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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

The EU wishes for a new dark age

This is Linz, where Mozart stopped over last evening. If you need some relaxation this morning, the clip is for you:

During that journey, I couldn’t help but reflect that the idea of a free travel zone for visiting only is an excellent idea and possibly what was behind many of the yes votes in 1973. The idea of a trade zone which does not exclude the rest of the world is also good.

I look at that driver in the clip and think he’s not a lot different to me, the town is the sort of town I’m used to, maybe more beautiful, everything is quiet and orderly, as I like it. Why on earth would I wish to go to war with these people of Linz? I like the whole place.

Yet we were at war. The people responsible for turning one people against another, for appealing to the worst aspects of patriotism, were and still are Them.…


Not going to mention the Airbus crash, for fear of upsetting Ivan. Speaking of flying craft which strain to stay aloft – uh huh:


NASA has successfully tested a new space drive that doesn’t use a propellant and shouldn’t work, at least according to the laws of physics, according to a story that broke in Wired.UK. The drive, called the Cannae Drive, worked in the NASA directed test, defying physics.

Danica Patrick needs to be seen in context


This one was sent by one of the lads and my first thought was oh no, here we go again. The feminists are going to be shrill about how good she is and she can mix it with the boys, the boys are going to say what utter BS and point to her record, the feminists are then going to point to the carefully written Wiki record and by posting this, I’ll be called misogynist.…

Sidelights on tech

Gamester Al Lowe reminisces about Sierra. Greed has been a theme in the past few days at N.O.:

The company was going great and literally had a 28 percent market share. In other words, 28 cents out of every dollar spent on entertainment software for home computers in the US went to Sierra. They had a tremendous product line in all aspects of entertainment home software, all kinds. That was the company that Ken and Roberta [Williams] literally started on their kitchen table and built to a billion-dollar market capitalization company.

One of Ken’s board members on a Monday morning called and said, “I’m gonna stage a hostile takeover of your company and I’m gonna offer 50 percent more than the going price of the stock. If you fight me, every stockholder in the country will file a lawsuit against you for not accepting this wonderful offer from me.” It was like, “Okay, I guess you’re in charge now.”…

Why Jeremy Clarkson is walking straight into an ambush

UPDATE: Delingpole

No doubt the Clarkson thing has long become tedious but then again:

1. New tidbits come out every so often;
2. The Beeb itself and how it operates now appears to be on the line.

This has implications now for the Beeb and PC land, it’s going to blow open. In a three-way discussion with Chuckles and haiku, the former wrote:

The moots will come down to why the BBC acted before any investigation, and why they cancelled the shows immediately, and why the punished viewers by cancelling the broadcast of already recorded programmes. i.e. pure ‘erasing from history’ in good communist fashion.

In fact, what we have here is the Beeb set-up, system of operation and luvvie law on the line and licence payers are therefore involved.…

Car thieves please note …


But 4x4s Prove to Be a Popular Target for Thieves in 2014 Reports TRACKER

As owners of new cars take delivery of their latest pride and joy this March plate change, stolen vehicle recovery expert TRACKER is putting the spotlight on thieves’ top targets. According to the latest figures from TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation), the BMW X5 is still the favourite among car crooks, topping its most stolen and recovered table again 2014 for the sixth year in a row.

Last year TRACKER recovered over £11 million worth of stolen vehicles and returned them to their owners. The average value of cars stolen and recovered in 2014 increased by over 8%, hitting £25,600, compared to £23,600 in 2013.

For the past three years, BMW models have dominated the top 10, but 2014 saw an increase in the range of Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover marques being stolen and recovered.…

Clarkson – bansturbators at it again


He should do the decent thing and resign.

So writes Guardianista PCist Deborah Orr [pictured]. Why? What has he done wrong? Reports are saying it was because the crew had been on location all day, apparently without tea, coffee, water, they’d come off and were usually then fed.

But the producer had failed to provide. On every other occasion, it seems, it was provided. This looks very much like a stitch-up to me. Just what did that producer actually say to provoke such an extreme reaction?

