Dull, damp, dingy and a definite lack of height in the liquid metal gauge at the Castle this morn, apparently the brats are about to start the endless “summer” holidays-oh joy, but it will give the butler oodles of new fat, carbon neutral teenagers for the furnace as non-summer approaches.
The interweb thingy is behaving-just.
As “work” on the
£3.5 bn £7bn ‘Queen
Elizabeth” class harrier-less aircraft carriers staggers on Defence Secretary
Phillip Hammond flew out in person to Fort Worth, Texas, for the official
handover ceremony of the first ‘F35 stealth fighter’ from its US manufacturer
According to Phil it’s "the best warplane money can buy" and at £100 million per pop is “is money well spent".
A few facts:
It is the heaviest and most expensive of the three versions of the plane, carrying a lift fan propulsion system for its "jump jet" capability, which it needs to land on the Royal Navy's new carriers.
The Harrier had a range of 300 nautical miles, for the F-35 it is 450 miles. While the Harrier could reach a speed of 650mph, the F-35 can fly much faster - more than 1,200mph.
The Harrier had no radar transparency or stealth capabilities, but the F-35 has both. Its acute angles and special coating make it difficult to detect on any enemy radar.
The US is spending around $400bn (£254bn) to buy 2,500 F-35s for the navy, air force and marine corps.
It is estimated that the total cost of buying, operating and maintaining the planes over the next 30 years will be $1tn.
The F35 - which will be called the "Lightning II" by the RAF and Royal Navy - is still a long way off from being battle ready.
Though British pilots have already been involved in the test flying programme, they will not be flying the plane off UK bases or the two new aircraft carriers until 2018.
And it is still not clear how many planes the UK will buy.
Mr Hammond has so far committed to purchasing only 48.
The good news:
The tail section of every plane is being made by BAE Systems. Overall the UK has a 15% share of the work, enough to sustain more than 20,000 jobs.
The hope at the Ministry of Defence is that, with time, the cost of the plane will come down and the technical problems will be resolved - and that, in the end, this will not go down in history as another expensive MoD mistake.
I do like an optimist...
The Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition sideboard is apparently up in arms after being ordered to use public transport rather than official Government cars to get to events at the London Games, The Independent has learnt.
Downing Street has banned ministers from taking cars altogether, fearing bad publicity if ministers are caught using special Olympic "ZiL" lanes (named after the limousine lanes used by Soviet leaders) while everyone else crams on to the Tube.
The Government has spent nearly £750,000 buying 8,815 Olympic tickets, including 213 for the opening ceremony, 143 for the closing ceremony and 257 athletics tickets.
Nearly £30,000 has been spent on diving tickets and a further £26,600 went on 411 beach volleyball tickets.
One Cabinet minister told The Independent: "This has caused a lot of ill-feeling and frankly some of us would rather not be going to anything at all.
"The rules are unbelievably draconian. We've basically been told we're on our own and have to look after our guests with no official support and we'll have to go by Tube as well.
Oh dear, what a shame....
Allegedly criminals arrested for offences such as minor assaults, theft and fraud could escape prosecution in the biggest shake-up of charging guidelines for 20 years.
It seems that prosecutors would take no further action on suspects if they do not believe it is “proportionate” to take them to court, under proposals published yesterday.
It would mean factors such as cost and the length of a likely trial being taken into consideration when deciding whether to charge an offender.
Prosecutors would even be asked to weigh such issues against the likely punishment a criminal would get if convicted.
Prosecutors would also need to consider “effective case management” to avoid “excessively, long and complex proceedings”. That could mean individuals on the edge of a complicated fraud case not being charged so prosecutors could concentrate on the key participants in a shorter trial.
So justice is to become “proportional” to the cost of prosecution-allegedly....
A dopey truck driver caused caused an enormous traffic jam after he spilled 24 tons of sardines onto the road because he forget to close the back door.
Motorists along the highway near Kolobrzeg, Poland, were held up for hours while workers cleared up the huge trail of fish which had been scattered for several hundred metres along both sides of the road.
Police say the fish came from a transporter driven by trucker Jakub Carowski, 26, who had failed to shut the back doors properly.
As well as a £50 fine, the driver has to fork out a further £5,000 to pay for clearing up the road.
An act of Cod, the scales of justice or just a pilchard?
In the town of Orange a new business is not welcome, and it's not because of what they're selling, it's because of their name.
"The name is Orange County Master Bait Shop," shop owner Michael DeClue said. DeClue says he chose it to be memorable. He says whatever innuendo people want to make out of it is their business.
The topic came up at Monday night's town council meeting. The town's mayor says there isn't much they can do, and they're happy to have him. "You're not in violation of any ordinance. God bless you for being in business in the town of Orange," Mayor Chuck Mason said.
That means the self-proclaimed "home of the fattest worm in town," will stay open.
"We're the only bait shop that makes its own chicken livers. We produce our own worms. We package our own worms, and that's what we do," DeClue said. "That's why we're a master bait shop."
Time to change hands methinks....
Police are on the lookout for a plump pig sculpture that was pilfered from a Detroit suburb are getting closer to finding the missing swine.
The Garden City Downtown Development Authority said Thursday that those possibly responsible for taking the shiny, red sculpture known as "Willy" or "Willie" last month led them to near Mallard Lake. It's in Livingston County's Green Oak Township, about 35 miles northwest of Detroit.
The base of the sculpture was found in a field along with other fragments. Police say they believe the pig also was ditched in the area, but someone else took it away.
The $6,000-plus sculpture titled "Cochon Rouge" by artist Sophie Marie had been leased to the Downtown Development Authority for two years.
A $500 reward is being offered in the case.
Two bidders fought it out over the telephone for the slice of white toast which is believed to have been served to Prince Charles on the morning of his wedding to Diana Spencer. It went under the hammer at Charles Hanson Auctioneers overnight.
The winning bidder paid $350 for the 30-year-old memento.
A spokeswoman for the auction house said: "The slice of toast went to a UK buyer. There were two telephone bidders fighting it out for the slice. It was exciting.
The slice of toast was sold on behalf of Rosemarie Smith, from Derby.
She took it from a tray after visiting her daughter at Buckingham Palace just hours before the royal wedding.
The 83-year-old said: "At the time my daughter was a maid at the Palace and one of her duties was to collect Prince Charles's breakfast tray from outside his room.
"I was with her in the corridor and saw that Prince Charles had left some toast on the tray. I had been thinking about a keepsake from the wedding and saw the toast and thought to myself 'Why not?"'
She kept the toast in a cup on a shelf at home until the last year wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton made her curious about its value.
Now she knows; you could almost buy a whole loaf for £222.83 ($350) dahn Tesco’s....
That’s it: I’m orf to wake up a few NEETS
And today’s thought:
F35 test flight
F35 test flight