Sunny, bright, warmish and calm at the Castle this morn, the kitchen is slowly being cleared of ex-computers; the grass needs a cut and the Rover needs a wash…decisions, decisions…
Japanese workers battling to stop a radioactive water leak into the Pacific from the beleaguered nuclear power plant have resorted to using newspaper and sawdust to try and block the pipes.
TEPCO workers were using a polymer mixed with shredded paper and sawdust to try to close off pipes through which the water has flowed into a cracked concrete pit at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, from where it has run into the sea. An earlier attempt to seal the crack with cement failed to stop the leak.
"From the afternoon, the workers began pouring polymeric powder, sawdust, newspaper - things we could think of to clog up the holes," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency.
Silly Billy Hague said yesterday that there would be no ground invasion of Libya.
He said, "We're sticking very closely here to the United Nations resolution...which makes it very clear there must be no foreign occupation of any part of Libya and we will stick to that."
But Hague admitted "there have already been circumstances in which we've sent small Special Forces into Libya. We rescued people from the desert a few weeks ago as you will remember through doing that."
"So circumstances can arise where limit, such limited operations take place, but there is going to be no large-scale ground force placed in Libya by the United Kingdom," he said.
In addition, Hague reiterated there had been no decision to arm rebels in Libya.
"I'm not aware of any of our allies taking the decision to do that," he added.
Think I’ll print that out for future reference.
Minister for Employment Chris Grayling on why the Coalition is acting now to get hundreds of thousands off incapacity benefit
“There are hundreds of thousands of people - young and old - who have been claiming the benefit for a decade and more.
There are towns where one in six of the adult population is on incapacity benefit.
No one has even tried to ask whether there is something better that they can do with their lives.
For the manual labourer with a serious back problem - is there a non-manual alternative? For the office worker who has dropped out of work with chronic depression, can we rebuild their confidence and get back into employment?
First we need to find those we can help - so we will be reassessing 1.6 million people over the next three years.
Some 10,000 people a week will be asked to take part in a process that will look at what they can do, and what they can't do, and we will try to find a better alternative for them.
Of course there will be very many of those people who cannot work.
They will - and must - continue to receive unconditional and ongoing support from the state. Society would expect no less for some of its most vulnerable members.
But for those who are fit for work, or who have the potential to return to work, the process of helping them back into employment will start straight away.”
Launched on Friday, the Work Programme is the biggest back to work programme of its kind that this country has ever seen. Refusal to take part is not an option. If claimants refuse that help, they will lose their benefits.
Together with the introduction of our new Universal Credit, which will make sure people are always better off in work than on benefits, these plans aim to end Britain's benefits culture.
And these hundreds of thousands of jobs are going to come from……where?
You can read more about Chris Grayling BA (history) Here.
Most people want to work beyond the current official retirement age of 65, the Work and Pensions Secretary said.
Iain Duncan Smith made the remarks on the eve of a major overhaul of the UK’s pensions system which is designed to encourage people to save for their retirement.
He said that in order to meet European regulations, men and women would retire at the same time.
The age would rise to 66 for both sexes by 2020 - a move which could bring £14 billion into the Treasury's coffers, he said.
However Mr Duncan Smith said the Government was preparing to increase the retirement age further because people are living longer and "don't feel like retiring at 65".
All together now……….FUCK OFF!
The Wyoming town of Lost Springs can finally count on the Census to get its population correct: Four, not one.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the Census Bureau somehow missed four other residents of the town when it counted only one person in 2000.
The cause of that mistake wasn't clear. Leda Price, who lives on the west side of the 1-block Main Street, jokes that officials must have counted only her side of town.
The 2010 Census, however, got it right this time when it found and counted all four of Lost Springs' residents. The newspaper reports that since the 2000 survey, two residents died but a newcomer moved in.
The state highway department says it will change the town's population on signs.
The Census “Springs” eternal.
Tesco has become the first general retailer to start a used car buying website.
The supermarket giant claims it can offer low prices by controlling costs.
It will show detailed pictures of vehicles for sale - including any scrapes and dents - as well as a history report and fuel usage details.
It will not, however, give people the chance to test-drive vehicles. Instead, a video of the car being tested will be available for would-be purchasers.
Tesco says all vehicles will undergo a strict vetting process, including a mechanical inspection by the RAC.
The cars will come with a one month RAC warranty and the price will not be open to negotiation.
So if you fancy an old motor click Here, prices start at £3,000
A man who bought a used 300-foot Staten Island Ferry to convert it into a waterborne dorm for New York college students is drowning in a bad case of buyer's remorse.
Former marina owner Jacques Guillet bought the orange ferry for $162,000 at a closed-bid auction three years ago.
But he's failed to find an affordable parking spot along the area's waterfront for the 3,500-passenger boat, named the Gov. Herbert H. Lehman. The city wanted to charge him $1,000 a day.
Now he's paying $6,000 a month to dock it in Staten Island.
He tells The Wall Street Journal in Saturday editions that he's trying to sell the ferry. Any buyer would need to deal with complicated logistics, including the boat's size.
There were no bids when he advertised it on Ebay.
People with "Norman" surnames like Darcy and Mandeville are still wealthier than the general population 1,000 years after their descendants conquered Britain, according to a study into social progress.
Research shows that the descendants of people who in 1858 had "rich" surnames such as Percy and Glanville, indicating they were descended from the French nobility, are still substantially wealthier in 2011 than those with traditionally "poor" or artisanal surnames. Artisans are defined as skilled manual workers.
Drawing on data culled from official records that go back as far as the Domesday Book as well as university admissions and probate archives, Gregory Clark, a professor of economics at the University of California, has tracked what became of people whose surnames indicated their ancestors had come from either the aristocratic or artisanal classes.
By studying the probate records of those with “rich” and “poor” surnames every decade since the 1850s, he found that the extreme differences in accumulated wealth narrowed over time.
But the value of the estates left by those belonging to the “rich” surname group, immortalised in the character of Fitzwilliam Darcy, in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, were above the national average by at least 10 per cent.
In addition, today the holders of "rich" surnames live three years longer than average. Life expectancy is a strong indicator of socio-economic status.
Wonder where I come on the list?
That’s it: I’m orf to prepare for some interstellar travel
And today’s thought: from tricky Dicky Nixon- "Solutions are not the answer."