Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Monday, 27 September 2010
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Having walked a wee bit further I decided to check out another of these al fresco establishment and saw that they had a price list displayed, around the corner from the actual entrance. Calling coffee Latte, or Cappuccino seems to mean that the price of a cup of instant cheap Tesco brown dust, pumped up with steam can be charged at upwards of 195p. Tea was 95p. In addition, a hotdog was an eye watering 395p. I am seriously thinking of opening a snack bar, if you can get away with charging these prices for a roll with shit in it and coloured water. No wonder there is so many of these greasy spoon vans and bars opening. What a revolting nation we have become.
The point behind this is that many time I have seen articles in the press bemoaning the fact that we no longer appreciate the Costa Clyde and that it is falling in to disrepair due to lack of investment. Given our experience today I can honestly say as I said to my better half on the way home that I would sooner sit in the back garden with my bare arse in a patch of nettles than be ripped of like that again. I will never be back there. Years ago when the kids were wee, a similar fate befell us when we ventured in to Largs and made to go on to the beach, to be greeted by the side of human shit and condoms and sanitary towels bobbing around in the surf, we never went back. All our holidays were spent in the Highlands, or abroad. The Costa Clyde can go to hell where it surely will for all I care, if that is what they serve up. They deserve the wrath of the public who are obviously voting with their wallets.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
‘Oil fund’ reaches dizzying new highs
September 21, 2010
The numbers are so big that they’re hard to fathom: Norway’s fund that sets aside oil revenues for future generations is likely to reach a value of three-thousand billion Norwegian kroner by the end of the year. Every single Norwegian can probably be considered a millionaire within the next 10 years, at least on paper.
Matthew Penn and William Livingston, solar astronomers with the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona, have found a marked decrease in sunspot activity lately. Studies show that such a marked drop in sunspots may lead to a prolonged cooling epoch or even a new ice age.
Since the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 the talk has been about global warming. But 22 years on the evidence has grown to raise fears of a catastrophic climate switch in the opposite direction. We look at the evidence that is raising some very serious questions in the scientific community.
Penn and Livingston used a measuring technique known as Zeeman splitting to study the magnetic strength of sunspots. The technique measures the distance between a pair of infrared spectral lines in a spectrograph from the light emitted by iron atoms in the atmosphere of the sun.
After examining 1500 sunspots they found that the average strength of the magnetic field of the sunspots has dropped by almost 40 percent in recent years. The reasons for the decline are unknown, but Penn and Livingston predict only half of the normal sunspots may appear on the surface of the Sun by 2021. Below that strength the formation of sunspots becomes almost impossible. More sunspots correlate with more global warming, fewer sunspots over a long period means prolonged cooling is likely.
Other Experts Confirm Fears
Backing up the claims is Australian Geophysicist, Phil Chapman, a former NASA astronaut. Chapman confirms the historic correlation of sunspots to global temperatures and points to the dearth of sunspots since 2007 as the reason why the world has since cooled by about 0.7C.
Writer, Alan Caruba (September 21, 2010) probes the story further after a June 14 article published in the New Scientist by Stuart Clark.
Caruba reports that Clark, “ raised the question of why and where the sunspots of gone. Noting that they ebb and flow in cycles lasting about eleven years, Stuart said, “But for the last two years, the sunspots have mostly been missing. Their absence, the most prolonged in nearly 100 years, has taken even seasoned sun watchers by surprise.””
Return to another Little Ice Age or Worse?
The last time sunspots disappeared altogether, during the Maunder Minimum (about 1645 to 1715), our planet descended into a lengthy period of cooling known as the Little Ice Age.
Prior to that an even more cataclysmic cooling event, known as the Younger Dryas happened 12,000 years ago. That sudden event plunged temperatures in the North Atlantic region to about 5°C colder and lasted for 1000-year duration.
Global Cooling Impacts Being Felt Now
Last year in the northern hemisphere, Britain suffered one of the worst winters in 100 years. While in the U.S. the National Weather Service (NWS) reported that the bitterly cold winter broke numerous temperature and snow extent records with 2010 seeing the 4th coldest February on record. New York and much of the U.S. Northeast was pumeled by record snow falls that deposited about 60cm (2 feet) of snow in NYC alone.
Worst Snow Falls Since 1970’s
Rutgers University Global Snow Lab also confirms that the 2010 Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent was the second highest on record, at 52,166,840 km2 and second only to February, 1978 which was slightly higher at 53,647,305 km2.
