Sunday, 25 December 2011

Seasonal greetings, to one and all.

The milky way over devils towerAstronomy picture of the day 29 july 2009
Credit & copyright: wally pacholka

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lessons in not trying to intimidate the little guy.

When a 17 year old schoolboy is caught up in a libel & defamation action by lawyers acting for a clinic apparently undertaking medical processes (and charging thousands in the process) and which after quite a number of years has yet to see the light of public trials, naturally my interest is piqued.

Have a read on the: burzynski and his lawyers vs. rhysmorgan (17 year old schoolboy) issue, on rhys' website.

Friday, 2 December 2011

A hearty sigh for nature

One thing which brings an etching of a smile to my clamped jaws, and an odd warming sensation somewhere just above my frosty left nipple, is watching nature.  Temporarily indisposed as i am, in a blade-runner lite environment and 18 walls; that heightens a warming sensation of shovelled emphasis, which would be ruined if i was physically there!

Thanks to dcm50 for the link
So the mini-emergency oh dear god we're truly in the crap now, budget is over.

If the last election had turned out slightly differently and the whose side are we on again party had kept the slightly blue-tinged set in, instead of allowing the blue-rinsed set to grab the shovel and dig deeper, would we be like greece or like the usa?  Hard to say, all depends on how the markets would have reacted, with the flight back to the dollar, and more pain on the way for many economies...  Popcorn time?  If i can find my seeds to plant any that is!

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Someone asked met the other day whether i was still doing my blog - obviously not a reader.

"Yes. Still plodding along, putting ragged fingernail to chipped 'board.  How about you?"

"Doing really good, even starting to get income from it."

"That's nice.  What's the secret of your success," i unerringly queried.

"Easy.  Just give people something that makes them feel good or makes them laugh, or informs or educates.   Some people will be more than happy to come back and be outraged - as long as you playfully tweak their nose."  Then he turned to me, "but you only do periodic partial outrage, without the cutting final thrust and twist.  You do a smorgasbord of utterances in a world where people increasingly want particularity!"

I pondered a bit before partially agreeing.  But even with data aggregation, there just isn't enough time to drill down, watch, opine on all the things i have a viewpoint on - strong or otherwise.  Luckily, it's that time of year again when the pictures have to do it all for me.



Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Land of the giving

The charitable sector is worth billions, so what better way to make money than dipping corporate toes into the land of the giving. With fees, administration costs, and important expenses all adding up, "to do the right thing."  There's a bucket load of money to be had from the hands of the overstretched.

Oh, before i forget, something to take our mind (well my mind) briefly off and away from it all: across the center of centaurus a...

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA) - ESA/
Hubble Collaboration; Acknowledgement: R. O'Connell (U. Virginia)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Internet sense?

"The European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday (24 November) that internet service providers (ISPs) cannot be be forced to filter internet traffic and block users from trading copyright music or other files, as to do so undermines privacy rights and the ability of people to freely exchange information." 

All (well apart from the mafiaa, and euro governments bending over backwards to appease the industry)  hail the european court of justice!   I wonder if this means the uk government's digital economy act law of nonsense will now be in need of amending, or perhaps even, ditching?  No doubt the industry will increase turning the screws and pay for more dinners, where thrashing the eurosceptics to make them howl ever louder in public, will be the surprise dish of the day.

Updated 20:08hrs.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Who has your back?

When you use the Internet, you entrust your online conversations, thoughts, experiences, locations, photos, and more to companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook. But what happens when the government asks these companies to hand over your private information?  

Please join me in urging Internet companies to stand up for their users when the government comes knocking.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Escaping words

Sometimes, when careering along the s'ighway (and seemingly especially youtube) we come across things that leave us speechless with amazement.

Do enjoy this brief 1 minute 27 second clip.  It will at least bring a smile to the start of the weekend.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

24hour party people - edition uk

You could make it up, but why oh why would you?

Some clever bods in the department for media, culture and sport (dmcs), have popped along with a thought (or superb wheeze) where entertainment venues should be allowed to party from dawn until dawn or, which would be much more pleasing for them, allow them to party until a sufficient number of their members have expended so much energy gyrating, that they eventually fall to a rare condition called supine exhaustium derelictus, causing the remainder of the party to speed by in an air of utter futility.

Asking party people whether their particular venue(s) of choice should remain open 24 hours a day for: live music (would that be a dj spinning plastic?), dancing, or other entertaining moments, is akin to asking a crack-addict whether they'd prefer one rock or thirteen, and all for the same price.  I noticed my hand (gently cradling a now tepid cup of coffee) was trembling; as the normal placid creamy surface started to dismayingly display the most untoward motions, along the uttermost edges of the rim.

How many people in the dmcs, or the ministry for that matter, who came up with the idea actually live next door to, or in the immediate vicinity of, one of these wonderful modern day mini-colosseum's?  I would heartily wager my beating heart, not one bloody lot of them.

When i say live there, i genuinely mean that they actually live there, in the immediate vicinity of the venue day in and day out, and are not just popping in to the townhouse that day because they or their offspring wish to pop to the entertainment venue with, or without, their friends!

But wait, i've gone off half-cock.  Silly me.  Of course, that's just the headlines.  No doubt buried, somewhere amongst the snoozing small print will be the paragraph which says, this will only be allowed to progress in those areas where residential approval and the implementation of appropriate sound-proofing measures, have been classified as satisfied.

You may now burst into a bout of unabashed hysterics.

Currently though it's all part of a consultation.  As we know from consultations in the past, the odds are stacked in favour of the measures reaching the books.  After, however, when things do go tits up (excuse my use of technical terminology here) they'll blankly look at you and simply utter force majeure!  

Apparently "laws which require Government approval for such a large range of public events put a small but significant dent in our community creativity and expression.  If there’s no good reason for preventing them, our presumption should be that they should be allowed." (dcms 2011).

Community?  Yet the government threaten to cut police numbers, decimate education grants, and are probably going to insist councils do away with meals-on-wheels!  Creativity?  The government idly stands by allowing the closure of  libraries then blames wasteful councils.  Expression?  Naturally they'll start on the basis that people wanting to do that outrageous thing of sleeping, aren't expressing a good enough reason to prevent other people from partying.   Apparently they really do want hundreds of  thousands of people turning into red-eyed maniacal insomniacs!

I do hope thay all those happy, sleepingly content, residential areas, which will be affected by this, where there's not yet or not much history of noise nuisance by entertainment venues - of whatever type - do indeed club (no pun) together, to find out where those civil idiots live and drive up and down their roads with loud speakers/hailers, so they (the politicians and civil serv's.) are minutely made aware of a momentary instance of what it's like to endure any amount of unwanted unnecessary noise let alone noise for 24 hours!

