Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
I got my DNA test result on my birthday back in 2018 (Icons passim).
I got an email yesterday:
As you may know, we’re constantly evolving the technology and methods behind AncestryDNA®. Using a combination of scientific expertise, the world’s largest online consumer DNA database, and millions of family trees linked with DNA results, we’re releasing our most precise DNA update yet.
You can see the update at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/dna/origins/share/2291dec9-b75e-427d-bf76-0da2e1479c99
I am now 98% Irish, 2% Scottish and 0% the rest of the world. Two years ago I was 79% Ireland/Scotland/Wales with assorted other ingredients including 2% European Jewish. I fully expect to be more than 100% Irish the next time they run the rule over my chromosomes.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
The world may be going to hell in a hand basket but least Melvyn Bragg and In Our Time are back on Radio 4 on Thursday mornings.
They kicked a new series off with Pericles this morning. I haven't listened yet but I am sure that will be rectified soon.
One of the guests, Edith Hall, featured on the 'blog on this day last year.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Nesta Guinness-Walker (born 14 September 1999) is an English professional footballer who plays for AFC Wimbledon, as a left back. He scored against Northampton over the weekend.
Andy Tea Merchant told me on Sunday at the Wimbledon Brewery that Guinness-Walker is Alex Guinness' great grandson. This fills me with delight.
We whiled away much of the afternoon re-purposing Obi Wan Kenobi dialogue for the beautiful game.
To a defender "If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
To the referee "Your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them."
That's no moon. It's a cross into the six-yard box!
You get the picture.
Monday, September 14, 2020
I will watch this tonight at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p08p5ly5/radio-2-live-at-home-performances-9-tom-jones
My band & I had a great time being able to perform together again (socially distanced, of course!)— Tom Jones (@RealSirTomJones) September 12, 2020
You can now watch and listen to our @BBCRadio2 Live at Home performance on @BBCiPlayer / @BBCSounds. I hope you enjoy. https://t.co/dQvWr65zqP pic.twitter.com/YvKy0ONhxI
Sunday, September 13, 2020
One day during her years at Radcliffe in the 1890s, Gertrude Stein sat down to write a philosophy exam. She just wasn’t in the mood, though, so instead of answering its questions she penned a short note to her professor, William James: “Dear Professor James, I am so sorry, but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy today”. In due course Stein received a response from James: “Dear Miss Stein, I understand perfectly how you feel. I often feel like that myself”. He gave her an excellent grade.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Jonnie is running some sort of competition to predict how the Premiership will end up this year. I don't know how it will be judged but here is my best guess.
2 Manchester City
4 Manchester United
5 Tottenham Hotspur
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers
9 Leicester City
12 Newcastle United
13 West Ham United
14 Sheffield United
15 Aston Villa
17 Brighton and Hove Albion
18 Crystal Palace
19 West Bromwich Albion
Friday, September 11, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Yesterday, a Secretary of State told the House of Commons that a new internal market bill, due to be introduced today, will "reinterpret" the special Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland and break international law. This is beyond a disgrace. The head of the UK government’s legal department had already resigned so I imagine he agrees.
I have always a had a sneaking regard for John Major. I think he did most of the legwork that led to peace in Northern Ireland. Since Tony Blair got in though the phrase "this is the worst Prime Minister in living memory" has always been true. Boris Johnson is worse than Theresa May who was worse than David Cameron etc. etc. back nearly a quarter of a century.
Blair's cack-handed constitutional reforms are at the root of many of the problems we have in Parliament today. I am thinking particularly of the downgrading of the office of Lord Chancellor; separating judicial powers from the legislative and executive branches. Yesterday would have been inconceivable before that.
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
I have been writing a lot about the momentous, contradictory events of 1968 lately. It has also struck me that 1968 was the year that Peter Gill really broke out as a director when he presented three hitherto under-rated plays by D. H. Lawrence, as a group in the Royal Court Theatre.
In October they took one of the plays "The Daughter-in-Law" to Milan, Bucharest and Belgrade on a British Council tour.
That must have been interesting in the year of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Monday, September 07, 2020
As a rule I take Peter our for his weekly grocery shop on Sunday mornings, and after that we go to the plumb cafe where he has breakfast and I have a flat white.
Last week, I got a parking ticket while were there. I hadn't realized that the parking restrictions around it applied seven days a week.
