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Showing posts from 2013

You did it! Or... did you?

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The tragedy that the town of Lac Mégantic in Québec is going through is beyond human understanding. The impact in the media has been downplayed by other news including the crash landing of Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco Airport and a Piper Club light aircraft that crashed in Alaska with two families on board with no survivors. Even the town's official website is "in shock" and denial without the prominence this catastrophic event should have on their pages.
The news of Lac Mégantic started with ONE casualty only. This was on Saturday morning, five days ago. Then 3, 5, 15 and now 50 unaccounted for because they were apparently "vaporised" by the intensity of the fireball that ensued after the crash. Vaporised... gone! And that is the horror of downplaying this... had a bus full of tourists (50!) crashed down a ravine into the crater of Mauna Loa, with everyone vaporised in seconds, this would have been an event to remember forever. This one isn't. Why? A …

Under Cover

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Today, David Cameron is ordering yet another investigation about another State owned Organisation, this time the Metropolitan Police. And in a few weeks (or years), he will appear on television directly from Westminster, in front of his peers and people to say once again "... and for that we are extremely sorry!"

The Metropolitan Police has been on the news twice this week regarding activities that no honest law abiding citizen would even dream to contemplate, namely Stephen Lawrence's family smear attempt and the McDonalds McLibel.

I will leave you with a declaration from their spokesperson:
"At some point it will fall upon this generation of police leaders to account for the activities of our predecessors, but for the moment we must focus on getting to the truth."
Unfortunately I have the feeling that, as I write these words, the above statement will be used again by the next generation of police leaders.

Soylent Green

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When I read the recent news about the horse meat scandal it always crops to my mind the movie I saw 40 years ago, fantastic, science fiction at the time, but as the years go by, looking more and more like reality. The movie is Soylent Green. Here's a brief synopsis taken from IMDB.

In the year 2022, the population has grown to 40 million people in New York City alone. Most housing is dilapidated and overcrowded, and the homeless fill the streets and line the fire escapes, stairways of buildings, abandoned cars, subway platforms, etc. Unemployment is at around 50%. Summers are oppressively hot and humid with temperatures over 90F during the day and night due to Earth's recent climate change resulting from the Greenhouse Effect. Food as we know, it in present times, is a rare and expensive commodity. Most of the World's population survives on processed rations produced by the massive Soylent Corporation, including Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow, which are advertised as "…

Coverupland

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At the end of the 19th century a famous Portuguese writer, journalist and diplomat Eça de Queiroz, wrote these words regarding his contemporaries: "In our democracies the aim of the majority of people is to obtain in seven lines utter praise from the newspapers. In order to get those blessed seven lines in print, men and women will resort to any kind of deeds — even good ones."These words could have been written yesterday. They could also be adapted to present life in general with the amount of bad news we see on a daily basis... "In order to get those blessed targets, men and women will resort to any kind of deeds — even legal ones." It is the Lance Armstrong principle. In order to win, a race, a conviction, a pip in LIBOR, an investigation to a football disaster, a target in an hospital, a cheaper lasagna, a knighted broadcaster, perverting the course of justice... people will use the law to interpose and nullify (as Martin Luther King said 50 years ago) any sense…

Perverse

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The famous phrase "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" by William Congreve has been fully applied today. Chris Huhne got the full blast of it this morning as he found no option but to plead guilty on an original miser speeding offence of £60.00. His scorned wife blew the whistle a couple of years ago, when found out he was having an affair and suddenly vividly remembered her civic duty.  She had "been coerced" to sign a declaration regarding a speeding offence that took place 10 years before!!!

Funnily enough, the sanctimonious brigade, including media, police and the rest jumped on this "horrific" fact to give Mr. Huhne a well deserved punishment. If he gets a custodial sentence (as some media are already mentioning it is worth life imprisonment) Mr. Huhne will become technically a political prisoner for a mere £60.00 fine. Perversion at its best.
Today he came clean, literally, pleading guilty and by doing so, becoming cleaner than all characters invo…

The "Pimp"?

