Tag Archives: News

Bloody ginger gits

I can’t believe this article; apparently the police are going to investigate the BBC for leaving a car under secret filming in Scotland filled with England flags because the car was smashed, wouldn’t it make more sense to go after the little ginger gits that did the damage?

7th July – One year on

It doesn’t seem like a year since I decided ‘nah’ I can’t be bothered to go into central london today, since I was woken by a bulletin on Radio 4 saying there’d be an ‘explosion’ on the tube, possibly caused by a power failure, and one year on from watching in horror as the events of the 7th unfolded in almost pornographic detail on Sky News.

I don’t think anythings changed since now and then to be honest; initially we obviously all started to look at people differently, started to think that every bag, every person with a beard and a rucksack might be a threat, but that soon passed with the realisation that if something like that were to happen the chances of being directly involved (rather than simply inconvenienced by) were infinitesimally low; and in many ways that’s a good thing, if we all lived our daily lives in fear we’d be letting ‘them’ win, but we’re not… but on the flip-side of that it’s irritating nothing’s changed: no-one seems to want to take responsibility for what’s happened, and no-one seems to dare utter the words that it’s not until things change from the current status quo that things will be able to change.

I think everyone’s still a little shell shocked, I’ve talked to a lot of people about the events of this day last year, and people still seem to be coming to terms with the facts that it’s happened here in London: we’ve put up with Terrorism before, but there is a distinct difference between someone planting a bomb for political reasons, and someone with fundamentalist religious views strapping themselves to a bomb and taking themselves off this mortal coil with a load of other entirely innocent souls… we will all come to terms with the events of this time last year eventually but I believe the sense of being violated will stay with us for some time.

Need Another Seven Astronauts

I’m appalled, but not at all surprised that despite official warnings from Safety Officials and Senior Engineers NASA is going to launch the space shuttle on July 1st, and it’s not like they’ve not done this before and lived to regret it: on the eve of the Challenger launch senior engineers warned NASA that the shuttle was untested in the conditions it was due to launch and was potentially catastrophically unsafe… the same warning, albeit due to a different set of engineering warnings has been given now and they’re choosing to ignore it.

I’m amazed that with all NASA’s resources we’ve a) not upgraded the shuttle to the next-gen shuttle mooted in the late eighties, and b) not spent more of NASA’s vast public resources on making the shuttle a safer prospect, we’ve lost two out of a total of what, 7 flyable shuttles? If it were a commercial airliner that ratio of lost craft would be raising serious concerns, and I’d put money on the fleet being grounded, but because (despite NASA’s huge commercial obligations) it’s a ‘research and exploration’ agency they seem to feel they can flaunt their position ignoring safety advice and risking the lives of the people that work for the organisation. It’s only because the accidents they’ve had so far have all occurred at 60,000ft and above and nothing’s gone bang on the ground or crashed into a populated area that more serious questions haven’t been asked.

Poor Bear!

This is funny, you can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bear!

I know what it’s like to live with a cat that’s a psycho – so the lesson for today children is: if you want to keep half a tonne of black bear out of your back garden invest in a communal garden tabby cat… as this image demonstrates it’s certainly value for money based on size!

THINK

Yet another story from the Underground: a tragic death of a young lad on the underground, killed because he was stupid enough to go on the tracks, having seen a few suicides on the tube in my years and knowing the effect they’ve had on friends who work on the tube I’m constantly amazed that people, especially young lads, take their own personal safety so brazenly: not only do the trains weigh god knows how many tonnes, but they’re traveling at up to 50mph and on two tracks charged – 220volts and +440volts DC, not only will they give you a belt, they’ll give you a belt that you won’t get blown away from and that’ll burn you badly.

So why not think, think about the people who have to pick up the pieces, the people who get held up, even think about your own families, just do *think* before you act like a prat and fry on the lines.

Mydeathspace.com – and the questions of virtual friendships & grief

The internet’s always had a morbid side, there’s always been places to go to tread on the other side of the tracks, to think about things you wouldn’t normally consider, including, so I’m informed: ways to commit suicide, videos of insurgent executions, and even a questionnaire to figure out how long you’re likely to live, but the oddest I’ve heard of so far (via: the guardian podcast) is mydeathspace.com a site of obituaries and reports of deaths of members of the now ubiquitous website myspace.com.

It’s sad reading, a collection of suicides, overdoses, car crashes, murders and other assorted accidents and illnesses, but it’s telling that the two highest forms of death from the brief look I had at the site were car accidents (hardly a shock when the average age on myspace seems to be around about 18) and more worryingly suicide. Is it the case that some of these people are living two lives, a life online full of virtual chat and friends, and a life offline of loneliness and depression?