On a somewhat diffident note, i would like to know when the right hons. last experienced their craniums unpleasantly vibrating due to coaches & lorries parked outside of their premises with engines running at full tilt, or the last time they experienced their entire body vibrating like a tuning fork by bass so deep it would feel as though their entire body is shaking to bits, whilst the council keystone cops just seem unable.  Again i'd like to wager, not one bloody jot of them.

Yet these are the very same people who will allow venues to go ahead and play music 24 hours a day, because it might be good for someones fiscal pockets.  Certainly not the residents, and certainly not residents attempting to find some sleep in a 24-hour din.  But who cares.  If they're living there they must obviously be poor and taking up far too much space.  Which when you consider that these are the very same people who are more than happy to allow tens of thousands to die each year from air pollution, probably indicates that the few people who will be inconvenienced by lack of sleep due to the possible introduction of these measures, doesn't figure a jot in any of their deliberations, however remote.

Remember, the next time you're jolted awake (if you're in the uk that is) by the sudden thud, thud, thud of music at 4am on a cold clammy winters morning by a venue you swore wasn't there the day before, and your call to the council only produces a "we can't hear anything."  It all started with the slow, drip drip drip of a seemingly good idea, which one day finally makes you wonder "how did this happen?"

(dcms 2011) John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Regulated Entertainment, A Consultation proposal to examine the deregulation of Schedule One of the Licensing Act 2003, September 2011 (accessed 16th November 2011 pdf)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Teenage hamsters

I never thought i'd chortle quite so heartily over a story regarding hamsters and how their reproductive behaviour, and apparently by extension our own, can have such a deleterious impact well into adulthood.

But a piece on dr duncan jeffersons site, managed to do just that.  The findings would probably help explain my general mood of, if not sourness, crystal-edged jadedness.

Ah yes, the delightful piece can be found here.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

48 percenters

A forwarded link caused a disturbance in my morning ritual of something liquid and preferably coffee, which pointed to breaking (at the time) news of top-cat pay rises which briefly bubbled its way to the top of the uk info charts; before, and seemingly to the relief of many in the corridors of news, being prematurely replaced not even 24 hours later - and strangely to more trumpeting - by the uk coalition governments call to cut the benefits of those layabouts who would dare commit any act of heinous criminality.  Acts such as thieving a bottle of water from lidl or getting caught  trying to manhandle a tv (way too big for the smaller tearaways) off and down the road in a somewhat recognisable wheelchair.  With legislative white papers being made ready for placement before the parliamentary rubber stamp, and soon if they are caught in any act that would add (or not) to their material benefit, as evidenced by many an armchair judge in front of their own legally brought and paid for tvs during the august 2011 riots, for the temerity of wishing to improve  shoddy lives.

I mentioned this was the coalition governments idea, but it contained the hallmark fingerprints (and sticky ones to boot) of hailing from the cranium of ids - well that and he cawed loudly whilst saying so.  A man who would, no doubt, if asked whether the poor should be jettisoned into space to pave the way for new  exploration, i.e., researching longevity for the pantheon of infinitely more deserving - with all patents going to acme corp. - or whether the poor should be offered training so possibly improving their lot -, would plump for the former every time, whilst beating you over the head with his book*.  

I know my mind's truly wondered, when i can imagine hearing "help, the poor" in a kind yet shrieking tone emanating from the head of the once party leader.

The amount of column inches or pixels per inch, foisted on the unmentionable sectors of society fostered the belief that the proportion of ne'er do well's who took part in the fracas would easily number 99%.  Ahh, the gasp of disbelief was almost palpable, when it turned out (admittedly from only those caught and hauled before the beak) that a lowly third (33%, 1/3 or one-third) were actually claiming benefits.  So, what about the other 2/3's who, after a brief spin in the headlights of newsoriety, fell off the press radar faster than an alcoholic vainly attempting to distract you whilst trying to neck your final pint?

More on them in a later post.

Before i leave this ids soupcon, it's best to clear up a few erroneous ideas.  When it comes to equality, poverty and the poor, there's no one more qualified to putt that wayward department (the dwp) of profligacy to the sword.  The only other person, whom i believe could be viewed as only slightly more qualified, has sadly departed.  But i'm sure if genghis khan were still alive today, he'd be more than happy to have ids as his staunchly loyal deputy.

Suppose, for a moment, we assume the figures are correct and 33% of the naughty transgressors were in receipt of the basic jsa allowance instead of a prison stipend.  This safety-net allowance ranges anywhere from £53.45p - for those single criminals under 25, to £67.50 for those hardened single knock-abouts who (no doubt) having spent their formative years submerged in grubby back-alleys stripping narks of their fledgling wealth, then graduating to thumbing through loose and stained copies of "create your own crime wave! Free with every smashed shop window", still managed to trip over the 25 year-old line without having their collar felt - to hard - or spending too many hours indoors.

Basically the government are showing how much they disapprove of such actions, and to ensure the "something for nothing" crowd don't get too big for their boots and ponder future riotous behaviour  - when their existence really starts to turn screw-frighteningly shitty - will set ensure the legislation allows the beaks on high sufficient clout to deduct (or claw) £25 per week from the unwashed's income, as part of the coalition's "get tough on the bastards" approach to re-balancing the country's dire fiscal criminal-induced lot.

For example, if you fell in the £53.45p allowance bracket the new fines (from 2013) would ensure 47% of your weekly income could be clawed back by the government - sorry the courts - as a way of rubbing your evil vile and wicked nose in it, for daring to disrupt the livelihoods and enjoyment of those who are your betters; or 37% of your weekly if you fell into the "you really should know better" category!

As we know the reason touted for this near 50% potential tithe are the riots.  However, i smell a rat.  A rat which was obviously waiting to hatch under lubricious circumstances, the riots dutifully fashioned as a fait d'acomplise..   What does appear swamped by those who think "about time," are people on the other side of the equation actually saying "whoa, hold your horses there speedy.  Do you really want to further impinge the destitute by slicing nearly half of their money without wondering why they took part anyway?" Can probably be counted on two slightly-splayed, overly large fingers.

This new sanction (a word which has apparently become the new dwp catch-phrase) holds a further sting, as it won't be held in reserve solely for those conducting or being part of riotous behaviour.  Oh no, this could easily be any a situation; from falling behind in your credit card or mortgage payments (due to loss of work or reduction in salary), all the way to lobbing a brick through a window and walking down the road with a tv whilst being filmed on the national news, or viewed a few million times from someones mobile phone gatherer.

The day following that announcement, we learnt from the other side of the tracks that the top 100 ftse company directors racked up a 49% annual pay ri-.  Wait a mo.  49% increase on one side, a 47% claw back on the other!  It's the 48% parallel!

