Archive for August, 2012


The Pussy Riot have been found guilty, the sentence has been passed. Putin‘s Russia is being portrayed as descending into a Stalinesque condition.

I have mentioned the Pussy Riot before. Not being religeous it doesn’t particularly bother me that they did what they did in a church. I can see it would upset believers. But whatever happened to turning the other cheek?

To quote from CNN:

‘While their actions outraged many of Russia’s faithful, their high-profile trial prompted international concern about freedom of speech in Russia.’

The piece, which can be found here:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/17/world/europe/russia-pussy-riot-trial/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

appears to be broadly supportive of the girls. I wonder what would have happened if a similar protest had taken place at a similarly holy site in the US? I specifically exclude Native American holy sites because we know how they have been treated by the whites over the years. No, I am talking specifically about a WASPish or Catholic house of worship. In my bones I feel the result would likely to be the same.

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So, Michael Owen when known footballer, apparently, wonders why football PLAYERS are being dealt with unkindly by some sections of the public.

 

To quote the great? Man;

 

“I turned to my wife, Louise, while sat in our lounge at home watching the Olympics, and said, ‘just you watch footballers get hammered once this is over’.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19281103

 

Well let me see if I can think of any reason why overpaid prima donnas may be the object of scorn from some people. They are normal human beings with an extraordinary talent … aren’t they? If this were the case then perhaps they could win an occasional game, and I don’t mean against a team from Tristan da Cuhna.

 

Footballers, with a few notable exceptions, behave appallingly on and off the pitch. They expect mere mortals to fawn and toady to their every whim. The sums of money they demand are obscene and not in any way, apparently, linked to performance. (Who do they think they are, bankers?) The attitude has driven some clubs to bankruptcy, players demanding ever more money without necessarily returning the performance the clubs pay for.

 

Players are often loutish, boorish, mean spirited and far from being the ambassadors of sport Olympians like the brilliant Jessica and the marvellous Mo. They are no longer hungry for success because, along with most of society apparently, they are consumed by greed.

 

This can be established as a truth, I believe by reference to another sport, Rugby Union. Now, being of a certain age, I recall with no difficulty at all the ‘amateur’ years of greats like JPR and Billy Beaumont. I am sure they were not angels, indeed characters like Jason Leonard have admitted as much. However, in the days of amateur competition there was no real publicity around the players. This can only be because 1) they were gentlemanly and discreet 2) saved their worst excesses for ‘safe environments’ or 3) the press weren’t interested. This is in stark contrast to the behaviour and press coverage of the current England team.

 

Is it money that makes the players monsters, or that attracts the attention of the media?

 

Whatever the answer, money is at the root of the problem. I am quite happy for the sports people to earn a decent wage but the obscene amounts are counter productive.


According to CNN (because that’s who I chose to look at) the recently dearly departed London Olympiad was very green.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/10/world/europe/london-2012-olympics-environment/index.html

It’s good to see that we, here in the UK, made an effort to do things right. Using recycled materials as much as possible. Surplus gas lines were used.

The boards in the velodrome are from sustainably sourced Siberian Pine.

Does it strike anyone else as odd?

Hang on, why were the pipes surplus, because someone made too many, or have we stopped piping gas therefore will never have to repair the existing lines or because there was a special order for gas piping to build the roof?

The sustainable timeber, how much CO2 was emitted in it’s transportation? Come to that, has anyone calculated the carbon damage to the world from flying in athletes, dignitaries, families, supporters, fans and holiday makers?

Was the concrete poured of an environmental kind, I doubt it because of the strictures on budget.

I do applaud the archaeological work undertaken before the land was forever buried. I also applaud the wetland regeneration, as reported. I wonder ow long funding will remain in place to maintain the systems until they become properly self sustaining.

The greensest way to host an Olympics would be to have athletes compete at home, beamed around the world by sustainably produced electricity the results being reviewed and medals presented to those that had the longest throw, best time whatever. No travel, no expensive stadia, no gas burning torch to pollute the atmosphere.

Or am I just a miserable git?

How hard can it be …

Posted: August 17, 2012 in big society

I have been looking at some Neolithic jewellery here

http://www.shee-eire.com/Arts&Crafts/Neolithic/photos/Carrowkeel-beads001.jpg

I am blown away by the simplicity and plain designs. But, and here is the $60,000 question, how did they do it?