Yesterday I phoned https://myringgo.co.uk/ as the signs indicated to buy parking ticket and was rather unnerved to find that the automatic system knew my car's registration number and debit card number already. On reflection I imagine this may be because the same company runs the residents' parking for my local council, but I was still disturbed that all of this data was linked to my mobile number.
Sunday, September 06, 2020
Coronavirus: Coyote Ugly in Cardiff 'could close' over social distancing
Coyote Ugly is disappearing in my niece's rear view mirror now that she is moving to London to go to drama school, but I have to say that everything I have heard about it suggests that it is very professionally run and they are top notch employers. I hope the bar survives.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
I am back in Cardiff visiting Mum and Dad. A spam telephone call claiming to be from Amazon and asking me to cancel a "suspicious" order for an iPhone 11 just came through. I gave them very short shrift though I could imagine someone more vulnerable being taken in. It leaves a bad taste.
If you receive a suspicious phone call, e-mail or text message claiming to be from Amazon, asking for payment, personal information, or offering a refund you do not expect, please do not share any personal information, and disconnect any phone call immediately. Amazon will never ask you for remote access to your device e.g. by asking you to install an app. You can report suspicious spam in the UK to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk,
P.S. Auctionfraud.police.uk is all but unusable I gave up on it. 07463617441 is the number the dodgy call came from.
Friday, September 04, 2020
Thursday, September 03, 2020
The Selling of the President is the enduring story of the 1968 campaign that wrote the script for modern Presidential politicking--and how that script came to be. It introduces:
- Harry Treleaven, the first adman to suggest that issues bore voters, that image is what counts
- Roger Ailes, a PR man who coordinated the TV presentations that delivered the product
- Frank Shakespeare, the man behind the whole campaign, who, after eighteen years at CBS, cast the image that sold America a President
- And the candidate, Richard Nixon himself--a politician running on television for the highest office in the land
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
George Wallace ran for president in the 1968 election as the American Independent Party candidate. He carried five Southern states, won almost ten million popular votes and 46 electoral votes.
For most of his career, he was a Democratic Party politician who served as the 45th Governor of Alabama for four terms. Indeed, he sought the United States presidency as a Democrat three times, and only once as an American Independent Party candidate, unsuccessfully each time. Wallace opposed desegregation and supported the policies of "Jim Crow" during the Civil Rights Movement, declaring in his 1963 inaugural address that he stood for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever". In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. called Wallace "perhaps the most dangerous racist in America today".
He won election to a fourth and final term as Alabama's governor in 1982!
2020 is mad but 1968 was crazier.
Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Leave your preconceptions about race and US political parties at the door - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy is worth a read.
Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Monday, August 31, 2020
1968 was the year of student protests across the globe, and riots in the streets of Paris. Assassinations rocked America and Soviet Tanks crushed the Prague Spring. Sexual liberation, civil rights, drugs and music were said to shape the thinking of a generation.
The 1968 United States presidential election was the 46th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 5, 1968. The Republican nominee, former vice president Richard Nixon, defeated the Democratic nominee, incumbent vice president Hubert Humphrey. Analysts have argued the election of 1968 was a major realigning election as it permanently disrupted the New Deal coalition that had dominated presidential politics since 1932.
I think there are a lot of parallels with 2020.
Reading List: Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968 by Norman Mailer.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
I am off to Kevin's birthday party in Richmond this afternoon. He's lived mostly in Hong Kong for decades, but he has been in London at this time of year once before.
I can distinctly remember listening to commentary on the radio in the car while we were driving over, because England beat Germany 5-1 at football; a rare event.
On a whim I googled the game. It was in 2001, 19 years ago! Man I am getting old. I wouldn't have put the elapsed time in double figures.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
I live in Marlborough Road. I was driving to work along Colliers Wood HIgh Street yesterday when I heard an ambulance siren behind me. I had previously imagined it might be impossible to let one past given the crazy changes that have been made to the road. Now I know it is impossible. I was furious and frustrated, God knows how drivers, paramedics and patients feel. In particular the posts on the outside of the bicycle lanes mean that the road has been narrowed to the extent that you simply can't get out of the way to let the emergency services past.