Indeed, it was in the 1970s, when climatologists were worried about the onset of an ice age, that we were warned of the ‘The Cooling World’ (Newsweek, April 28, 1975). Meanwhile Anna Petherick reporting for Nature.com ( August 27, 2010) shows that a brutal northern winter has been followed in the southern hemisphere by a viciously cold winter with an Antarctic chill killing millions of aquatic animals in the Amazon.
So will we see more scientists return to predicting global cooling due to changes in our sun?
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Sketch: Stairheid rammie fuelled by decaffeinated bile
Back in the national nuthouse across the road, undertakers committed suicide, clowns wept and children hid, as Johann Lamont (Lab) creaked forward, like someone from a Tim Burton horror animation. Johann is so grim she makes the sun cry. Goths fear her, and a team of cosmetic surgeons armed with road-drills and pick-axes would struggle to put a smile on her coupon.
She was standing in for towering statesman Elmer Fudd as Labour leader. But, really, you can’t have someone like that leading things. It’s not just the grimness. Johann belongs with Margaret Curran, now an MP (no wonder Buddhists say the world is not real; on this evidence, it can’t be), standing with crossed arms and their hair in curlers, having a stairheid rammie.
She really ought to have had a fag hanging out of her mouth as she blamed unemployment in Scotland on what she called with Tolstoyan literary genius “the Salmond Slump”. Unbelievable. Let’s be objectively clear about this: if you believe the economic woes of Scotland are the result of the powerless SNP Government, you really need to up your dosage. Only a moron, hypocrite or liar would swallow this crap (hello, and we’ve just been joined in the studio by the Scottish electorate).
It’s such monstrous, economically illiterate, democratically disingenuous tripe. It’s risible beyond reason, a porkie so fat that it bursts the gut and protrudes over the trousers. It is clear, objective and shameless nonsense.
And yet the psephologically suicidal SNP government does little to rebut it, wedded as it seems to be to showing everyone that it is in charge. Memo to the Nats: you’re not in charge. They won’t let you be in charge. The jannie has just hurriedly handed you his brush – and is now blaming you for the mucky floors.
Nicola Sturgeon was standing in for the First Eck, and she did a good job in remaining calm and airily dismissive of La Lamont’s moon-pulled fol-de-rols. But she insisted on acting as if the Nats had much influence over the economy, boasting about more jobs being created. This news just in, Nicola: that hasn’t got much to do with you either. These forces are largely beyond your control. If the bad news isn’t your fault, the good news isn’t either.
As an afterthought, at least, she did point out the massive cuts that had been planned by Labour, and called for full fiscal responsibility. But that should be at the front of the independence-minded brain not the back.
Johann hunched bitterly, and the clown buttons on her Tory-blue jaickit birled roond and roond, as she prepared for another intellectually acrobatic leap, this time accusing Nicola personally of cancelling “Garrul”, the Glaswegian cause celebre and hugely expensive rail link that Labour wants at a time of cuts.
Nicola brushed off this rhetorical spittle, though her half-heartedly repeated call for full economic powers did raise a problem for First Ministers or their deputies: what do you do when questions are so dumb that you can hardly be bothered answering them? There’s a sense in which these efforts can bring everyone down, and the trick must be to rise above it and pretend your opponent is a worthy foe.
Tory Murdo Fraser, standing in for Annabel Goldie, is at least one such. Bright, humourous and seemingly free of bitterness, he painted the following word-picture: “Deputy presiding orifice, as we speak, the pipes and drums are playing, the crowds are lining Princes Street, Saltires are waving in the air.” Lovely stuff, and here came the punchline: “I do hope the First Minister will not be too disappointed when he learns they’re not there for him.”
Boom, as it were, boom. Great stuff. And at least Murdo doesn’t have that horror of the Saltire that former leader David “Union Flag forever” McLetchie forever betrays.
Murdo’s question was about the rising cost of quangos, to which Nicola dissembled about how the Nats had cut ministerial posts and top civil service salaries. Fair points. Didn’t quite answer the question, though.
Mike Rumbles was standing in for Tavish Scott as Lib Dem leader, prompting a mad rush for the exits. Mike is really one of these guys best sitting at the back shouting inanities.
