Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Clone “B” makes a promise: Free speech: Olympic clock-up: Big crustacean: Cheesed off at £20 rolling fee: Texas Numpty: and poisonous Toads.

I think I may have slept through spring and summer, it feels like autumn at the Castle this morn-warm-ish, misty and calm, the kitchen is empty of disadvantaged computers, the landline is unplugged, the mobile is off, the portcullis is down and the drawbridge is up.
I will have a day off….

The usual news from the land of the rising mushroom cloud, fires, explosions and more radiation; the UN is still talking about Libya: and one in three people going into hospital are at risk of malnutrition.
Nothing new there then.

Clone “B” has raised his head above the political parapet; Ed (stab em in the back) Miliband and Starey eyes Balls have made a promise that Labour will force a Commons vote on fuel prices on Wednesday in a bid to convince the government to cancel the VAT rise on petrol.
Starey eyes, who said it cost him £74.50 at the weekend to fill up his car, argued that the VAT rise on fuel could be cancelled using money from a renewed bankers' bonus, which raised £3.5 billion last year.

I won’t hold my breath.

According to the Torygraph:
A national newspaper always risks the accusation of special pleading when it calls for reform of the libel laws. In Britain today, however, it is the small publications, local newspapers and individuals who are hardest hit by the excessive costs of defending themselves in the courts, and are often forced to settle rather than contest cases they might otherwise win.

There is now general acceptance that these antiquated, unbalanced and illiberal laws are damaging this country's reputation for free speech. Frivolous actions are brought in order to shut down responsible journalism or stifle legitimate academic opinion. Punitive and disproportionate damages encourage overseas litigants to seek redress in the British courts for any perceived slight, a phenomenon known as "libel tourism". Our libel laws work against the interests of justice and a free press, a trend compounded by the alarming expansion of judge-made privacy law through the imposition of blanket reporting bans known as super-injunctions.

The publication yesterday of a draft Defamation Bill that seeks to address some (though not all) of these issues is, therefore, an important step towards correcting the flaws in the law. But it is only a first step. A new requirement that any allegedly defamatory statement must have caused "substantial harm" to a client's reputation before an action can proceed is particularly welcome. So, too, are the public interest safeguards to protect academics and others from being sued simply for expressing views – even if they are defamatory. The Government is to be congratulated for recognising the need for what would be the first wholesale reform of our libel laws since 1843. It now needs to make good these fine ambitions by guaranteeing parliamentary time for the legislation.’

Oh joy….

The electronic clock counting down the 500 days to the start of the 2012 London Olympics stopped on Tuesday in an embarrassing incident less than a day after it was unveiled in a glitzy launch.
The steel clock in London's Trafalgar Square ground to a halt at 500 days, seven hours, six minutes and 56 seconds, then began counting the wrong way before a technician arrived to repair it, an AFP reporter said.
Manufacturers Omega said in a statement: "We are obviously very disappointed that the clock has suffered this technical issue.
"The Omega London 2012 countdown clock was developed by our experts and fully tested ahead of the launch in Trafalgar Square.
"We are currently looking into why this happened and expect to have the clock functioning as normal as soon as possible."
Four British Olympic champions - rowers Pete Reed and Andy Hodge and sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson - unveiled the clock on Monday to mark the 500-day countdown to the opening ceremony.
Tickets for the Olympics went on sale to the public on Tuesday.

And so the embarrassment begins, maybe it needs a new battery?

One of the biggest and oldest lobsters ever caught in Britain has been saved from the pot and will live out the rest of its long life in an aquarium.
The massive crustacean measures close to one metre in length and weighs more than 4 kg.
“He’s a fantastic specimen and by his size alone he has got to be at least 50 years old,” said Lindsay Holloway of the Blue Reef aquarium in Portsmouth, southern England where the lobster now lives.
“He is an amazing creature and it’s quite an achievement to have reached such an impressive age,” he added.
The lobster was caught in around 14 feet of water by a compassionate angler fishing for sole in Bracklesham Bay, off the coast of West Sussex.
Lobsters are among the planet’s oldest inhabitants with fossil remains found dating back more than 100 million years. They are also extremely long-lived with some reaching ages of over 80 years.
The aquarium said the heaviest recorded crustacean is an Atlantic lobster nicknamed Mike who was caught in 1934 and tipped the scales at an awesome 19 kg.