Perhaps suspension for the swing is right for some weeks but the producer should also be suspended, pending investigation into what he’d actually done. Does seem a stitch-up to me. And if that producer had failed to do his job and have the eats there for the team – why?…

Where are the Brits?

Have a look at this one:

Admittedly the Americans aren’t there either but where are the Brits?

Alright, now the outright world record on water:

Have a look at the end when the engineer is interviewed – he’s British.

Where the hell are the Brits competing for these things, at the cutting edge? Some say the Brits are best at passage making, so let’s look at this.

There are certainly Brits on there – in 2002, 2003. What’s happened since then?

Let’s look at some of the premier global races. The Vendée Globe. Volvo Round the World.

America’s Cup. Everyone remembers the last one – the Americans won but who was their tactician and semi-skipper? GBR’s Ben Ainslie.

Britain used to be cutting edge, even until the early noughties – where is Britain now? Why are we not up there? Oh we are – at the Proms:

Plus Wiggins and TdF, plus all those medals at Olympics 2012 but the point still stands – look at football.…

The noble Quest

Edge I

The tragedy of a noble mind o’erthrown. This starts politically but then moves onto sport.

Chuckles, naturally, would point to the Australian government kicking out the entire CSIRO board and if you check this link, it’s Watt’s Up, which of course is therefore on the topic of climate change.

OK. In a nutshell, these global warming alarmists have been given the royal order of the boot and they’re not happy, being the Labor appointed cartel they are.

That’s one issue but what causes me chagrin is the head of that organization is one Simon McKeon. Having been away from Oz affairs for so long, I wondered if he was related in some way to the champion sailor of the 80s to the noughties.

Yep, it was. Such a pity, as I’ve followed his sailing exploits, not his political. Known as Australian of the year in some year in Wiki, he was also part of the Macquarie team which held the water speed record for some time and was first to clock over 50 knots – as a sailor, might I just say here that that is bloody fast.…

Like a virgin, pressed for the very first time

oleumsalutisfructusIn a nutshell:

Olive oil scam – UK
Olive oil scam – US
Is this one OK?
Don’t cook with it
Another article on same
Use rapeseed

Look for:

1.  Opaque container kept cool
2.  States extra-virgin
3.  States which crop
4.  Is far more expensive – don’t stint

Be careful of:

1. Bertolli
2. Carapelli
3. Colavita
4. Filippo Berio
5. Mazzola
6. Mezzetta
7. Supermarket oils

Doesn’t mean they’re bad but if not sure, go more expensive.

[H/T Chuckles for one of the links]…

The appalling aesthetics of supposedly up-market machinery today


If you didn’t recognize the protruding steering wheel hub, you might be forgiven for thinking this a 70s or 80s Ford or the wrap-over vinyl and plastic dash might suggest, say, a Passat or Volvo.  Actually, it’s the latest Roller.

The rear quarter window treatment, something BMW are able to get right, RR just can’t seem to manage and as for the overall tinny look now as all cars on the market move towards a mediocre middling design, it’s soul-sapping.  There’s no excitement, style, elegance any more.

The Bentley we disposed of yesterday – if you look at the rest of their range, there IS no elegant flagship any more – it’s all this pseudo-racy stuff with swirls and go-fasts.

Mercedes are not immune either:

tacky merc

The word is bland, same as all the others.  it could be Kia or Hyundai, the front below-grill treatment is plastic in the worst way – OK on a £20,000 care but not on an E-class.…

The woodburning stove


It was this article that prompted me to write this, it prompted comments ranging from those that condemned the writer as simply incompetent to those of the fanboy brigade who would never have a wood burner other than make things trendy and miserable.

Like the AGA wood burning or multi fuel stoves have become a must have in many houses, as much for the sake of them being there as a status as for any practical use.

In some cases very expensive Scandinavian “alien” looking ones that are suspended from the ceiling by their chimneys and have never seen a log of wood in anger, the photos give the game away as they are situated in totally impractical places with no provision for wood storage nor any protection for the surrounding area from any sparks nor hot ash that might come from the door when opened with a fire going, but of course in those cases, that never happens.…