It was depressing listening to an advertising executive talking about the time, energy and risk he's put into keeping his multi-billion company upright in the choppy waters of global trade, through recessions, good times and bad.  And so, if anything, his 23% pay rise to £1.5mn was a slight.  Indeed he sounded outraged, as though he had all right to feel outraged at receiving such a pitiful sum.  Which i suppose you would, if you compared your take-home to someone else, like say, sir phillip green or a saudi prince?
And what do our august leaders have to say about the 49% increase in boardroom pay, whilst seemingly agreeing with ids on swingeing cuts for those already on the bottom?



The fact that boardroom pay (for those who believe they're worth it) has on average increased to £4.9mn, that their annual pay rise is nearly 50%, simply garners the term disturbing from our governing politicians; and only due to the glare of publicity that was temporarily sizzled upon them.

Before we get too carried away, do pity the poor ceo's who only received a 43% pay rise, on average.

Along with mr cameron, many of the front & back benchers form part of a happy flock.  Seagulls happy to skewer each other (or anything viewed as weak) at the slightest twinge of an opportunity.  And now the boot is firmly on the neck of the poor, what better way than to bring some of those wonderful ideas they've been mentally toying with for years, firmly into the limelight.

Timing, oh timing.  It is odd that with less than 0.0002% of people claiming some sort of benefit involved in the riots and/or looting, that the governments use of a deep-sea pile-driving rig to combat the issue, is perplexedly worrisome.

In line with this, there's another pronouncement from the leader (david cameron pm) that if you're now unemployed for more than two years you'll be forced to do community service (leg shackles will naturally be provided, free of cost) for "at least six months, to get you out the house, to know what it feels like to work," and not just stare at that box you've no doubt nicked, all day!

What?  Exactly what jobs are out there that the large intrusive hand of government (from the party that always bellows that governments to big, there's too much red tape) will force people to do, that won't be reminiscent of scenes from films involving chain-gangs?

So now they'll force people to do whatever bit of crap they can find them - and call it work - and they'll receive less than the minimum wage those in work receive.  Yes, that really would make anyone feel very special.  But then he has the temerity to continue saying "people will learn new skills they can apply in the workplace."  Would this be new skills like learning how to bring banks and economies to the brink of bankruptcy?  Perhaps they'll learn how to fiddle expenses?  Instead why not assist or help them into decent training courses in the first place, before two wasted years have passed?  Of course they wont.  Doing that would imply the current setup is nothing more than the complete and utter statistical wasting exercise that it is.

The whole trope smacks of mendacious expediency aimed towards their cawing gallery of hawks, which will eventually end with the poorest getting it, at gunpoint.

So in future, remember!  If you want to gleefully sack hundreds or thousands of people, cut their wages, outsource jobs to cheaper labour markets, destroy markets and even peoples pensions, ensure you're on the right side of the 48% club.

My cup of chilled coffee wobbled, ever so slightly.

* Patently this is ridiculously untrue - allegedly - and possibly wouldn't happen in this or any other timeline.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Despite my general aversion to war and conflict, we live in a world where for numerous reasons (greed and power usually play a part somewhere) wars and conflicts play out on an almost daily basis, and there comes a time when you have to defend your liberties, freedom and life, if others aim to squash them.

So i commemorate those brave men & women who have died by the millions in battles and conflicts present and past.  I'm sure there are many of us around today who wouldn't be, and those who would who aren't. 

To the fallen.

from the delightful, and far to happy, duchess of fiddle fart's page.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Unexpected moments.

Sometimes my normal milieu is cracked by seeing something rather unexpected. 

The following short (apparently shot in an hour then edited the rest of the day) from three dutch drama students, is one such moment.  I wish them much success in their endeavours.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Give away


Over the past few weeks i have been patiently waiting for another call from "global computers pc tech you have horrid malware" department regarding the state of my computer.  Yesterday, it finally happened and before those words had chance to pass my inner ear and the electro-chemical signals do their bit in translation, apparently my excitement seeped out whilst i scrambled to pop-on the recording device.

Before i could say, "sorry but it's a very bad line.  Could you repeat that for me," a lengthy pause ended with the call's silent termination.

Very, very disappointed.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Kick the bottom there's a pit underneath.

The coalition government here in the uk continues to show it is more than capable of staring down the barrel of a blunderbuss without flinching - especially when bearing down on the knuckleduster choices of swingeing cuts required to repair the uk's ailing economy.  Proving that  there is nothing they hold dear or sacrosanct, and there's no scum-laden pond they wont dredge, in order to bring the good ship uk back on route.

So, naturally, one of their targets are what the oecd classify as being the relative poor.  Not content with removing those who are struggling with either beans on toast, or cheese on beans (thus saving the toast for a rainy day), from a momentary inflation matching rise in their income that was conferred by using the more accurate retail price index (rpi), they decided to use the consumer prices index (cpi) which is a few points lower, and so cheaper.

But even here, the idea that people already wallowing in the trough of poverty are obviously having far too much fun and wantonly exhibiting luxurious spending habits - oh yes and the inflation rate is a bit too much for them to stomach - the treasury (according to the bbc) instead ponders whether they should use a figure which encompasses the average six months of the year on which to base any allowance raises on.  This from the very same people whose idea of poverty and hardship is running out of a jar of mustard, to slather over whatever succulents they've being invited to tuck into.

I wonder if the relative poor could also use that government wheeze for themselves, and pop into their local tescos or sainsburys, perhaps m&s and query, "i propose to pay for these pack of 12 surprise cheesy bean-balls, by using your average six-month price.  Can you tell me how much, mate?"  Which part of their anatomy would the store guards or security launch them into the street by first i wonder!

But as a sign of how desperate things really are: energy prices are going up, water costs going up, rents and clothing costs rising.  Indeed everything the already ravenously poor have no choice but to generally spend money on, are inflating more than the newly proposed increase in the meager safety line many are bobbingly clinging to.  If anything, the governments latest wheeze will ensure already threadbare funds are stretched to final breaking point.

With not much light peeking over the horizon (unless it's the on-rushing flames of a record wild-fire), the future - especially when you consider the double even triple-digit numbers applying for jobs - looks increasingly bleak, and that is the silver lining.  I seriously doubt all claimants live double lives with bentleys or ocean going yachts!

Let's see when the next independent annual mp pay review comes up, whether they'll do the right thing instead of squealing "we never said we should get a pay rise, it was them," and drop a few digits off their rate.  After all, and someone please correct me if i'm wrong, a £650 (or £12.50 per week)  pay rise to those on £65k pa plus expenses, plus whatever junkets, dinner functions, gifts etc., fall their way probably might not fall into the same category as opposed to a £175 (or £3.04 per week) allowance increase impact might have on those who eek by on £3.5k pa, which might mean the difference between heating, eating or freezing to death.