You wouldn’t want that in amongst your crabs…..

Cheese-chasers have been told to fork out £20 to enter the traditional cheese-rolling race in Brockworth.

The historic Coopers Hill races - at which dozens of devil-may-care participants run down a one-in-two slope in pursuit of a runaway cheese – have been running for 200 years on a Spring Bank Holiday afternoon and have always been free.
However, organisers say that the event has become too popular for its own good, citing the record attendance of two years ago that caused traffic chaos and health and safety fears.
Officials were so concerned that last year’s event was cancelled, prompting locals to hold their own race.
The Cheese Rolling Committee is now transforming the race into a two-day festival in June costing £20 for adults and £15 for children.
Officials say the charge is necessary to cover the cost of health and safety measures such as fencing and security staff.

I’d pay twenty quid to watch a load of lunatics chasing cheddar down a hill, as long as there was plenty of blood and gore….

A Numpty bank robber who abided by a Dallas teller's request to provide two forms of identification before she could give him money is going to prison.
A judge sentenced 49-year-old Nathan Wayne Pugh of Sachse (SAK'-see) to more than eight years on Tuesday.
Pugh tried to hold up a Dallas Wells Fargo Bank in July. The teller stalled Pugh by telling him she needed to see two forms of ID. Pugh showed her his Wells Fargo debit card and a state ID card. He was captured as he tried to flee with $800.
Pugh pleaded guilty in October to a bank robbery charge. He was already on parole for two aggravated robberies.

How the hell did he live to the ripe old age of 49?

And finally:

Australia's popular Kimberley wilderness region has resorted to a long knee-high fence to keep out the poisonous cane toad, which is rapidly overrunning the tourist attraction.
A 1.25 mile barrier will be erected at Emma Gorge, made from cloth mesh to allow other animals to move through while keeping out the toads, prolific breeders which secrete a toxin that can kill pets and wildlife.
Stop the Toad Foundation campaign manager Kim Hands said hundreds of thousands of toads had penetrated the area, threatening native species.
"Experience in the past has been that it has been really efficient," she said of the fence.
The cane toad has spread widely in tropical Australia since being introduced to kill beetles in the 1930s, devouring insects, bird's eggs and native species such as the quoll, a catlike marsupial.

They should dig a long, deep trench, and then they would be “Toad in the hole”.

And today’s thought: If practice makes perfect . . . how do you explain taxi drivers?



Bernard said...

Doesn't it make you sick!
Old English (or British) customs have suddenly become dangerous after hundreds of years without interference.
Dwile flonking will now require safety specs and hi-viz jackets and heaven only knows if they will still allow Bog snorklelling?
It's all our fault Angus for discussing the safety aspects of lawnmower racing.
Elf 'n bloody safety.
Pass the sick bag. :)

Angus said...

It does Bernard the gorgonzola guzzler.

Next thing you know we will have to wear seat belts on trains and athletes will have to don steel-toe capped shoes without spikes, cooks will have to wear fireproof overalls, ejector seats will have to be installed in buses, all cars will have to have an inflated inner tube front and back, speed limits will be reduced to 10mph on motorways and ferries will have to carry a life boat for each passenger.

And don't mention lawnmowers, they will ban them.

My sick bag's bigger than your sick bag.......

Bernard said...

Is that wee picture on your comment
of you, in the middle of the castle lawn? :)
No wonder you need a racing ride-on mower! :o

And, if I may ask, why are you advertising "Stylish Ladies Boots"?
Are you 'into' boots and whips up at the castle? :)

Angus said...

'tis indded sad old fart Angus Bernard the microscope, I thought it was about time I " out came" and exposed myself to the public.

Hence the ad for kinky boots, needs must when the piggy bank is empty:)

mind you there is much worse in the dungeon........

James Higham said...

Right - I've got your card details now. I'm rich, I'm rich!

Angus said...

I do like an optimist James:)