if left out. I am not even sure if 'law enforcement' is a permitted term under the new p.c. criteria - they had to change police force to police service because of what the modernists thought about the connotations of 'force'.

Set a thief to catch a thief

Convicted terrorists could be allowed to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland under plans being explored by the Government to expunge their criminal records.
Northern Ireland politicians are increasingly worried that Tony Blair will make the concession to Sinn Fein / IRA and remove the bar which prevents paramilitaries from becoming police officers.

Well, that’s OK then. At least the new police service will have a decent murder squad once these guys get in.

Thursday, 25 August 2005

Would do me

I’m afraid I’ve been dreaming again. Sorry if it makes you jealous.

Up for it

92-Year-Old Man Accused Of Sexual Assault

I should be so lucky! Obviously had his five servings of fruit and veg per day.

Empire - not the cinema!

This is a book review from Amazon UK. What drew me to repeat it here was reviewer’s admission that she was raised to regard the Empire as a stain on our history comparable to the influence of Herr Schickelgruber. Then, despite this, the good lady goes on to comment on how she sees world events of more modern times. She dismisses the Empire concept as a solution to much of the world’s troubles. I am sad that her upbringing did not include a proper examination of this form of government. It could be adopted without the brutality she fears where a nation adopts it as an alternative to their current dire state – Zaire maybe?
But then, perhaps it is me that has it backend about face?

Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World Niall Ferguson
A "revisionist" history of the British empire, April 1, 2004
This book is written in a thoroughly entertaining style, making it is easy to read looking at the broad themes of the British Empire.
It is subject worth investigation, it was an empire of colossal size and power, the likes of which have never existed and in historical terms has only recently deceased. How did it happen? Ferguson's answers to this are certainly revealing and its impact on life today is also an eye opener.
Although British, I was raised to believe that the Empire was a stain on our history and something to be ashamed of a little like the Germans regarding Hitler.
The evils of the Empire are certainly well documented and Ferguson does at least mention them and yes they are shameful. However, there are other aspects of the Empire, which were beneficial. It was accompanied by surge in prosperity, rule of law, trading, investment (much of it into developing countries) and technological innovation, legacies, which we in the western world at least still enjoy, who knows maybe in centuries to come it may be looked back upon in a similar light to the Roman empire, which frankly was far more brutal, but today is seen as having been something good for western civilisation.
But I can't help feeling that Ferguson really does miss the Empire and even, dare I say it, thinks a similar type of Empire (led by the US of course) would be the solution to much of the world's problems i.e. via rule of law and bringing the benefits of investment, trade, globalisation and westernisation to the world's poor.
This view seems to rather neatly fit Bush/Blair doctrines towards failed & rogue states and "regime change." In fact, Ferguson views America as being in denial in not wanting to create an empire or at least take a much direct role in the destinies of many under-developed countries. Well, unfortunately, the US under Bush may have taken his cue on that one.
Recreating Empire will simply not work anymore, not for conquered or the conqueror, the world has moved on, if nothing else weapons technology and terrorism simply make it unworkable. Witness Iraq & Afghanistan, both disastrous interventions once the media hype has been removed and the true facts revealed.
Also, the idea of empires is very much in conflict with modern views of liberty, freedom, self-determination and human rights, which most of us claim to support.
Certainly, something needs to be done about the dire human condition in much of the world and I certainly don't have the solution to this extremely complex problem, but empire certainly isn't it.
Although, I disagree with some of Ferguson’s conclusions, the book was still an enjoyable read, enlightening in places and offers an alternative view on the British Empire.

12 Steps

I’ve been reading a book in which the main character is an alcoholic and currently off liquor. He often refers to ‘The 12 Steps’ I only had some knowledge about this so did some research. These are they:

The Twelve Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous
"...If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness
2. We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it
3. We will comprehend the word serenity
4. We will know peace
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain insight into our fellows
8. Self-seeking will slip away
9. Our whole attitude and outlook will change
10. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them..."
Well, seem perfectly reasonable to me. There is, of course, a lot more to taking these steps than just knowing them. However, it strikes me as a reasonable set of aims and hopes for a future free from addiction or abuse in any form. Just as the key to any project is a statement of what one intends to achieve. I think my life would be better if I were able to direct myself along these lines. Just how much one requires the experience of being totally fcuked up to show the commitment, I don’t know – and, hopefully, will never know. I think that for now I will just stick with the Buddhist precepts but – certainly – respect to those who do walk the 12 Steps.