If they do link allowance rises to average earnings, at what stage would they consider their de-coupling?  Perhaps when average earning increases reach the heady heights of directors or ceo's?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A time of firsts

Oh it brought a tear to the eye watching people around the middle-east and africa rising up against their one time liberators turned dictators, sadly some uprisings were far more bloody than others, and with the odd one or two still raging it at least proves people can only be ground down so far.  

In a year or more, when the scrutinereal eye of the rest of the international community once more lands its myopic gaze over that part of the world, i wonder if they'll be reporting that the newly unyoked have refrained from forcing newly minted yokes on to recently shackled batches, of the most unwilling!

Time indeed will tell.

Then there's yet another tear, as the 99 per centers around the globe protested, saying "enough is enough."  Some protesters doing nothing more than giving expression using one of the last means at their disposal (the others being the ballot, or out and out revolution), earned serious injury after been hit by over-zealous law-enforcement projectiles, bolstering other people into joining the protesters..  The corporate ravens and lick spittle allied against 98.99% of the rest of population, including the armed forces.  That, if anything, should be extremely interesting to watch.

So a hearty cheer for the 99%, and let this be the breath of air that will finally galvanise an almost stupid electorate (don't worry, putting myself in to this category quite heartily, before anyone blurts) into demanding that politicians not do the usual and promise on the ever-never, but put actual legislation into effect.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I have the most peculiar feeling that i might be a mote depressed. 

Nothing to pronounced.  There's no hankering for peering over the sides of a canyon nor popping my head into an oven - although due to the sheer size of it, i'd have problems fitting it in.  No just a lethargic, why did i bother to wake up in this century moment of ennui.

There are plenty of doom and gloom-laden stories to keep any pessimist (who could scream critical and jaded before mama or papa) more than occupied, and happy flicking channels with a bath sized bucket of extra-sweetened cotton candy popcorn on one side of the chair and an auto-feeder the other. And that's just for breakfast.

Even so, there's that mote of depression that simply fails to lift, and i can't place my finger on it.

Outside it's cold, grey and raining, which normaly puts me in an extremely happy mood - as long as my core body temp hovers above double figures.  The dreadful neighbours upstairs appear to be slamming the doors less.  More buses seem to be switching off their engines, despite the fall in temperatures.  The feral kids of the blocks appear to be spending less time outside - due to the cold - so peace and quiet  is more the order of the day.

For six months of the year this is the period i'm wishing (apart from christmas day and the no bus bonus) to start, more than any other.

Now it's arrived, i'm momentarily out of sorts and a mote depressed! Where is that really grey lining when you want it.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


As a part-time eve online player - and a rubbish player to boot - i periodically pop back into the eeniverse  - especially when i have far better things to do or news of a player revolt reaches my ears - to view all the fun i'm missing or trolling trogs i've happily escaped from.

Compared to the early years, today's gameplay is a lot more involved, with ships costing anywhere in the region of hundreds of millions to many billions, gamers have a lot more to lose or gain making the whole experience one for those with patience and a view more set on the long-term.

But don't let the games complexity deter you.  After a few hours you'll be happily (with a lost ship or two behind you) progressing along which-ever carer path you choose.  You can either remain a generalist which will take time to become good at manufacturing using blueprints which hardly waste any materials in equipment production, or firing missiles with increased speed and greater damage, the same for guns, or specialising down one particular path, finding a niche subject and milking it for all you're worth.

The biggest fun however, is being part of the player corp where financial/material and social gains are made - if your leader knows what he/she/it is doing.  But whether you camp miners, or mine missions, dart the hole, or pirate your way to infamy; the game is as inclusive and as fun as you and those around you choose it to be.

Over the years players have found ways of using the game to produce artwork, books, and even a wonderful piece of machina: clear skies which brought great hilarity with such terms as trust in the rust and top and bottom wingy bit.  There are plenty other references and throw-aways which originate from the game play.  If you've previously played or are a current player, watching clear skies adds that extra little layer of iron-oxide to the fun.  Playing isn't a pre-requisite to watching though.  So sit back, dim the lights, maximise the screen, as you look towards clear skies!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Xmas 2011

Ah that festive time of year rolls its weary head around, when the ringing of tills and hopes of retailers takes over the mindset of a 1/4 of the planet.  A momentary period of happiness, the well-spring of hope, that's always dashed cruelly-bleeding on rocks of our own yokes.

Yes, xmas card production wings its way planet-side for yet another landing; 40 days and falling!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

ETA with a definitive end to their struggle, the death of  the ex-libyan leader?  What  next, total peace and reconciliation between israel and the palestinians?

The end of tyranny and start of the new

So the old libyan despot is dead, long live the new libyan despot - once he (or she) is installed.

With the old out the way and the dust still to settle, who benefits from his removal?  And what is it with ex-leaders and holes in the ground or drains?  Surely they could go down with a little bit more in the way of dignity!

The following brief video clip of gunshots, rejoicing, and what looks like the body of the old leader comes via the guardian, via youtube, via al jazeera.

Argos online continuing blues

I thought my mathematical adding up ability was rubbish; but argos it appears to have beaten me hands down.

Their online site is currently running a special offer which ends on the 20th January 2012, where you can save £30 if you purchase 3 products in a package, instead of each one individually.

The items:
1. 5+2 drawer chest - oak,  £87.99p
2. 3 Drawer bedside chest - oak £46.61p
3. 2 Door wardrobe - oak £103.99p
Total: £244.59.

The buy all three items in the one package special price?  £279.97p.

Yes, you read correctly, and with figures changing on a daily basis it's an easy mistake to make.  Although odd that it was one of two items i randomly looked at.  So if you mistakenly pay the special package price of £279.97, instead of buying them separately which would total £244.59, the whole transaction could on the face of it, actually set your wallet back by an extra you £35.38p, or £65.38p if you expected to be actually making that £30 saving.

But don't take my word for it.  Following this paragraph is a snapshot of the offending page, simply for others to wanting to confirm my calculations for themselves, before the details are unerringly corrected.  Just to make sure that neither my adding up nor the calculator i'm using are, in this instance, incorrect.

So where exactly does their creative imaginary £30 saving - they appear to have conjured from nowhere - actually come from?  It certainly can't be from the figures they've provided on their own site.  Unless, you have to submit all your details and reach the payment stage before the accurate figures are displayed.  If that is the case, then again in this day and age, that's bad policy.

I know this looks like i'm picking on them, but really guys & gals this is the equivalent of walking past a line of pots which are pristine and well cared for to see one that has more chips in it than the local chippy, the earths dried out and what used to be a thriving bush is now a dead twig... oh that's why i enjoy shopping there!  I'll give it a few months.

