Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Black Hole Easts Star + More On New Supernova In M101

Swift J1644+57 is streaming out radiation. It is thought that this is due to to a previously dormant black hole swallowing a star. [Very bad for the star ;-)]

And here is more information on the Type Ia supernova in M101.

And if you look here you will find some notes on how to observe it!

See Also:  http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-supernava.html

Spooks on the Beeb?

This show on Radio 4 may interest some conspiracy theorists or spook watchers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013q209.

However I seem to remember another program that was trailed earlier today which may interest you more, but I'm damned if I can find it on the BBC web site! Perhaps it is too far in the future!

Or maybe there is a conspiracy to stop listeners finding it!

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Bridges Of Madison County ...

... Have they all been swept away by the flooding from Irene?

9/11 Conspiracy Theories - 10 Years On (BBC Documentary)

If, like me, you have an interest in conspiracy theories, then you could do worse than watching 'The Conspiracy Files - 9/11 10 Years On' on BBC2 at 9:00pm tonight.

In my opinion, if there was a conspiracy, then it would have to be a small neo-con one to make sure that the various intelligence streams were never co-ordinated so the attacks were not predicted and possibly stopped, giving the US an excuse to invade Iraq in an attempt to secure lucrative oil deals for companies backing the neo-cons. With luck this could have been carried out with 2 or 3 intelligence officials in the right places and a small group of senior neo-cons, making it small enough to keep secret for 10 years.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

What Caused The Lewis Hamilton Crash At Spa?

In today's Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps, Lewis Hamilton had a 'coming together' with Kobayashi. Some pundits suggest that Kobayashi should have backed off a bit, while others feel that Hamilton should not have drifted to the left to gain the ultimate racing line for the following right-hander.

Whether Kobayashi should have backed off bit is open for debate, but he had nowhere to go when Hamilton drifted to the left. Hamilton's actions need a little analysis. The pictures indisputably show him moving to the left, but the pictures from the on-board camera show that he did not move the steering wheel to turn that way. Could ayrodynamic interaction between the two vehicles effectively 'sucked' the two cars together, causing the crash? I think that this possibility should be investigated to prevent any future occurance of this (if indeed it did happen in the first place).

Will The 2012 Olympics Be A Sporting Disaster For The UK?

So far the 2011 World Athletics Championship, the European 3 Day Event Championship and a number of the  pre-Olympic 'practice events' seems to show that the 2012 Olympic Games, that are costing the UK an arm and a leg to put on and are likely to turn London into one huge car park, could well be a sporting disaster.

Strikes me that pressure to produce results in the Olympic year is already taking its toll on the UK competitors, both physically and mentaly.

Why did we bid for this? Is it too late to give it to France?

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/07/please-dont-come-to-olympics.html

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Villa Sell Another Good Player

Well we're still selling off our good players! Now Luke Young has gone to QPR on a 3 year deal.

While Luke may find this a bad deal if the SuperHoops go straight back down next year, it still worries me that Villa are still selling with little likelihood of buying any replacements.

Is Randy Lerner trying to extract money out of Villa, or is there something deep going on here that I am unable to fathom

At least we managed a draw with Wolves today to stay near the top of the Premiership. How long we can stay there remains to be seen.

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/07/villa-winger-replacement.html

Come On Irene!

Well, well! Maybe the earth tremor has made people in New York nervous.

By the time Irene gets there, I would be highly surprised if it was more than severe gale 9 or gale 8. (Windy, but not earth shattering).

These sort of tropical storms are fueled by warm tropical waters. Unless the gulf stream is a lot warmer than normal, there is more likelihood of damage in the British Isles than in New York from the remnants of this hurricane! (Especially if it hits land in North Carolina as anticipated, because as soon as it starts going over land it loses energy quickly).

Friday, 26 August 2011

New Supernova In M101

New Supernova spotted in Ursa Major (in M101, the 'Pinwheel Galaxy).

Link to more details soon. (Here are the promised links:


As it is relatively close, it may allow us to calibrate the brightness-distance ratio for Type IA supernovas (which are being used as 'standard candles' for measuring distances to distant galaxies ) to get more info on Dark Energy (if it exists).

Again from mobile - no spell check!

Should People Who Hand Themselves In Afer The Riots Be Sentanced Heavily?

Why are people who may have participated in the 'Riots', who hand themselves in and have no 'previous', who did not break into a property, but merely walked into an already wrecked property and took an item, often of low(ish) value, being made an example of?