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

"UK Terrorism-Armed Marshals The general secretary of Aslef, the train drivers' union, Keith Norman, Tuesday proposed for undercover armed marshals to be deployed on London's underground transport system to deter future terrorist attacks.
"I would want to see people on there trained in security and possibly trained in the use of firearms so if they see someone who is possibly suspicious they can actually deal with that," Norman said.
"But they look just like any other member of the public - you don't want someone in a bright blue Tube uniform who is easily identifiable," he told BBC News website
The union leader said that the plan could help to reassure passengers following last month's London bombing and suggested that their role should be also to help train drivers with carrying out procedures if anything happens.
"The mayor of London certainly likes the idea of more people on the trains in a different capacity. You could call them Tube marshals or something like that," he said.
Norman compared the idea with the deployment of air marshals in the US to prevent the hijacking of airplanes in the 1970s"

Er - no. Please. Not that. My recollection of London tube trains is a little out of date but the idea of a gun-toting marshal on a packed-to-the-gills Northern Line train does not fill me with a sense of security. If we accept for the moment the large number of rounds and the odd misses at point-blank range from a trained marksman, the idea of someone playing Glock the Magic Dragon under those circumstances is not a good one. What will be his rules of engagement - the fuss over Shoot to Kill so far makes it likely that they will have to be reviewed. The way things are going we will end up with having to be at your tube station an hour before departure for security clearance, no umbrellas with sharp tips and sniffer dogs adding to the urinal atmosphere.
Charles Clarke reacted angrily today after a senior United Nations official warned that his plans to deport foreign extremists breached international human rights obligations.
The clash came as the Home Secretary announced that deportations of so-called "preachers of hate" from the UK would begin within days under the Government’s new list of "unacceptable behaviours".
That is the UK attitude. Australia seems to be taking a rather broader view as to what it will or will not stand.
My own reading of the relevant laws suggest that we already have sufficient powers to deal with British subjects who go off he rails. I cannot see that our Judges will accept chitties from foreign countries that confirm they will not torture any of their Nationals that we send back by deportation.
What Clarke has done is restate old laws but I suspect that is about all he can hope for where Judges are concerned.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Sex #101

65 Girls At Area School Pregnant
School To Unveil Three-Prong Program
POSTED: 12:30 pm EDT August 23, 2005
CANTON, Ohio -- There are 490 female students at Timken High School, and 65 are pregnant, according to a recent report in the Canton Repository.
The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame.
School officials are not sure they what has caused so many pregnancies, but in response to them, the school is launching a three-prong educational program to address pregnancy, prevention and parenting.
The newspaper also reported that students will face mounting tensions created by unplanned child-rearing responsibilities, causing students to quit school and plan for a GED. This will make it difficult for the Canton City School District to shake its academic watch designation by the state.
According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July show that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between 11 and 19.
The newspaper reports that the non-Canton rate was 7 percent. Canton was 15 percent.

3 prong programme? I’m sure there is a joke here somewhere but I’m just too dispirited at the facts to find one.


This is from the pointy-nose dog a.k.a. Sable. I'm here to denounce just about the biggest waster North of Watford Gap. He who claims to own me. We came back in triumph from the midday walk still relishing the death of a rabbit. He had played with me and my trophy and seemed fully on my side. I had most of his lunch and retired to bed.
Suddenly, the whole house is shaking to the sound and shock of our door bell. I dashed down and did the big fierce dog routine. SWMBO came down and opened the door. Standing there with two people was a monster black Labrador dog. She obviously knows the people and ALL THREE of them come into the house. At least the dog was kept on his leash. I dashed up to warn him but, damn me, he starts making a fuss of the black menace. I am encouraged to be nice. Seeing the way things were going down, I chose to play along but held back. I showed a fine set of teeth when the intruder thought he would come near.
I then had to sit behind the sofa with just my head showing round the corner as he made the dog feel at home. He was given my toys to examine and lost no time chewing the leg off my favourite toy. He found a couple of biscuits I had hidden under an armchair and wolfed those down. Drank water from MY bowl. The whole afternoon was humiliation.
When he had gone, I carried out a full scenes of crime examination. I've shown them just how a thoroughbred can sulk. They will suffer for this.