Argos retail blues

UK retail sales rose by 0.6% over the year to september 2011, and was 0.2% higher than august figures, and even higher than analysts (and how many of them saw any of the financial hiccups the globe experienced over the past few years) forecast.  This places septembers figures firmly in the area of a sliver of a shaving of a slice of hope, that goes by the general name: margin of error.  Naturally once a few months have sailed by, the figure will probably be re-statistised - downwards!

Yesterday argos came out with figures that if today's retail sales result had copied, would have pushed consumers into running for the bunkers, emptying shops and hunkering down for years to come.  I thought it more probable that due to the economic squeeze, consumers would be seeking value, service and reliability.

In light of the results and considering the type and style of offering that argos supplies then there really is no surprise in their 70% drop in profits.  If they improved their surly staff and stopped selling such rubbish stock that had a 50/50 chance of breakding down, they'd probably be far more successful without being the holder of the reputation they have.

John lewis has a reputation for allowing customers to return goods that don't work.  Argos has the same reputation.  The prices between the two outlets are remarkably narrow, yet the experience couldn't be more different.  Merchandisers at jl seem more 'lucky' with the batches they buy, and  jl sales staff appear more concerned about the customer and that ever important customer experience.  On the other hand, customers of argos (from their sales figures at least), appear to have finally twigged that as good as their offering is for taking back faulty goods whether for replacement or refund without a quibble, it does reach a certain level where if 1 in 2 purchases have to be returned to a store, customers will begin to wonder if the hassle it causes, is really worth it!

Now before lawyers of argos descend, i'm talking from my own experience and word of mouth (first hand) reports from other people.  In my case, the last major purchase was a laptop for £370, which worked for four months before upping its last, forcing me to trudge back to the store.  Thirfty five days later, after calling and no-one knowing where it was or, even, what was wrong with it, i received a call saying it was ready at the store for my collection.  Twenty-four hours after collection, the dreaded click of death afflicted the hard drive and that was that.  It went back to the store, and i accepted a credit note.

The only way argos won't go the way of woolies is if they up their game.  With online stores offering better for cheaper with just the same amount of hassle, an increasing number of customers will choose other avenues to throw their money at and vote with their shrinking economic feet.

Quantum levitation

Each day the increasing breadth of knowledge produces not only better products, but inches ever forwards towards that realm of potential promise where shirts are washed and dried in an instant (if you do your own washing that is), travel takes no time at all and there are certainly not any queues, leaving us looking back and wondering when it all happened.

The other day one of the neighbours had her 100th birthday, and in previous year (so i've been told) used to reminisce about periods when horse-drawn carts and horse poop used to be the highlight of the day, whilst  to get from the the uk to the usa you had to take a few weeks out, sailing the ocean blue. 

Along with those centenarians who say things are just too noisy now, let's hope that quantum levitation enables an improvement in the species' lot, and is not simply used as another means or excuse for waging war, in the name of the people.

Many thanks to dcm for the link.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

TFL's engines of change?

This morning i dragged open the living room curtains which creaked and groaned expressions of disapproval, expecting to see two things: one, the windows of the living room would be beaded with condensation as the flat begins its autumnal transformation into a winter mold paradise, and two, buses would be sitting on either side of  road - belching out their toxic fumes - making living here less healthy than placing an abode above a powerstation's smoke stake.

I was, briefly, wrong (which is odd) on both counts.

Half an hour later the engines remained switched off.  Which is curious.  Normally, regardless of whether its warm, hot, cool or freezing, many of the drivers leave their engines ticking over... unless, unless there is some sort of unofficial (but they all know about it) inspection taking place and they're putting their best behaviour front and place - which is generally the case when relative silence descends on the area.

Which means there was probably a reduction in the level of pollution i was sucking into my lungs during the morning and so, probably, without any other type of test to confirm a contributory factor to waking up feeling rather quite cheery.

Naturally the mood soon dissipated.

Now i wonder what's happening in the republic of southern sudan?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Other glimpses

It's enjoyable peering into differing genres of music; whether happy handbag (do people still say that) to, in this case, grime and creed. 

Viva la difference.

UK energy policy?

According to the governement here in the uk, we (the plebs, proles, not them) all use far too much power, and as we're all complaining about prices we should therefore be growing thrifty and economical so ensuring we can go on using them long into our dottage.

I hope the same applies to all those business who have windows ablaze with lights, oh wait, as they all have money which is tax deductible, they can keep the lights burning more or less for as long as they wish.

But i fully agree, we should all do our bit and reduce the amount of power we use.   Sadly after checking the amount of power i use i really can't reduce my usage anymore...   Silly me, of course I can. 

Now, where did i put those twigs?

Monday, 10 October 2011


Someone really should put that toothless old dog down and out of its misery.
The asa.  

Truly protecting the industry's ability to fleece its customers since november 2004.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Idling TFL

A neighbour, in the battle against bus drivers utilising the bus stand outside who consistently refuse to switch off their engines, called me yesterday querying whether i'd seen that days' edition of the evening standard, and specifically page 25.

I said i hadn't.  Then launched myself at the site only to have them request all my details.  Which is odd, as i fail to recall being required to fill out personal details when picking up the evening standard in the real world, so i'm not sure i wish to be on the end of more unsolicited crap of the type that already litters my tray.  But the grand headline "turn off your engine: idling cabs targeted by eco-marshals", sounded just too good.

So it proved.  Reading the headline first-hand caused an immediate flurry of neurons to simultaneously explode whilst downing a glass of something chilled, either that or a small gathering of serotonin decided to begin kicking me innards.

Tucked away in the 6th paragraph of the article, they said "tfl is writing to coach, bus and freight operators asking them to encourage their drivers to switch off their engines while parked."

Asking them?

I suppose it's a start.

But, asking them?

Surely there's enough data now available, for example the 4,000+ people who die every year in the capital from pollution, that should make tfl not simply ask but demand that it happens; otherwise sub-contractors (and all their drivers) will have their licenses revoked and new companies brought in to operate services without killing the capitals populace, instead.

The cabbies response was to be expected as quintessential squeaking.  If tfl took the attitude of fining them and taking away their licenses - by getting residents on their side, perhaps drivers would soon find the off switch.

Naturally only time will tell whether this is more than a flash in tfl's long line of eco-virtual-pans.  If in six month's time pollution levels have improved, then i will  truly begin to remotely consider the hint of a possibility, they might finally have a success on their hands. 