Is this because the people who are punishing them are rather to the right of centre? Or perhaps they are so disapproving of the riots that they are putting their foot down? Otherwise they may be being influenced by the statements of members of the government who are calling for these harsh sentences?

While justice should be swift, it should still be measured!

Posted via e-mail from my mobile with no spell checking

When You Get Older, You Should Become More To The Right In Politics.

I seem to be bucking the trend.

I'm in my 50s, and I think that Mark Steel should be PM and Andy Hamilton (playing 'Old Harry') should be his deputy!

Could I have become an Anarchist as I have got older?

Damn thing is I believe in Pyramidal Democracy (with people at the top being able to be voted out by people in the bottom tier), which makes me sound like some sort of Communist!

I vote Lib Dem, but wish they would lose Clegg and go back to what their grass roots believe in!

All spelt wrong as it has come from my mobile via e-mail (and I don't use predictive text).

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Steve Jobs Steps Down As CEO Of Apple - Fanbois Mourn

Steve Jobs is having to step down as CEO of Apple (while remaining chairman) due to failing health. The poor guy has gone through so much ill heath in recent years that I feel that it is a little unfair that he has had a relapse or come down with something else.

However the markets seem to hate the news. They probably remember when he last wasn't in day to day charge of new developments and Apple nearly went belly up.

If this event stops the insufferable smugness of the Apple 'Fanbois' then I will be forever grateful.

The Tunnels Under Tripoli - For Escape Or Insurgency?

There are press rumours of a vast network of tunnels under Tripoli. It is being suggested that Col. Gadhafi is hiding down there, in a sort of 'city under the city'.

Could this tunnel system be neither an escape route or a final bolt hole, but a means of transporting men and matériel around the city, popping up, engaging it a quick firefight, then dropping down into the tunnels again. If this is true, it will make keeping control of Tripoli the Devil's own job! The NTC may have to set up an army of tunnel rats to deal with this tunnel network (if it even exists).

The Wisdom Of Scot Addams - Updated 25/8/11

Just look here:


and here:



And here is a financial conspiracy theory:


Something From Forbes (I'm Only Passing This On As it Comes From Forbes!)

Please Check this out. Forbes is a reliable source, but it seems a bit odd that this comes from them. Rather too left of centre to be their normal fare!


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Legal Differences - If You Are A Youth, Should You Be Named?

Why is it that a youth who kills another under 16 year old in a London park can not be named, but someone of the same age who posts on Facebook that people should riot in Bangor (possibly) is named in a Worcester court? What is going on here! The riot did not happen, but the other guy was murdered. Which one do you think should be named?

This seems wrong!

This Weeks Audience

This map shows this weeks audience for this blog (the darker the colour, the higher the audience):

Could Star Trek Happen?

A ring of antimatter has been discovered encircling the earth. This has lead to speculation that it could be harvested and used to power a high speed space vessel a la Star Trek! See this article in Astronomy Now.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Libya - Can You Trust The News?

The conflict in Libya is dominating the news media at the moment. But can you trust what is being said?

In a situation of civil war it is obvious that the pronoucements of both sides is likely to be subject to at best an element of propaganda. Many independant journalists are reduced to impotence by the heavy fighting in Tripoli (keeping them in their hotel basement), the phone and power networks being at least partially down, and the general fog of war.

I mean:
  • was Saif Gaddafi really captured by Transitional Council forces? 
  • Was it his double that that was captured, or was it a double that was seen around the compound or on TV last night? 
  • Was he rescued? 
  • Are special forces on the ground (possibly only in an advisory capacity) in Libya? 
  • Have rebel forces taken Gaddafi's compound? 
  • Have the Gaddafi forces gone into insurgency mode?

Until we have credible independently verified reports from the country, I feel that we should take all the news from Libya with a pinch of salt (the size of which should be determined by the reader's good sense).

 By e-mail from mobile (hence no spell check).

But tarted up later!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Where Crimes Happen

Crimes happen where neighborhoods where poor people live rub up against high income areas.

Perhaps "Gentrification" may not be the best policy.

Worcester Lose to Holland!

As a lifetime Worcestershire supporter (and a huge Dolly fan, old guys like me will remember him), I am flabbergasted that we lost to the Netherlands!
This is not right!

Red Arrows Crash

This is really unfortunate.

I do hope it was a bird strike or a mechanical failure and the pilot stayed with the plane to stop it crashing into residential properties.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

I'm getting old

I seem to prefer listening to the radio above watching the telly!