Of course it’s important to protect cyclists @thetimes but also babies in pushchairs, disabled people, local business & ppl needing an ambulance @StGeorgesTrust. Huge problems on #ColliersWoodHighSt after @TfL Transport Dept works. Take a look! pic.twitter.com/wZpJlikzyF— Siobhain McDonagh MP (@Siobhain_Mc) August 29, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
We all remember Dad's birthday, but it turned out yesterday that we were hazy on his year of birth; datum required for for filling in a form. I teased it out (1933) by looking at my Ancestry.com family tree. Let's just meditate for a moment on how odd it is that I reached for that as a reference.
He was born on March 8.
- March 7 – The real-estate trading board game Monopoly was invented in the United States.
- March 9 – Great Depression: The United States Congress began its first 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Please read The inhumanity of Ofqual's algorithm, by Frances Coppola - August 24, 2020.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
I was thinking about a monologue Mia wrote about her grandfather in his chair, and remembered that Viv Stanshall has also staked out a claim in this area.
Growing up to be like dad,
Death defying times ahead,
Retelling stories old,
OF times when dad was older.... younger ...
Now he sits and has
Every comfort and sits
With a washable cover
Yet it niggles him
That his life has gone by
So he says to his son.
I don't want to think
I'm not paid to think
I've retired you see
But it worries me
How can I convey?
You might turn out to be
Possibly, an armchair like me.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
In 1964 the Nobel-prize physicist Richard P. Feynman served on the State of California's Curriculum Commission and saw how the Commission chose math textbooks for use in California's public schools. In his acerbic memoir of that experience, titled "Judging Books by Their Covers," Feynman analyzed the Commission's idiotic method of evaluating books, and described some of the tactics employed by schoolbook salesmen who wanted the Commission to adopt their shoddy products. "Judging Books by Their Covers" appeared as a chapter in "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" – Feynman's autobiographical book that was published in 1985 by W.W. Norton & Company. This essay is reprinted here for your enjoyment. (His title is motivated by the fact that one publisher sent California multiple copies of a "textbook" consisting entirely of blank pages. It was given high marks.)
You may want to compare and contrast evaluating blank text books with arguing about the grades kids got for exams that they didn't take.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
YouTube's recommendation algorithm tugged on my sleeve concerning the In Our Time episode about Proust yesterday, and I listened to it as À la recherche du temps perdu had come up in the morning when I was talking to Peter and I had been forced to admit that (apart from madeleine cakes) I knew practically nothing about it at all.
I learned from Melvyn and guests that the first part of the first book goes on and on and on about our protagonist not being able to get to sleep.
I never have any trouble getting to sleep. (Is a somniac the opposite of an insomniac?)
It has struck me that if I buy the Audible version, I can start to listen to it when I go to bed and never get past the Overture because I always nod off.
Eat your heart out Borges!
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Once in a while I follow a YouTube recommendation to something I wouldn't usually watch. That is what happened with the video above.
John Hay was President Lincoln's personal secretary, a position that began nearly five decades of public service. A diplomat who served multiple Administrations from Lincoln to Roosevelt, he was a central figure in defining the U.S. foreign policy.
He was also, it emerges in the show, a folksy poet and the author of "Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle" which my Dad used to read to me when I was a little boy (Icons passim).
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Cease practice basedOn intellectual understanding,Pursuing words andFollowing after speech.Learn the backwardStep that turnsYour light inwardTo illuminate within.Body and mind of themselvesWill drop awayAnd your original face will be manifest.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
Sunday, August 09, 2020
Saturday, August 08, 2020
1. Fights. Blood was spilled at the Mills last night. I was unsurprised as I had noticed the perpetrators snorting that which they shouldn't in the gents earlier. I tipped the wink to John the guvnor who tipped the wink to security in turn, who came down on it pretty quickly when things got real.
2. Refugees. It rumoured that the council are putting a lot of asylum seekers up. A lot of people seem anxious about this. I am sanguine. They have to stay somewhere.
No doubt items 3 through 15 of my Must-Have Items for an Edgy, Rocker-Chic Wardrobe will follow, but fights and refugees is a good start.
Friday, August 07, 2020
Thursday, August 06, 2020
Wednesday, August 05, 2020
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
I can buy a mask in a shop.
I can't go into a shop unless I have a mask.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
Monday, August 03, 2020
Sunday, August 02, 2020
We learn that in 1978, when she recorded the song, Gaynor was, in fact, wearing a medical brace following emergency surgery on her back after an accident that could have left her paralysed for life. “I’d been on stage and fallen backwards over a monitor and ended up in hospital."
