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A wilding

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Everything posted by A wilding

  1. You have to laugh. It is costing the taxpayer more to house these people than if you gave them a holiday on a cruise liner, and they still can't get it right.
  2. Yes, stay away from the Scottish Highlands in particular at this time of year. The midgies can be horrific. Out of your list, I would go for the N coast of Cornwall and Devon, or the SW coast of Ireland (the latter is of course not in the UK and has a quite different feel - remote, timeless and a little primitive). Though most of the others have their points as well. Sewage can be an issue, but you won't notice it hiking except sometimes walking along beaches. Just be careful if you want to try going swimming
  3. Struggling a bit with those numbers. 561 years is apparently 6 lifetimes? A quick google gives US life expectancy as 76 years. So six lifetimes should be 456 years. Trump's minion appears to think it is 93 years?
  4. It is mostly poor Brits that eat badly, and they have some excuse. Unhealthy food is marked heavily, relentlessly and sometimes deceptively. Healthy food is generally more expensive. The knowledge, time and effort required to prepare and cook healthy food can all also be an issue.
  5. To continue with the thread derail, I personally am finding the posts of our friend distinctly interesting. They do seem to be giving a real insight into what Russian propaganda wants people to think, and what many Russians presumably do think. There is a lot to pick out of them e.g.: Russia's unique culture entitles it to act like a 19th century expansionist power. It is faced by existential enemies who are simultaneously decadent (with a special emphasis on them tolerating LGBT people) and a deadly threat. Any setback in Russia's escalating series of military adventures will lead to a Gotterdammerung that will destroy Russia forever. Whatever the Ukrainians might think, they are not a separate people and have zero right to not be ruled from Moscow. In any case, most Ukrainians want Russian rule, apart from a small minority who have been brainwashed. The deaths of cannon fodder Russian conscripts are to be ignored, the deaths of soldiers fighting Russia are solely the fault of those resisting Russia or the shadowy powers behind them. Russian armies and occupying forces do not commit atrocities. Any apparent exceptions are caused by enemy combatants hiding amongst civilians, or some equally good justification. Obviously, there is a fair amount from the fascist playbook in the above. Perhaps more interestingly though, I am picking up echoes of the 5 stages of grief. Mostly denial and anger, but also touches of depression. The grief presumably relating to an image of Russia as a world bestriding Great Power having been destroyed.
  6. I can't read Twitter stuff any longer, but ... As I understand it, approximately 10% of every Thames Water water bill everyone in its area has to pay goes straight offshore to pay the debts Thames Water owes to assorted offshore companies. These debts were run up not to maintain or improve Thames Water's infrastructure or processes, but to pay out huge dividends. (There is even a suggestion that previous recipients of those dividends have an interest in the offshore creditors, i.e. they gave Thames Water money that Thames Water then gave back to them, and those debt payments are pure profit.) With such a millstone round Thames Water's neck is it really likely that there is "really no adverse relationship between privatisation and quality"? All the evidence of what has happened to the UK water companies in the 30 years since privatisation seems to show the opposite to me. Certainly all the anecdotal evidence I have from both customers and employees of Thames Water seems to point that way.
  7. A very disappointing match. It could have been a classic between two players who do much more than just hit the ball hard. Instead Jabeur was way off her game, even taking into account that she was obviously unsettled by playing an opponent very different to the ones she beat to reach the final.
  8. That phrase struck me as well. It sounds good in a film, and I can believe that Oppenheimer used it to impress people, and I suppose it is one way of visualising what happens in fission. But you could equally well say that it was unleashing E equals em cee squared - the point being that the speed of light squared is a very large number. (The mass of the particles of a broken uranium nucleus sums to less than the mass of the uranium nucleus itself. The difference is converted into energy using that formula.)
  9. That said, there is the weird business that it it the parents of the (alleged) first victim who complained, while they themselves seem to be fine with it, which is not really from the metoo playbook. However allegations that there were other victims as well has definitely tipped the balance for me. (Disclaimer: I may be biased by anecdotal experience of the parents of young adults claiming that the sexual decisions of young adults "is not them" and that some form of coercion must be going on.)