There are people that are now shouting ghoulishly that there should be a proper obituary area on myspace, but I don’t think this will do anything other than creating a sense of mourning by default, creating what I almost guarantee would be a Diana style outpouring of crocodile tears, fueled by a sense that you have to be upset to fit in with the crowd, regardless of how well you knew someone (if at all…). What would be infinitely more useful would be for NewsCorp to show some Corporate Responsibility to it’s new found community, as well as making a ton of songs available to the users how about some advice pages, maybe even a couple of trained counselors that people could talk to if they’re feeling lonely, depressed or even suicidal?

People seem to forget that there’s no substitute for real human contact, for a real flesh and blood shoulder to cry on, to shout at, or even just to rest your head on, and the loneliest place in the world can be the one where you’re sat in front of your computer surrounded by virtual ‘buddies’ who when it comes down to it you’re very unlikely to see often in real life (if ever…) and when it comes down to the brutally honest truth there are people you know online who you’re happy to only know online, you wouldn’t want to meet them, or be a part of the life you talk about with them you’re just happy that they’re there online, continuing on the brutal truth (and it’s one that a lot of people who’ve worked or played with online communities can testify to) there are some people you’re “virtually” friends with who if they went ‘offline’ you’d not notice, you’d assume they just got bored, or they’ve joined another site, they could be laying in a morgue somewhere, but with the separation that ‘virtual’ friendships give you, you’d likely never know, and in time likely never care.

In pursuit of happiness

Other than one of the important things in life being the search for a good meal with excellent wine, there’s not many things that Michael Winner says that I normally find myself agreeing with: but his reasons for turning down an OBE in the queens honours’ list ring unfortunately true: things have changed so much in the world that people are getting congratulated for the smallest things, we seem to have come to a stage where people expect a pat on the back and recognition for everything they do, regardless of whether it’s something they’ve chosen to do, or simply something they have to do.

Winner’s example of someone cleaning the toilets at Kings Cross Station isn’t far off the mark if you look at some of the recent lists, yes there are still a fair number of people in the list that are doing genuinely good things, but amidst them are people like Beckham, who get paid a huge amount for what they do, and people who don’t seem to have done anything other than turn up to work for 40 years without being unfortunate enough to have had a cold that has stopped them from turning up… it’s a little like the students nowadays who instead of being incentivesed by simply wanting to excel themselves they’re now being paid to turn up to classes, I’m all for giving people reasons to do well, but money and accolade are supposed to come after you’ve done the hard work, nowadays with the growing expectation of instant gratification people just don’t seem to think that the hard work to get somewhere good seems to be worth doing.

I think it’s about time that there was a culture shift in the UK, we need to take our work more seriously, stop thinking that we’re entitled to ‘everything, Now’ and start a real understanding in the population that if you work hard you’ll be rewarded, and that there isn’t a shortcut to fortune, wealth, gratification, accolade and fame: Obviously people will point to people like BB entrants, or lottery winners, but they’re few and far between, and they’re not; as much as the media would like to tell us: representative of the real population. It’s not all about money, as David Cameron pointed out so wisely earlier this week, it’s about how happy you feel, and it’s perfectly possible to be happy and only moderately well off, you don’t need millions, or even thousands to be content that you’re making a difference to the world and to your own life… although I’d be telling porkies if I said that money didn’t figure in many people’s idea of what happiness is.

Too much news?

According to this article from MediaGuardian the BBC are saying that Radio 4 needs to react quicker to the news, my question is why? What is the BBC’s obsession with turning every single one of it’s outlets into a rolling news service, with BBC News 24, and the switch overs to News 24 when BBC1 and 2 are ‘off’ it’s become impossible to escape, even the ever-reliable World Service through the night service is now little more than rolling news interspersed with occasional arts programmes which are getting increasingly thin on the ground, not to mention dubious in terms of their actual worth.

So it’s beyond me why the BBC is mooting that Radio 4 should react quicker, and frankly it fills me with dread because I can almost guarantee that their idea of reacting quicker is news bulletins jumping in whenever some foreign leader sneezes (as happens on Radio 5 and News 24) or even worse regular half hour updates cutting short programming flexibility and interrupting hour long shows (as happens on the world service).

It raises the question of what is ‘important news’ – I’d expect a program to be broken into for something like July7th or 9/11, or the PM or Her Madge dropping dead, but that’s about it: If I’m that bothered about keeping up to date with what’s going on with the rest of the world then I’ll have Sky News or Radio 5 on, as would anyone else who desperately needs to be in touch with what colour toilet paper Jacque Chirac is using today, or whether Michael Jackson’s dropping his kid out of the window at some hotel. The obsession with New News is so tiresome, and the BBC beyond all other service providers are the worst for picking up this buzz and over-exposing it. Just because News happens 24 hours a day doesn’t mean every outlet has to be 24 hour news.

To infinity and beyond!

Wow, reading this article in the Scotsman today: I’m no theoretical phyicist, but if this could work wouldn’t it just blow people’s minds? Imagine being able to travel to mars in 3 hours – you can’t even travel to Glasgow in three hours nowadays, let alone another planet:

Read the article for yourself here: Scotsman.com