Updated: 11:08

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Oh dear, i've come across all happy

It's being one of those serendipitous starts to my day, which began by not been woken up by neighbours stomping around, or dropping things on the floor; which led me to peaceful thoughts of listening to a podcast podnutzatnight, where they all laughed uproariously and giggled furiously over a video they were watching during the making of the episode, about cone-ing; which i watched but didn't find that funny.  However, the slight smile i could feel twitching to escape from its box will no doubt mean that i'll have succumbed to similar bouts of hilarity by the third viewing.  But after that video had finished, one of those little video icons (which usually pop up underneath the replay button and which i usually ignore) had the machina logo which i hadn't seen before - or at least at this moment simply can't ever recall seeing, which for someone with a gnat like memory could have been any time from the start of the sentence to forever.  Firmly intrigued i clicked and popped over to the channel, where today they had the first outing of an exclusive new online series called rcvr.

The premise is-, well it's only on for 11 minutes and worth every second - in my opinion.  So instead of spoilers watch below or pop over there and watch.

It's good.  Especially at the end if you let the music wash all over you, very reminiscent of game of thrones.

Of course this is only the first episode and everything could go horribly downhill from here.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, as all my favourite terrestrial shows are now well and truly dead.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The dreadful people

Someone enquired the other day how the neighbours are, after my scribblings on the subject appeared to peter out after the firm, but fair, letter i delivered a few months ago.

Well, on the music and knowing their favourite tv series front, they're generally well behaved, apart from the odd friday evenings pre-going out getting into the mood spin-ups.  They have instead increased the number of gatherings, dinner-do's and having friends over, who have taken if not to heavy foot-falling, then stomping around to such an extent that it's now possible to draw a sound-map of their abode and where they are, any time they're home.  I periodically pinch myself to see if i'm awake, in the hope that i'm stuck in some ground-hog experience and i'll remember the pain next time around.

Then there's the door slamming - which appears to be a popular pastime, regardless of whether it's 6.30am or 11.25pm.  If it can close, it can slam shut!  The same goes for drawers, kitchen cupboards and bathroom cupboards.  And why bother taking off heels (and I'm talking of the tenants here and not guests) when indoors, as you can galumph around for 45 minutes before realising you still have them on.

I did chat with with them, after I hadn't heard anything in relation to my missive, enquiring whether they'd actually received it or not.  I was looked at straight in the eye and told "yes, but we don't think we're making that much noise," and so by extension your tome, which we find rather amusing and show to friends with great hilarity, obviously isn't worth replying to.

Luckily everyone who pops in to my own abode, and experiences the levels of noise coming from upstairs, wonders why I put up with it.  Perhaps i'm not striking the right tone, and so my ministrations aren't taken seriously enough.  Or perhaps it's a mixture of all the above.  I rarely tend to the rottweiler type, preferring instead to let things slide over getting my teeth into screeching bone.  Whacking up the volume of the headphones until my ears complain before thinking "fuck it" time to turn on the speakers.

But as i write this on the 20th, 23rd, 26th August, 9th, 12th, 16th, 18th September 2011, it sounds like another gathering is in the offing, with associated  reverberating footsteps, and a litany of cries penetrating through the ceiling at an alarming deja vu rate and naturally there's never the whiff of a note or a quick tap saying "we're going to, or are, having a do.  You're not invited, it may be a bit noisy.  Hope you don't mind!"

Now, remember the only thing between their feet and my ears are their bare floorboards, joists, and my ceiling plasterboard with a sliver of painted wallpaper.  So when they have a gathering (as young socialites around town are prone to), which take place on regular intervals, just imagine the sounds from a cacophony of staccato heel & shoe wearers.

Over the past week I stopped indulging in those extra few seconds that it takes me to close a door, or lower a lid (as nothing in this place has a soft close option), i even stopped taking the time to gently place a magazine on the side, or close the lid to a small wooden box.  After all, why bother, when it's far easier simply allowing gravity or momentum to take their course and bring what ever is moving to a complete stop or halt, just like my erstwhile neighbours.

I must admit that it was quite an ear opener listening to the generated bangs and slams.  However the sound emanating from my abode appeared to stir up a hornets nest of excitement;  as they slammed and staccato stomped around with even greater energy than before.  So i too slammed and dropped, which despite being exceptionally childish in the extreme, actually relieved some of the pent-up angst, you can find yourself subsumed in when on the receiving end of inconsiderate neighbours.  Eventually they went out.

At least it's progress of a sort, they know that i can hear that they don't care.

Which means that before this childish puerile nonsense gets completely out of hand, it's time the management company did their job and actually enforced those bits of the lease which deal with this kind of nonsense.  Namely the fact that flats should have suitable covering, i.e., not bare floorboards.  Sadly they can't yet do anything about the dreadful people, that will have to run its course.  But i'm sure once covering does go down, there'll be even more banging, slamming, clanging, shouting, screaming and do's; but, maybe they might finally realise.

Oh joy.

I know that in the scheme of things this is naught but a boil in need of lancing; but that's the problem with boils (i've been led to believe), if they're handled incorrectly they can reach the stage of life-threatening septicaemia.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Satellite dingers

It was fun reading about the probability of being struck by bits of a falling satellite around the 24th September.  Apparently there's a greater chance of one of us being struck by some leftover non-burnt nor destroyed bits of the upper atmosphere research satellite, than there is of ever winning the uk lottery.

Risk of being struck by satellite: 1 in 3,000.

Chance of winning the euromillions lottery: 1 in  116,531,800.

Of course this comparison wasn't rigged.   Anyway, it's time for me to pop on the tin-hat, as with my current run of luck i'll strike out with a bolt.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


I was cheerfully informed the other day, that my usual sour pessimistic disposition seems to be lightening.  Of course it is, winter's coming. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Stuff about nothing

It's always difficult knowing what to write: whether it's stuff straight from the heart (please, just call me a lump of lead) which generally grabs me, or stuff that's popular, quaint and in which i have as much interest as a bear mating with a chipmunk - not to say it's lacking, just that it's not for me.

Lets take the tv-series game of thrones.  I say series as the whole phenomenon took me by surprise having never read any of the books.  I used to enjoy reading fantasy novels and watching the travesties that passed for book-to-tv adaptations.  Then I stopped reading fantasy novels and stopped watching the adaptations, or even looking out for them.  Instead i  stuck to the one remaining leg of the "why am i paying for satellite?" stool, which was at the time the sci-fi channel.  Well that was the case, until si-fi decided to become anything but, by cancelling everything sci-fi-ish it could get its hands on.  This took place so often, that eventually i hurled my now worthless subscription (for that is what i viewed it as - for me you understand) out the window and onto the polluted hedge outside.

But those voices refused to shut up.  Week in, week out, people who knew i had forsworn broadcasts and all their poisonous ilk, kept on going on about it.

My natural reaction was to pooh-pooh the whole thing as the deluded ramblings of non-genre-ites, probably clambering aboard a relatively okay cgi produced bandwagon.  This lasted for about a month, until more people kept on mentioning this game of thrones, and just how good it was.