Big Brother

Why, oh why, oh why have Channel 5 resurrected this steaming heap of excrement?

I do hope it gets minimal viewing figures!

Then it may be put away for good.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Two Things - A Bit Of Economics

A. If the Chinese try to build lots of new buildings to bring people in from the countryside and increase internal demand, who is going to provide the food to feed them?

B. If the Eurozone can not find a way out of their financial crisis it may be that they have to find some way for them to to have a way to become some sort of federal state. Perhaps by pyramidal democracy?

Via e-mail from my mobile

The Riots in Croydaon - The Response From Crystal Palace FC

Crystal Palace (the professional football team based the closest to Croydon), are giving away 1000 thickets to their home game against Blackpool on the 27th of August.

The tickets are going to the people who have been the most affected by the riots in Croydon on the 9th August (homes destroyed, businesses trashed, etc.) and members of the emergency services who helped them on that night.

I commend their altruism and community spirit, especially as they are not the most wealthy of football clubs.

Oh, I'm an Aston Villa supporter in case you were wondering.

Please do the poll above before it expires.

Seychelles Shark Attack

Unfortunately the Seychelles seem to have attracted a rogue shark which has attacked a couple of swimmers, killing at least one. Probably a bull or tiger shark. Just possibly a great white.

This is very unfortunate.

Perhaps the Seychelles has accidentally got themselves twinned with Amity Island!

Monday, 15 August 2011

August Riots - Cameron's Smoke Screen For The Economy? (A Conspiracy Theory)

David Cameron and his advisors are saying good 'ole Dave is on safe ground going on about Britain's broken society (he's been doing it for the last 5 years). They think the sort of speech he put out today will increase his popularity.

If the government want to increase their flagging popularity, pave the way for a limited U-turn on spending cuts to the Tories' favorite areas of expenditure (police, prisons), and deflect the public's attention away from the terrible state of the economy and the lack of growth that is likely to happen, wouldn't a countrywide set riots and looting be a good ploy? If everyone is focused on the riots, the Conservatives will be able to go on about Law and Order (traditionally one of their big themes), nobody will notice the economy going to heck in a hand-basket, and News International can fade into the background (Labour were getting good mileage out the phone hacking scandal).

So the riots look good for the government at the moment. Did they set them in motion? I doubt we will ever know.

(WARNING: Conspiracy Theory)

August Rioting - Political Sound-bites Begin

Now the rioting has finished, politicians are falling over each other to produce what I call the 'sound-bite policies', knee-jerk outpourings that will produce, if implemented, totally lousy laws.

How about removing benefits from people who have convicted of looting, but get a non-custodial sentence? Seems to me a fine way of getting them to commit more thefts or robberies!

Or how about evicting the parents of children suspected of participating in the riots from their council housing? The only person that this has happened to yet is a devout church-going woman who has had no contact with her son, who is suspected of rioting, for several years. Seems like a good call.

Calls for a public inquiry are equally naive, as such an inquiry will take for ever to reach a conclusion (the equivalent of kicking it into the long grass) and may well get 'hijacked' by the government (who will make sure it is chaired by someone is 'sound' and 'one of us').

Left wing politicians are saying that it is the high unemployment rates and lack of opportunities in inner city areas. Right wing politicians go on about lack of moral values, rampant criminality, the inability of single mothers to raise their children, and lazy, greedy unemployed people. Both (as politicians in the centre are just mumbling into their beards) are probably right and therefore both are indubitably wrong, for to only see part of the answers is to see no answers at all. If you only see answers that fit your political views, you are not going to be able fix the underlying problems, and that is worse than useless. "There is none so blind as he who will not see."

See Also:

Sunday, 14 August 2011

UK Riots - The Statistical View

Well if you want to look at the stats behind the the recent riots in the UK, you should listen to this program: More or Less. And listen too the NPR show they got a bit from as well Planet Money!

Or If you would like to hear a phone in on the causes on the London Riots, try listening to this:  The Best of Vanessa (even though Vanessa was off this week).

And if you may like to check out Panorama on the Beeb on the 15th.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

After The Riots - Check This Out

I noticed an advert on this blog for something called "Capitalism is the Crisis". In order to fulfill the the advertising rules I searched using good 'ole Google and found what I assume to be the site (http://capitalismisthecrisis.net). I has to do with some forthcoming documentary on the world financial crisis, the austerity measures that are being applied and the protests against such measures.