This is totally amazing to me. Phil played bass on a tour with her in the 80s. As a rule he stands to the left of the drummer so he can lock in to the tempo from the high hat, On this occasion though he gradually found himself (and not in a weird way) drifting away from his station and taking the time from her shaking her booty.
This was after 1978 surgery to remove a ruptured disc and fuse two of the vertebrae in her lower spine, but before she went under the knife again in 1997 to correct the spinal stenosis caused by the initial operation. Two more procedures followed in 2018.
What a woman.
Saturday, August 01, 2020
Perhaps subconsciously triggered by today's FA Cup final, a memory of Callum coming around to my house and watching Shaolin Soccer on DVD with Ben years ago when they were still in primary school.
I think it explains a lot about his style.
Friday, July 31, 2020
I can't spend my whole life reading highbrowne stuff like "Chivalry and Empire: The Colonial Argument of the Princess Micomicona Episode in Don Quijote Part I." Sometimes I need to blow the froth off a cold one and settle down in front of a Netflix comic book adaptation.
I've finished Warrior Nun and season two of The Umbrella Academy is due to be released at eight this morning.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Beer pong, also known as Beirut, is a drinking game in which players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in a cup of beer on the other end. The game typically consists of opposing teams of two or more players per side with 6 or 10 cups set up in a triangle formation on each side. Each team then takes turns attempting to throw ping pong balls into the opponent's cups. If a ball lands in a cup (known as a 'make'), the contents of that cup are consumed by the other team and the cup is removed from the table. The first team to eliminate all of the opponent's cups is the winner.At last, the sport I was born to play.
Monday, July 27, 2020
They were famously devoted, but I am sure I have read or heard somewhere that on the odd, inevitable occasion when they did have a row, he would would be ejected from their caravan and start walking around the fairground. After each lap he would throw his hat in through the window. If Bess threw it back out, he was still in trouble so he would set off again. If she didn't he was forgiven and allowed back in again.
I think this was wonderfully psychologically astute; as tempers cooled the flying hat would gradually become funny, charming and whimsical.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
It has emerged now that Sam Beckett, the acting permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy raised serious concerns about the purchase.
Herewith the correspondence on the Ministerial direction for the purchase of OneWeb that will cover the redoubtable Ms Beckett in glory sometime in the future when it is bugger all use to anyone.
She was sidelined about a week ago (see this). I wonder why? What an extraordinary coincidence.
While I will continue to stick my nose into the government's business, class is class and I am very impressed by this revelation:
Emily Maitlis has revealed that she received a “text of support” from Dominic Cummings following her Newsnight monologue.
The presenter divided audiences in May after introducing an episode of the political programme with a speech claiming that Cummings had “broken the rules”, after he drove from London to County Durham at the height of lockdown.Sending a private message of support to someone who is being pilloried for attacking ......you, is one for the ages.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Wimbledon BookFest is running a live, physical event in September, featuring a keynote speech from Matthew Syed.
The festival, entitled Last Days of Summer, will run from 12th to 13th September in an open marquee on Wimbledon Common featuring appearances from inspiring speakers and bestselling adult and children's authors.
Events will have reduced capacities and ticketed entry to ensure it remains safe for everyone, organisers said. The events will also be streamed digitally.Also, I am going to try and get back in the gym today as it has finally opened. I have done all but nothing since it shut.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Predicted relationship: Parent/Child
Shared DNA: 3,419 cM across 83 segmentsBen has finally had his DNA tested at Ancestry.co.uk. (I am pretty sure I gave him the kit as a birthday present two years ago. No hurry then.)
I wonder if there is a way we can link his results (and Mia's) to mine in a family tree so they can get access to my research on our Irish ancestors?
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Whilst the Russian elite have developed ties with a number of countries in recent years, it would appear that the UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money. It is widely recognised that the key to London's appeal was the exploitation of the UK’s investor visa scheme, introduced in 1994, followed by the promotion of a light and limited touch to regulation, with London’s strong capital and housing markets offering sound investment opportunities.Intelligence and Security C... by The Guardian on Scribd
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The recipe for boulangere potatoes emerged from the French tradition of taking a casserole of potatoes to the local baker so the dish could be placed in the baker's cooling oven to cook. Perhaps I will take a pot of sliced spuds, onions and stock along there tomorrow at about seven.