Eventually my curiosity was piqued and sturdy fortitude gave way to  "well, what's the harm in watching an episode?"

So i did.

And i was hooked.

The foaming of the "whatdaymeanitsfinished!!!!" kind of hooked, that has you thinking up decidely suitable punishments for tv executives everywhere, for either cancelling or making you wait a year before the next season starts - if you're lucky.  The last time a show had that slight effect was on hearing stargate universe had been cancelled, again by sigh-fi!  Not that g.o.t has anything to do with sy-fy, but the general tenet regarding execs remains.

But g.o.t had sweep, plot, acting, brilliant casting and bloody good cgi - apart from the dragons at the end.  A world which, if you allowed yourself to fully immerse into it's winter is coming mantra, had you hooked in its bleak, yet gorgeous, portrayals, wonderfully reminiscent of the superb lord of the rings (peter jackson version).

There was going to be a point, and something in this rambling bit of nonsense about lord of the rings - apart from fantastic - but this will have to do.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Etchings of a mental tide

"I was harbouring under the mistaken belief that my utterings splurged, rather than dribbled; more skittered than gushed.  Like a redolent faucet of misanthropic toilet paper, that wrapped my sub-consciousness in the latest bucket-load of crap exorcising the minds of news editors for the day, i realised - too late - that none of it really mattered. 
That, crystallised thought brought tears of hysteria jetting through dammed ducts; as the realisation all those smoky nights spent wringing an iota of meaning from writhing mountains of data, was for nought."

Monday, 12 September 2011

Losing the zone

Another peek into the arena people classify as humour. 

Puerile humour to boot, but still humour.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The future

A better future for us all, on this most poignant of days.

I finally found a clip which sums up my thoughts on not only the events that took place a decade ago, but all the other wars and atrocities that have been and sadly will be.


I don't like the new torchwood season (number four), i absolutely love it; more gritty, less campy, a few more pennies spent on its production, a nice fusion of actors and for those people saying its just "way tooo gay" (watch the previous seasons and realise what it is you decided to jump onto, and grow a pair.
I'd go so far as to say, if you don't like what someone else has done with their imaginary sci-fi worlds, then don't watch, you're not being forced to you can vote with your feet and build your bloody own!

One reason i believe this season's proved an enjoyable wheeze (despite more contriveness than a banker trying to explain why he's worth it), stems from the improved production quality, an increase in the depth and feel of scenes (probably more space for the sets) and the one area that absolutely ruins (for me at any rate) a show, that tosses me out of the zone of escapism more than anything else, the unruly extras.  

This season they appear to have reined in the unruly mob.  Done away with extras laughing when they're supposedly running away in fear of their lives, or extras seemingly been told one of the funniest jokes ever while their supposedly  milling in stunned groups at the end of everything they know. 

Not that i claim the season is 100% perfect.  At the end of episode one, the helicopter chase shoot-down scene, although good, sadly missed the spot and fell (no pun) wide of the mark.  After gwen hoists and fires the rocket launcher (bringing the chopper down) the proportions of the approaching machine to the jeep, in those brief few frames, appeared a tad out.  That said, i still managed to enjoyably watch the whole episode three more times before finally feeling satiated.

A very good, you could almost say, re-birth of the series.  Despite finding the harkness tone-down slightly niggling, when compared to other seasons - as by the second batting of an eye-lid jack would have flirted with all the staff and the extras to boot. Which makes those whiners complaining about the odd peek is gob-smacking.
I can safely say that i look forward to torchwood far more than the candy flossed dr who - may that too live for-ever, as it provides a slightly more darker outing than most (if not all other) sci-fi shows currently doing the rounds - well the ones that i've seen so far that is.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Making the cross

"Homos are more dangerous than terrorists," claims the oklahoma house of  representative, sally kern.
Let me roll that around my tongue for a bit.  Homos, are more dangerous, than terrorists.

No doubt that is the case in her universe.  In this one she appears to have skidded past those natural same-sex pairings which do take place in the rest of the animal kingdom, thinking they're probably nothing more than demon animals brought forth from the bowels of lucifers darkest nether regions, to bring down the remaining members of the good flocks.

I don't think i've heard ms kern wax lyrically about how many americans (or even earthers) guns have killed, or bombs, or weapons in general, or even the two nuclear bombs dropped on japan, or the wars in europe, or the wars in afghanisatian, iraq, the genocide in darfur, the crap manufacturers fill our food with, or the crap food they sell, or how many people have being killed from pollution, killed by cars, cigarettes, drink or by her big palls in the pharma industry.  Nothing about them, it's just the homos who are the bug-bears in the eye of this lunatic.

She goes on to say, "it (queerness) will tear down the moral fibre of this nation. We were founded as a nation upon the principles of religion and morality, if we take those out from under our society we will lose what has made us a great nation..."   Perhaps the dear lady has being living under a rock for the past few decades and missed her history lessons.  But being founded via committing genocide and built using enslaved labour is hardly a base to trumpet a claim for great morality. 

This has as much to do with morality as my big spreading backside has to do with eating a green salad.  It smacks of nothing more than a vacuous hole, used as a short cut by any passing breeze - no offence dear, this is only a biased myopic opinion on some of the stuff i've read that you've uttered.

The one thing i do get from this, after taking another cursory glance through the book and noting references, is that if jesus were around now he'd rather be a down and out bum than mix with this shower of crap shooters; people who do more harm in his or any other religious deity's name she may be using (taking the 2000+ years they've been at it), than anything other than death itself.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Simply light-hearted

Mozilla have a fun little quiz, visually displaying how from your questions it appears you approach the web. 

For some reason mine contains too many travelling and mobile implements for my liking, there was obviously a glitch.

Harmless, fun (choke), and what better way for you to wile away those precious few minutes - enjoying (cough) just you time.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Letting the wasp have it!

Having been pried from my very cosy cell to the outside world for tea and a chat, by a friend (who’s an excellent photographer and even greater witterer), but who sensibly passed over my offer for lunch for better fare - due to his later visit to a temple -, meant that after i’d finished tucking into a few legs of freshly spiced chicken, as luck would have it a wasp discovered the plate, and started to heartily tuck in too.  

Ordinarily the “it’s a wasp, bat it,” reaction would have kicked in, bugger the possibility of being on the receiving end of a very hundred stings; but on this occasion i just sat, in fact we both just sat and watched it, whilst continuing out conversation.  If it did venture too close, then we slightly edged back until it re-commenced attacking the chicken.

The upshot is two pics below (before and after) taken using friend's motorola d-something.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tfl press releases and envrironmental emissions

I was consuming a bowl of freshly made carrot & coriander soup, when half of it jettisoned across my clean shiny table.