  10. Well we don't know do we? There is obviously something there, but exactly what remains to be seen, as does the mother's motives. But the current BBC management would certainly suspend someone just on an allegation, especially when the government has been leaning on them about it and there is a tabloid outcry. They suspended Gary Linneker for example.
  11. It does seem that the mother and daughter are estranged. Which does cast a little doubt on the mother's motives.
  12. Just in case you really don't understand the meaning of the word "projection", it means that you are accusing Ukraine of something that Russia has been doing vastly more of. And while your "kidnap off the streets" is massively inflated hyperbole in the case of Ukraine, it is hardly any exaggeration at all of what Russia has been doing.
  13. Which does seem somewhat possible. The motives of people giving stories to the Sun can sometimes not be entirely pure.
  14. @dog-days Actually, I am still a little annoyed about been suckered into buying a copy of the book in my pre-lockdown buying spree (mostly on the recommendation of a friend, who judgment I will be more doubtful about in future, though they did withdraw the recommendation after reading the next book). So I have dug it out of our "for charity shops" pile and semi randomly picked a page to criticise. Here goes. Our protagonist, Oblong, a newcomer to the town, has come equal first in a festival race. A book of protocol is consulted and it is determined that there must be a tie-breaker. The winners must race to the top of the church tower, apparently without being allowed to enter the church. Now read on: Stone rungs? On the outside of an ancient church and still able to bear a man's weight? Really? A gust of wind strong enough to knock a man off a wall and then sideways though a shuttered window? Into a room that has a thick carpet of dust that this gust apparently did not disturb? Not only was Oblong miraculously thrown though the window, he appears to also be miraculously completely unhurt. Yet he does not give his experience a second thought, then or afterwards. I guess those frescos really did draw his attention! What did the crowd think of all this? We are not told, but when Oblong eventually emerges from the church they are busy feting the winner and ignore him. Nobody ever shows the least interest in fixing those slats/shutters. Though to be fair I don't remember any mention of the church having services in it, or even having a vicar.
  15. Not easy for submerged submarines to find each other? At least with only WW2 technology.
  16. As for the missile attacks on Ukraine, the nadir for me was during Eurovision 2023 when the Russians attacked the hometown of the Ukrainian entry while they were performing their song. A couple of people were injured and there was some property damage. An act of impotent rage and pathetic spite.
  17. It does publish bad stuff about itself. Which the tabloids then endlessly talk up as part of their long running campaign to get it closed down. While scandals involving the tabloids (phone hacking, abusive behaviour, parties during Covid lockdown, etc, etc) are generally swept under the carpet as far as possible, other than getting some coverage on the BBC and a few independent outlets.
  18. I have been reading Arcadia by Iain Pears after a tip off by @Starkess Unlike some of his other books, this is clever and entertaining rather than deep, except perhaps for the ending, which needs some thinking through. The story does not so much borrow from a range of other authors as gleefully steal from them. I spotted Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, William Gibson, Shakespeare and John Le Carre, and I am sure there were others. One of two of these authors actually have cameo roles in the story. Basically it is a bit of fun, despite some very dark stuff which nearly all happens off stage. The associated app would appear to be a bit of a gimmick, which allows you to read the story in a different order. Though I understand it contains a certain amount of extra material. As the story involves multiple PoVs, from several alternate worlds (of a sort), and time travel (again of a sort), many reading orders are indeed possible.
  19. My gripe with Banks was that he tried for a sort of edgy realism, but it never quite worked. As an example. One book starts with two policemen randomly encountering a particularly nasty serial killer just after he has finished off his latest victim. (The serial killer is of a sort that thankfully is vanishingly rare in the UK, and yes he targets young women.) The killer resists arrest with a machete and in the resulting fracas kills one of the policemen, but is fatally injured himself. What follows is, I suppose, a mild spoiler:
  20. The Maggie Thatcher case was complicated by a bunch of right wingers trying to use her death to canonise her. I still remember clearly someone on the BBC describe her as being "uniquely revered". Not surprising that people felt the need to push back against that.
  21. Late to the party, but I read the first one when short of books in Covid lockdown and it was dreadful. I imagine it only got published because of the author's connections. I was going to do a snark, but never got around to it.
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