Has anyone ever tried to cut, grind, drill or polish flint. It’s too hard for my POWER tools, which they didn’t have of course. These primitive, uncultured and uncivilised people have us beaten hands down when it comes to art culture and living in the world. Taking what they needed without causing massive permanent harm to the planet.

Just wanted to say that really.


I see that Bill Gates is spending a fortune of supporting scientific work into alternate toilets.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19271061

I quote:

‘The project challenged inventors to come up with a toilet that operated without running water, electricity or a septic system. It needed to operate at a cost of no more than five cents (3p) a day and would ideally capture energy or other resources.’

Er what about composting toilets, they don’t cost anything to run, in real terms. They are undemanding of resources do not use water electric or septic systems, can be made out of almost anything and capture compost which helps build soil fertility. No techy solution difficult to repair or obtain replacement parts produced at a cost of CO2.

I strongly believe in the KISS principle. If you want alternate energy, install solar or wind, use your poo to grow food.

 


There was a time, I seem to recall, when playing by the rules was really important. In many ways it summed up being British.  I have of course posted about this attitude elsewhere with my tongue planted in my cheek. One example alone, PC Yvonne Fletcher. Murdered in central London by a Libyan ‘diplomat’ who shot her from inside the embassy. The principle of diplomatic immunity was clear. No effort was made to enter and search, no threat of any kind.

Fast forward to a more modern, dare I say corrupt, time.  Julian Assange is wanted by the US because he excercisd a form of freedom of speech frowned upon by that ‘democratic’ nation. The history of the saga is well documented. It is postulated that the Swedish charges of sexual misconduct are trumped up. A ruse in order for the US to get it’s Pilate hands on Mr Assange. His real crime it seems is the ability to have others, disgruntled souls not Politically motivated in the main, tell the truth about goings on that governments would rather keep out of the public eye.

The latest seems to be that the UK, who wouldn’t extradite Assange to the US because he would risk the death penalty, want to extradite him to Sweden, who will send him to the US, where he will run the risk of the death penalty. In order to achieve it’s goal the UK have apparently threatened to storm the Ecuadorean embassy. What happened to diplomatic immunity?

A country so concerned about fairness that it struggles to extradite alleged terrorists, a haven for people claiming political asylum on what appear to be relatively weak grounds in order to be fair, seems to lose all sense of fair play when it comes to the bidding of it’s favourite uncle.

If Mr Assange committed the crime alleged in Sweden he could be tried in the UK. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states (I paraphrase) if a sexual offence is committed any where in the world by a person who meets the nationality or residence condition at that time he can be tried in the UK for that offence. Frankly I don’t know what chicanery may or may not be employed, but the last time I checked Australians are allowed to live in the UK, Mr Assange is an Australian a member of the commonwealth.

If the role was reversed. Say a Libyan civil rights activist was holed up in the UK embassy in Tripoli and the Libyan government threatened to storm the building to carry out a search and arrest, can you imagine the outcry!

It is high time we, in this green and sceptered land learned to be consistent, perhaps as a nation we need to be prepared to show the world that Right is Might and that bullying, from whoever, will not pay off. Mr Churchill showed the size of his cahunas when necessary. It is time for the government to stand up and say we believe in fair play by the rules. If Ecuador wish to provide a safe haven for Mr Assange what right has any other government got to interfere.


I have been guilty of a most heinous offence against nature. It was entirely unintentional and purely accidental. I seek absolution for this sin.

I have been moving things in my shed. Winter approaches (did it actually leave?) Logs for my burner moved to a more convenient position for bringing indoors when it rains. I worked for several hours when, to my horror, I realised I had been the unwitting bailiff in Gods creation and a poor little field mouse had lost his home.

Yes, it’s true. I knew we had field mice overwintering in my garage. Every year I make sure there is plenty of material for bedding and food for my little visitors. I had no idea they had expanded to the point where they had taken up residence in Chez Shed. I suppose the only good thing is that at this time of year they will have returned to wherever they come from.

So there we have it, my unexpected house / shed guests have had their beds destroyed by an unthinking pigpen.

Later this year I will have to get a box for them so I don’t disturb them when I start taking the new logs which will soon replace the old.