With soothing indulgence, Nicola promised to mention “an issue close to Mike Rumbles’s heart: dentistry”. Mike flashed a toothy grin, which was anatomically reassuring since his question had given the impression he was talking out of his arse. He wanted Nicola to give Eck marks out of ten for all his administration had done for the North-East of Scotia.
Nicola wisely resisted the temptation and averred: “In the spirit of humility for which we are renowned, we will continue to appreciate that there will always be more we can do.”
“Why wasn’t the North-East taken seriously?” Mike asked seriously.
Nicola retorted: “Mike Rumbles has come to the chamber today with the clear objective of making his leader look good.” And, she averred, he’d succeeded.
In answer to a question from Nat back-bencher Brian Adam, Nicola took the opportunity to point that two out of every three pounds of the coming cuts had been planned by Labour. She seemed more annoyed about it now, adding: “Johann Lamont would do well to remember that.” Fat chance.
However, it was Labour’s ludicrous confusion over alcohol policy that finally reduced them to the gutter yesterday. As everyone knows, they opposed the Nats’ minimum pricing policy merely out of tribal spite and have desperately been trying to cobble together credible alternatives ever since. Their latest ploy has identified caffeinated alcohol as the real problem about which something should be done. Everyone else says: “But it’s all alcohol, you donkeys, caffeinated or otherwise.” It’s enough to drive Scotland to drink.
Nicola reminded floundering Richard Simpson (Lab) that Strathclyde Police Chief Superintendent Bob Hamilton had told the health committee earlier: “We don’t attend many violent disturbances outside coffee shops. It’s the alcohol consumption – of whatever brand or make – that gives us the greatest concern.”
It seems obvious, but Labour clearly have a caffeine fixation. Nicola repeated, as if addressing a particularly dimwitted child: “It’s the alcohol. And it’s about time that Labour, and in particular Richard Simpson, who – as a doctor – should know better, woke up to that fact.”
Of course, you don’t need alcohol to foment a disturbance, as FMQs proves every week. But I thought deputy presiding orifice Trish Godman’s policy of naming MSPs in rebukes worked well. I’d like to see admirable presiding orifice Alex “Hercules” Fergusson resume this practice when Big Eck returns next week, and the Labour bile flows once more like torrents of decaffeinated Buckie.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Scotland 2 Lichtenstein 1
Scotland U21s 2 Austria 1.
Well done young jocks for showing the stuff you are made of. You make Scotland proud.
It was pure theatre last night as our senior team hung in to the last second and got the goal they so deserved. It was also pure theatre listening to Chick Young trying to interview Craig Levein afterwards, and started of asking him how it would have felt to have lost. Craig put the poor sod right live on air as he scolded him for asking negative questions of a purely hypothetical nature, as if he had wanted a bad result. Some Jocks you just cannot take the cringe out of Chick.
A bit like Strachan when asked by Barnes of BBC Scotland, (who every one despised.) After getting gubbed by Rangers. “Gordon in which area do you think Rangers were better than you here today.” Gordon looked very serious and took his time and milked the atmosphere then replied brightly, “ well probably on the big green area out there.” By the time the laughing stopped, Barnes was in his car heading back to the BBC.
Scottish football is not as good as it should be but the lads have turned a corner I honestly think they will do well in this competition now.
As far as stats go, since 1873 Scotland have played England 104 times. England have won 46 and Scotland 41. Given the population of England has been nearly always ten times that of Scotland, that means that per capita Scotland are the superior fottballing nation.
The fluke 1966 result should not stand as Sir Geoff Hurst has publicly admitted that the ball did not cross the line on the disputed goal England were awarded.
Scotland proved the following year at Wembley that England were hopeless as they humiliated them on their hallowed turf with Baxter sitting on the ball in the centre circle taunting them to come and get it. England 2 Scotland 3
Monday, 6 September 2010
Campbell Martin _____________________________________________
I should declare my position before we go any further. I would rather watch paint dry than a cricket match.
Given the minority status of cricket in Scotland, I suspect many Scots share my view that the game is simply Morris Dancers playing Rounders. It is just so boring.
I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the point of cricket is to throw a ball relatively close to someone holding a bat, but with the intention that the batter (should that be batsman, I’m not sure) doesn’t hit the ball and it bounces or trundles safely into the hands of a guy standing behind the batter/batsman. That, apparently, is success. If nothing happens, if no-one scores, if barely anyone has to move, then that is success in cricket.