Monday, 22 August 2005

Back to work

Tony Blair started jogging near his home in Downing Street.
Every day, he'd jog past a hooker standing on the same street corner. He learned  to brace himself as he approached her for what was almost certain to follow.
"Fifty pounds!" she'd shout from the kerb.
"No! Five pounds!" Tony would fire back.
This ritual between Tony and the hooker became a daily occurrence.
He'd run by and she'd yell, "Fifty pounds!" He'd yell back, "Five pounds!"
One day, Cherie decided that she wanted to accompany her husband on his jog.
As the jogging couple neared the working woman's street corner, Tony
realized she'd bark her GBP50 offer and Cherie would wonder what he'd really been doing on all his past outings.
He figured he'd better have a darn good explanation for the 'Boss'.
As they jogged into the turn that would take them past the corner, Tony became even more apprehensive than usual.
Sure enough, there was the hooker. Tony tried to avoid the prostitute's eyes as she watched the pair jog past.
Then, from the pavement, the hooker yelled, "See what you get for five quid!"

Sunday, 21 August 2005

Young Writers

From something I read on Old Cripple's blog (see last post), this guy is still a teenager. He does not seem to have a bio. and a Google just turns up quotes from his and other's blogs. What I would like to know is, if American education can turn out this product, why cannot we do it in England - or even Scotland or Wales. I'm sure the law of averages means we get youngsters with same IQ etc. but I do not know of anyone who can write like this. Maybe Peaches Geldof runs him close. You lot may know someone.....?

Bit scary

This here is a guy whose blogs I follow. He has the knack of saying what I think but does it far better. His points are ones that have been nibbling at my subconscious. Perhaps he is long lost brother? More strength to him say I. "My Designer" commented the other day how mention of nipples had pushed her visits counter way up. The 'comments' to Old Cripple seem to bear that out.

Ticking about correctness

There is a bit of a spat going on in Orange County. Seems like the powers that be have suspended a teacher for ‘inappropriate language’ in a letter written to a State representative. What was written about effects of immigrant-status persons upon standards seems dodgy for these times but point arises whether the correspondence should have been protected as it was written to a State official. Nice little debating point but then it’s real standing in Orange County may be equal to a troll in a newsgroup rather than spinning the Universe off its axis. I seem to remember Orange as the place where the fruits of California were canned.
Another bit of political correctness I fear. Maybe I am paranoid (no comments on this perleese) but I see it in two other things exercising us here in UK. One is the general approach of Sir Ian Blair (Boss of Met. Police and under fire for handling of no-he-wasn’t terrorist from Brazil) and the man Green who is a Chief Constable and issued his men with green ribbons to wear on their uniforms as a sign of respect for Muslims. One of the sticks used to beat Ian Blair is his high-achieving scholastic background as a police officer and seeming support for multiculturism and stand on racism. My feverish brain detects some connection with that touchy-feely Prime Minister Tony B Liar. It might seem that a number of high-ranking people in civil service and public authorities feel the need to conspicuously espouse causes near to the dear leader’s heart so as to enhance their own chances of promotion or benefit. My prejudice recognises similar conduct amongst others seeking support but I am not going to clutter up the ether with too many semi-conspiracy theories.

Spam attack!

Seems like I have been found out by the spammers who got into yesterday’s effort and left their graffiti all over the place. I had heard faint rumours of this sort of thing but never experienced it. I have Panda virus etc. software which, allied to BT spam catcher, does a fairly good job at detecting and diverting rubbish. Judging by this repoprt though, it seems that the idea has been around a good long while.
Given that it’s arrival here is very close to my installing and using the Word plug-in to blog, my tiny brain has suggested there might be some connection. I am also getting the impression that Microsoft is coded for spammers and hackers more than for little old ladies sitting with cats on lap googling for ‘young man teaches tango your own home’. I must, in the interests of balance, confirm that just about the only exercise my brain gets is jumping to conclusions.
I’m still reviewing the mental images from yesterday. The weather was just perfect and there was not too much traffic. The A66 is about 50 miles long and I would say it is the best long stretch of road I know for consistent beauty and attention demanding.
Hopefully, the Sunday papers will sound the final wail regarding dead South Americans. What happened was sad and action must be taken but the media has exploited things quite dreadfully.
Sun is up. We are off for swim and a paddle.