The reason?  Simple, a press release from tfl regarding the output of their buses.  I'm not sure what type of buses these are or which routes they operate on, but the claim was tantamount to saying, "your nuclear melt-down is 1% worse than my nuclear melt-down."

To which the quote:
"...operating one of the cleanest fleets in Europe, London leads the way by trialling new technology, introducing more environmentally friendly hybrid and hydrogen buses to meet tough EU targets which will protect the health of Londoners."
Mike Weston, London Buses Operations Director

It was at the: "protect the health of londoners" bit, that my soup jettisoned, as it was extremely difficult mangling those words (as wonderful and fantastic as they environmentally sounded) together with our parallel unfolding experience here, and trying to work out exactly which universe the quote referred to; as the only time our health is protected in the vicinity of this bus stand, is christmas day, when there are no damned buses.

So i say again, that perhaps members of tfl management, or even mr weston, would care to pop down to our little stand (naturally under cover and not making a song & dance production about it), but an anonymous trip, over three separate periods to see how environmentally unaware and incontinently incapable their foot-soldiers (whom i'm sure are really nice people outside of working hours) appear to be.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Ear climbing

As a slow moving dinosaur, it took a while to realise something was scurrying up my neck and over my ears...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Riotous Assembly

You can't have two weeks off without the bloody slum going up in flames, and living approximately 0.22 miles from one of the 'hotspots' there are, naturally, a few choice thoughts floating in my semi-liquid stuff regarding the whole affair.

In many quarters, during the recent heady riotous events which unfolded over the first two weeks of august 2011, the frothing masses - like a badger with a wasps nest stuck up its arse - demanded those on the bottom (discounting the middle elements who spotted a potential earner, or at the very least early christmas presents) who participated and fulsomely joined in with the looting, crowed that participants should be: severely punished, disproportionately sentenced, suffer the loss all of their safety nets, and if it turns out they are council tenants, ensure they’re evicted and left to rot in their own juices - a glance at any dystopic film will more than fill-in any relevant missing background information here, whilst showing where it is we’re heading to - so teaching those who would dare challenge our way of life, or even stick two fingers to authority, that authority and society will work themselves into a royal tizz and simply not tolerate it - that is, until the next revolution takes place.  In this day and age, can i be done for uttering the word, revolution?

It was surprising seeing people tweeting and hearing folks talking to hosts on radio & tv shows saying how “cowed they felt” and how “scared and frightened they were in their homes” - when their homes existed at least a mile away from any flashpoint!  

As mornings and evenings sped by it became clear that rioters were, to a brick or bin-hurler, really more interested in the interior of clothing or electrical stores; failing that, the re-modding of police car exteriors, than generally ransacking peoples homes (except for one freelance fbi’er who was unlucky to have an opportunistic break in, but who had sensibly installed tracking software on to his laptop), meant the relative initial mood of the population simply veered towards a collective groan and the shaking of heads, muttering “tsk, the youngsters”.  

Unfortunately as events unfurled, it became clear that one profound sad consequence of the looting, and torching of many premises, was the effect on fellow citizens who were residing in those now open-air pigeon nests. Understanding turned to rage, as rumours and reports of citizens been killed simply trying to protect their premises, or homes, galvanised airwaves and screens, solidifying the eventual government knee-jerk backlash.

Admittedly my prolapsed attitude would probably have flown out the window, had i too been forced to flee through one; but, if your only information of the goings on which occurred in the uks capital was transmitted through the box, the web, or the morning papers, you could be forgiven for mistaking the whole of london was, if not in flames, that a significant proportion was primarily so.

As the clashes, torching, looting, and faltering of the blue-line continued, the initial reasons for the riots (the killing of mark duggan), was swamped then lost amongst the first bit of meaty news the press were able to fully zoom in on, since the student demonstrations.  But it transpired he had not fired at the policeman, nor was he was holding a gun - although why he had a loaded gun in the first place?  The policeman who was shot, was shot from a bullet fired by one of his colleagues.  

This appears to have been seized on, not by the family and friends of mark duggan who quickly came out to condemn the mini "london’s burning”, but other elements intent on seizing the opportunity of a situation, and for whatever reason, the lack of effective policing to spot the moment.

Peaceful protest was followed by the now iconic scenes etched on many people minds, after all news channels kept on showing the same bits of footage: over and over and over and over again, twined as it was by a palpable pall of presenter outrage and fear.  At that time (before the deaths of fellow citizens and the growing acknowledgement that people were losing their homes) i popped some popcorn on to watch events unfold, and listen and read the nonsense spouted.  

Taking into account the less than stellar, and sometime hypocritical, actions of mp’s, police chiefs, quangos, bankers, energy utility, where hardly a month fails to go by without some company announcing how many billions they’ve made in profit, but they sadly have to trim costs, throwing thousands on the heap, and as we all age we’re constantly told we’ll have to retire later and with less, whilst the young in many areas are unable to reach the first rung, let alone climb up.  On the other hand, we have entertainers, footballers, ceo’s, who earn more money in a year than many of those growing up and unemployed will see in four of their lifetimes.  Of course there are those who will rise through the top whether by striving, through luck, or raw channelled  talent, but they have always been the few in every generation - otherwise we’d all be floating around on our individual sea-going tower blocks trying to hail someone for love or money!

The current system has time after time been shown to be nothing more than a sow’s purse in a busted pen, with the vast majority failing to feel their lot substantively improved, indeed a growing number are constantly hearing, “if you think this is bad, you ain’t seen anything yet!”  Whilst the top dot indeed, have really never had it so good.

This does go some distance to prove that our creaking beam of a society really is held together with nothing more than consensual duct tape, proving as it does that the many are generally happy to stay within the elastic confines of compromise, enabling the city to exist as it does.

Oh yes, riots.

If we remove from the equation those who had good jobs, olympic representatives, lawyers, students, graduates etc, we find that there is still a substantial section of society who feel that they have no hope, who are constantly told how much more harder than their parents and grandparents generations their own lives are going to be, and all because people who would probably never talk to them if they were in the same lift as them, went on a binge of magic proportions without any care should things not quite work out how they planned.

How that fits in with the riots should be self-evident.  In one corner the hoover (wonder if any of those were nicked, or did they go for dysons?) of capitalism locates the cheapest manufacturing for the highest return, whilst the bar to entry for employees is always rising.  So we hear of companies closing down in one expensive country and opening up in a cheaper one.  Cheaper due to lower taxes?  Reduced labour costs?  Ease of importing, or the ease of oiling the wheels bypassing all that tape?

Blimey i'm tired. If you really want a good ripping read and decent take on the matter, spring over to naomi klein’s piece in the guardian.
I, luckily, still have a pillow calling.