Now, our English friends have a very different view on the game: to them it seems to be a matter of life or death. How else can we explain cricket being the lead item on the UK ‘national’ news?
It’s bad enough when the lead item about cricket relates to an actual game, but over the past week we’ve had to suffer the first ten minutes of thirty-minute news programmes taken up by allegations about a betting scandal involving three members of the Pakistan cricket team, which is apparently playing England at the moment.
The allegation, as far as I can see, involves bets having been placed that correctly predicted ‘no ball’ decisions. This, apparently, is an infringement involving the guy throwing the ball (is that a bowler - isn’t that a hat?) and relates to him stepping over a line while throwing. In other words, people are betting on nothing happening, but in this case nothing happening illegally - and that has been taking up the bulk of so-called ‘national’ news programmes broadcast into Scottish homes every night.
While the BBC and ITV have devoted so much airtime to the allegations levelled against three Pakistani cricketers, and have sought-out the opinions of Pakistani Government officials regarding the matter, the same country is desperately attempting to recover from recent devastating floods that have claimed around 2,000 lives. International aid agencies have described the floods as Pakistan’s worst-ever natural disaster, with more than eight million Pakistanis, around two-thirds of whom are children, now dependent on aid. Put that in context: it’s more than one-and-a-half times the population of Scotland, now living in tented villages, starving, fearful for their lives, totally dependent on any scraps the aid agencies can provide - and British broadcasters are leading news bulletins with allegations that three men have stepped over a line during a game, and that some people might have placed bets on that happening.
The BBC and ITV news departments in London should be ashamed of themselves. If allegations of betting and rigged cricket matches merit coverage at all, then they should have featured in the sports news. Cricket really isn’t that important. Placed alongside the devastating humanitarian disaster now unfolding in Pakistan, it is little short of obscene for British broadcasters to have sought-out Pakistani Government officials, only to then ask them for a comment about a game.
Of course, this cricket story is also just one more example of English issues dominating news programmes broadcast into Scotland.
Scots, by and large, do not follow cricket. Yet our so-called ‘national’ news leads with a story about the game, virtually every night for a week. The Scottish news is labelled ‘regional’, which tells us everything we need to know about the attitude of the BBC and ITV towards Scotland. They think our nation is simply a region.
In the past week, ‘national’ news bulletins from London have also referred to stories happening in the “North-East” and the “North-West”. Of course, the stories were actually taking place, not in Aberdeen or Ullapool, but in the Newcastle area and in Cumbria. For London-based broadcasters, the ‘nation’ in ‘nation-al’ means England.
It was not by accident that broadcasting was a power retained by the UK Westminster Parliament when devolution was introduced through the Scotland Act (1998). By keeping the power of broadcasting, and ensuring Scots continued to receive their ‘national’ news from London, British unionist politicians ensured the continuance of 300 years of indoctrination.
The UK ‘national’ news - stories about England and from an English perspective - ensure that Scots know England is more important than Scotland. To reinforce this idea, the real national news - about the nation of Scotland and from a Scottish perspective - comes after the English news and is branded as just ‘regional’.
Substitute European Union for British Union, and imagine the outcry in England if it was announced that news programmes would now be broadcast from Brussels, but that English news would still be covered in regional bulletins following the main news. Rightly, the people of England would not tolerate such a move, yet predominantly English politicians and broadcasters think such a situation is acceptable for Scotland.
Think I’m going too far with this? Perhaps, then, you weren’t already aware that British Government documents, released under Freedom of Information legislation, show that when a ‘Scottish Six’ news programme was touted in the late 1990s, then prime minister Tony Blair and the then Director-General of the BBC, John Birt, actively worked together to ensure it never happened. What possible motive could a British prime minister and a British broadcaster have in preventing Scotland from having a news programme that reported Scottish national news and international stories from a Scottish perspective?
Well, if the Scots had their own ‘national’ news and were able to interpret world events in terms of how they related to Scotland, ‘the Jocks’ might actually start to believe they were a real nation: and if that happened, who knows where it could end. They might even get the daft idea that they could govern themselves, and before long England could have to face the reality of living without the Westminster Exchequer’s two biggest contributors, revenue from North Sea oil and the Scotch Whisky industry.
As Aleksandr the Meerkat might say, “It’s simples. ‘Regional’ Scottish news, ‘National’ (English) news from London, and lead stories about cricket keep the Scots in their subordinate place within the British Union.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
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