Even if it turns out to be a load of far left socialistic claptrap, the fact that the austerity measures are being touted as possibly a part of the reasons behind the riots in the UK, suggests to me that this documentary and the ideas that it promulgates should not be dismissed out of hand. You may like to check it out and make up your own mind.

Sporting Congratulations

Firstly may I congratulate the England Test Team on a splendid victory over India (England v India score card). This win places England at the top of the ICC test standings (however accurate you think these may be). It is unfortunate that India have played so poorly  in this series so far (poor warm up, too much T20 cricket in the IPL, series too close to the one in the West Indies - take your pick on what you think the reason is). Well, congrats again to England for topping the ICC test standings.

Also congratulations to Aston Villa for playing out a boring 0 - 0 draw against Fulham. At least they didn't loose!

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/07/villa-winger-replacement.html

RIP Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson, presenter of the quiz 'Ask the Family', the panel game 'Call My Bluff' and the viewers comment program 'Points Of View' has passed away at the age of 83.

Via e-mail from my mobile, (but later tarted up on my laptop).

Friday, 12 August 2011

Pictures Of The Aftermath Of Riots In Croydon - London Road - London Riots

A pawnbrokers on the corner of London Rd and Oakfield Rd, burnt out in the riots

This was a Ladbrooks & a convenience store prior to the riots

The pub I was in during the unrest (above photo 50m south)

The most unfortunate banner in Croydon!

I think that the rioters burnt out the buildings to destroy forensic evidence, or just possibly just because they liked to see the flames!

Please do the questionnaire above!

Does FALCON Crash Rule Out The Existance Of AURORA?

DAPRA have lost their new toy, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), over the Pacific yesterday.

While the press have been touting this variously as a hypersonic cruise missile technology testbed or a test device for a transport that can get anywhere in the world in under an hour (possibly a one way special forces deployment system). However I think it would make a fine reconnaissance or spy plane even in its unmanned form.  

If it is some form spy plane drone, does this mean that AURORA does not exist? If AURORA does exist, Falcon would seem to be a very expensive disinformation program in order to 'prove' the hypersonic AURORA does not exist (especially given this crash). Or is it going to be AURORA's unmanned replacement?

Or am I just spouting a load of conspiracy theory horse manure?

What Did Cause The Riots ...

The riots seem to be over (changes in police tactics, visible punishments, rain, you can take your pick which was the most important in their ending).

In their wake we need to find out why the riots took place in the first place. There are a number possible causes:
  • The death of Mark Duggan (personally I think that this may have been a contributory factor in the events in Tottenham, but not the later riots),
  • Organized gang crime,
  • Poor people reacting against the austerity measures,
  • A feeling that if the rich and politicians could get away with improprieties, then we should be able to get away with it too,
  • People just wanted a ruck,
  • Youth boredom and lack of youth facilities,
  • Greed,
  • Police relations (or lack thereof) with minority cultures,
  • A loss of moral values and bad parenting,
  • A feeling of disconnection from politicians and political processes and hence disenfranchisement,
  • Massive inflation on necessities,
  • Unemployment and lack of economic growth,
  • All of the above.
Whatever the real reason(s) for the riots, it/they must be discovered (if only to prevent them from reoccurring), and politicians and the press must not be allowed to manipulate any inquiry process that may take place to 'prove' that it was 'all the fault of [enter simplistic reason here] , and these draconian measures will cure everything', and subvert it too their own ends!

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/08/broken-britian-becomes-sick-as-growth.html

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Broken Britain Becomes Sick As Growth Forecast Falls To 1.4%

David Cameron said Britain has moved from 'Broken' to 'Sick' in a typical politicians sound-bite utterance in relation to the riots that had broken out all over London, as well as in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Medway, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Leicester, Gloucester, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich. (Link to Wikipedia entry on the riots)

Earlier in the day Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, had downgraded the UK growth forecast to 1.4%. In this, I personally believe that he is being very optimistic.

The economic circumstances of the UK is generally thought to be a contributory factor (if only a minor one) in the rioting earlier in the week. This is being made worse (if this is possible) by the government's austerity measures.

The initial police response to the rioting and looting was not particularly robust. This may have been due to some senior officers thinking "If we are going to suffer cuts in police numbers, lets show the government what this may look like in a public order situation", or it may have been that they did not think fast enough on their feet, or even fear of police officers being prosecuted if they went in too hard. If it was the first reason, then it has backfired as Dave is adamant the police cuts must go ahead.