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The news this morning, and the ripples throughout the day in Europe, were the unsurprising, postponed and expected speech of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron on "his" country "approach" to the European Union. A lot of argumentation and speculation thrived about this subject in the past few days regarding the role of the United Kingdom in Europe and how this role is perceived by the "Continentals". Mr. Cameron's speech did not make him any favours to change or get any sympathy from them. The main message I got from all the comments about this speech, is that David Cameron wants some leverage, a bit of bartering on the future of his European view (and his voters), a view that is diverging more and more from the project the Continentals want to build.
For this he used nationalist language and feelings. Also some snobbery, superiority and other epithets of what makes British people so good and different and, because of that, so undeserving of the fate a…

The Carbon (Bigfoot) Print

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In 1990 I attended a conference on photovoltaic energy in Lisbon. I was managing a farming project that was 10 miles away from the Portuguese National grid and solar panels looked an enticing proposal to supply the energy needs for that farm.
I entered a room where an ongoing lecture was taking place. A scientist was presenting a slide show plus acetates on a Overhead Projector (remember those times?) explaining the virtues of solar energy and somehow in the middle of his lecture he made (and displayed) this amazing statement: "Your solar panel costs may be recovered in less than 5 years!!!"
I had to raise my hand! I had my doubts, serious doubts. "Are you sure? 5 years?" I asked. "Yes!" he replied "As little as 5 years". "How can that be possible?" I insisted. And his reply stuck ingrained in my memory forever "If a solar panel costs $1,000 and after 5 years it gives you back $1,000 in energy then you have recovered your costs!&quo…

Invisible

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Almost forgotten now and definitely invisible, two (yes not one but TWO) Big Issue sellers were stabbed to death at 6pm (yes 6pm not 6AM) in Birmingham in front of high street and high public attendance shops of Sainsburys and Boots, in front of everyone, in front of CCTV, in front of passers-by, where everyone turned a blind eye because they were not worthy, invisible to all.
Gone now from a life on the fringe of society, poverty, homelessness and other addictions.
I leave you their names, because they had one, they were people like you and I. Who knows which one of us will become a Big Issue seller on a street next to you... It is not a profession one chooses to have.
Wayne Lee Busst (aged 32) Ian Watson Gladwish (aged 31)
RIP at last.

Mine, Mine! All Mine!!! mwoahahahahah!

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"I have a cunning plan..." — Baldrick



Following my previous post regarding the paperless proposal for 2013, it would appear that companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple have this good heart and green thumb, respect the environment (allegedly) and offset carbon footprints on a daily basis. They entice you to use their Cloud services with the Drive, SkyDrive and iCloud. However they have been around for decades and, by a "strange" coincidence, are the biggest and richest companies in the world... with your money. What is in it for them with this new appeal for "going paperless", to "save trees"? What is the Masterplan? Because there is one, I can assure you!
It starts like this... you upload everything to The Cloud now... for FREE!!



For FREEEEEE??????!!! Sounds good to MEEEEEEEEE!!!

You have everything up there! Saved a lot of trees! Oooh.. bliss!

However... firstly, by reading the agreements of the 3 companies, you will notice that they use the sam…

The Cloud (cough, cough)

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Google's New Year resolution consists of pushing through the Paperless Coalition, stating that it saves trees and is best for the environment. They say it is better to read online, and store everything online as "if you’re up for saving time, money and trees, going paperless might be a good goal for you in 2013".

This is not true at all, not even two out of three like Meat Loaf's song. It is only one out of three, you save time. The other two, money and trees are wishful thinking and heart warmth.

Google muscles up some figures as... a single search uses only 1KJ (0.0003KWh, or a 60W lightbulb on for 17 seconds) and making some silly comparisons with orange juice and cars. In the meantime, Google continuously sucks 260MW of power, equivalent to a quarter of the output of a standard nuclear plant. However, something has been quietly omitted on these numbers, something is missing... have you spotted it? No? If not, take a look at this advert first (concentrate on the fir…

A Tale of Two Islands

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The news today is again old news. The Malvinas-Falklands discussion has been put back on the front page with the same old rhetoric from both sides. The arguments from the UK are pretty much the same and everyone is getting very inflamed and using words like self determination, "desire to remain British" and referendum.
I have one word to David Cameron... Chagos!
Tale 1
In the end of the 1960's (yes 1960!!! not 1860!!!) 2,000 "self-determined" islanders were deported from the Chagos Archipelago in a way that would have made Stalin proud. This was done in such style and in the quiet, so a nowadays still active and permanent USA air base could be built in Diego Garcia, for nuclear bombers purposes. The strategic value has increased after 9/11 with uses for Afghanistan air raids, renditions and to take a closer look (but not too close) to Iran. It is at present the most secretive place on Earth, and makes Guantanamo Bay look like an holiday resort.

The Chagossians were…