If Britain is 'Sick', then I don't think David Cameron is the cure.

See Also:
And remember, I'm interested in your answers to the question above.

So Sleepy

I am having trouble keeping my eyes open today. Think I've picked up some minor virus. Probably won't post much today.

Posted via e-mail from my phone.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

UK Riots - A New Spectator Sport?

While I was walking back from picking up some shopping in Croydon this afternoon (no buses as London Rd. is closed in several places due to damage caused during the riots), I popped into a pub for a swift half. On the TV was Sky News. Up popped a 'plug' for another story. It said:
"Watch Manchester Riots on channel 517. Also in HD"
This makes it look like Sky News is treating rioting like some weird form of spectator sport. I really think that they were not intending to give that impression, but Sky News need to take a lot more care in their phrasing to avoid causing offense.

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/08/uk-riots-bope-em-londres-solution.html

UK Riots - "BOPE Em Londres" - A Solution?

My 'friend'  on Facebook, Brazilian Day London, suggested we needed 'BOPE em Londres' during the riots" on Monday night! A rather more violent solution than this particular Brit would be happy with, but I can see where they are coming from!
See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/08/uk-riots-promoting-religious-unity.html
Also it seems Bo-Jo is getting that way, saying water cannon are ready to be deployed in London (I didn't even know there were any outside Northern Ireland!)!

UK Riots - Promoting Religious Unity?

Something I heard on the radio overnight.

It seems that the Muslim, Sheikh and (possibly) Hindu communities in Southall, West London, have banded together to protect their Mosques, Temples and other holy places (as well too as, to a lesser extent, their shops and homes).

While I am not keen on vigilantism, these people have been told they are on 'Holy Duty' so they are not allowed to use force except in self defence. I really do applaud this show of religious unity. It is one of the few good things to come out of this mess.

See Also: http://deadmanchatting.blogspot.com/2011/08/uk-riots-rise-of-vigilante.html

Cricket - Well Done England

May I congratulate England on a great day's play in the 3rd test vs India. While we would have done better if we had been able to get M S Dhoni out a little earlier. However, not to loose any wickets in the first 25 overs was very good.

3rd Test Scorecard 

UK Riots - Gordon Gekko for Chavs?

I saw this on Newsnight last night.

It was suggested the the looting was a manifestation of the "Greed is Good" mantra espoused by Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. As the bankers, who the general public feel are largely responsible for current financial crisis get their huge bonuses back, and ex-public school millionaire toffs who are leading the government, bringing in savage austerity measures with the happy cry of "We're all in it together" while seeming not to suffer any discomfort, it was put forward that the looting is working class or lower middle class types, who are suffering a lot of unemployment and/or poverty, are just 'getting their share'.

This is possible. It is also possible that it is a load of leftist sociological cattle manure. Take your pick.

To me it suggests that the looters are just as greedy as City bankers! And greed as a prod to success may have become to overrated, as it seems to now be just a prod to criminality!

(If it turns out this is all just bored greedy school-kids whiling away the summer holidays with a bit of 'Clockwork Orange' style 'Ultra-Violence', I will be very ticked off!)

For those who are not English, this is what a 'Chav' is. Or perhaps you would prefer this definition. cf 'Hoodie'

Oh, and please fill in the questionnaire above if you have the time.

UK Riots - The Rise Of The Vigilante?

Well, increasing the police presence in London did reduce the problems to almost nothing. But, were the riots in Manchester, Salford, etc partially due to a reduced police presence there as officers had been sent to London?

I notice that it kicked off in Gloucester last night. Having lived there in the 70s, it suggests to me to that a lot of this violence has more in common with the football related violence of the 70's and early 80's, than incidents like the Brixton and Toxteth in the 80's. And I'm not really surprised that copy-cat looting and violence broke out there!

What could be considered more worrying is the rise of groups of people on the street defending commercial properties and homes from potential rioters. Were this is local shopkeepers and residents this is understandable (if a little worrying - shouldn't the police be doing this and will it lead to the 'defenders' using excessive force and getting arrested?), but what is scary is the fact that members of the far right English Defense League (who Anders Behring Breivik claimed allegiance with) have been turning up (after drinking heavily according to some sources) in order to 'defend*' certain areas.

Any involvement of far right groups is only going to end badly, and lead to a rise in vigilantism (not a good thing).

See Also:
* For defend read 'cause racially motivated violence'