Monday, July 20, 2020
More than 200,000 people could die from the impact of lockdown and protecting the NHS, an official government report shows.
As national restrictions were imposed, experts from the Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the government’s Actuary Department and the Home Office forecast the collateral damage from delays to healthcare and the effects of recession arising from the pandemic response.
It estimated that in a reasonable worst case scenario, around 50,000 people would die from coronavirus in the first six months of the pandemic, with mitigation measures in place.
But in the report published in April they calculated that up to 25,000 could die from delays to treatment in the same period and a further 185,000 in the medium to long term - amounting to nearly one million years of life lost.I can't find this report April report online, but as soon as I can a link to it will appear here. Someone needs to look this data in the face.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
RECEPTIONIST: Maternity ward, may I help you?
CALLER: Yes, I’m calling about my son. He was born at your hospital in 2011, and I was wondering if I might be able to speak to someone about something.
RECEPTIONIST: What is it that you’re calling about, exactly?
CALLER: My son has turned into a sporty kid.
RECEPTIONIST: I’m sorry, did you say you have a spotty kid? This seems like a matter for his pediatrician.
CALLER: No. He’s sporty. As in, athletic.
RECEPTIONIST: I’m sorry, but we really can’t—
CALLER: He led his youth basketball team in three-point shooting last fall.
RECEPTIONIST: Ma’am, what exactly is the problem?
CALLER: My son is… really good at sports. Like, all of them.
CALLER: Basketball. Soccer. Baseball. Football. And now he’s taken up tennis because it’s the perfect social-distancing sport. And he’s amazing at it!
RECEPTIONIST: This doesn’t seem like something the hospital would be concerned with.
CALLER: Well, I want to make sure he wasn’t switched at birth. He’s really fast! I can barely walk quickly. And he’s got amazing hand-eye coordination! People say to me all the time, “Wow, your son is really good at sports!” And what can I say? “Thank you”? I take zero credit for his athletic ability. It did NOT come from me.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Friday, July 17, 2020
At the beginning of this week the Government, which nominates its members, tried to steamroller Chris Grayling into the role of chair.
The other nominees rebelled and elected Julian Lewis instead, prompting an embarrassed Downing Street to remove the whip from the victor.
The Lewis led committee then confirmed it will publish the long-delayed report into Russian infiltration in the UK next week before parliament goes into recess.
The former chair of the committee Dominic Grieve said the report had been sent to Downing Street on 17 October last year and was ready for publication once it had been signed off, a process that usually takes up to 10 days.
Yesterday, by an extraordinary coincidence, Downing St accused Putin's hackers of attempting to steal the UK's Covid-19 vaccine research, and also briefed that the Kremlin 'played Jeremy Corbyn as a useful idiot' to publicise classified documents.
Why now? The report will come out before Wednesday. It has been sat on because it will reveal unsavoury details of Tory involvement . My guess is funding by oligarchs to gain influence. Yesterday's shenanigans are a clumsy attempt to pull the sting of next week's embarrassment by creating a fairy story in which this government has always stood up to the assertive Russian bear.
What kind of idiots do they think we are?
Thursday, July 16, 2020
. . .Avez-vous lu Don Quichot ?
Je l'ai lu.
Et me découvre au nom de cet hurluberlu.
Veuillez donc méditer alors. . .
Voici la chaise.
Sur le chapitre des moulins !
Car, lorsqu'on les attaque, il arrive souvent. . .
J'attaque donc des gens qui tournent à tout vent ?
Qu'un moulinet de leurs grands bras chargés de toiles
Vous lance dans la boue !. . .
Ou bien dans les étoiles !
(De Guiche sort. On le voit remonter en chaise. Les seigneurs s'éloignent en chuchotant. Le Bret les réaccompagne. La foule sort.)
A mystery has emerged. "Chapitre treize" (chapter 13) says Cyrano when de Guiche warns him against titling at windmills, yet - as any fule kno - the windmills appear in chapter 8.
Perhaps others have noticed before me, but wisely concluded that they didn't care.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Huawei, 5G, and new US sanctions: round-up of NCSC publications
A round-up of publications that explain changes to the NCSC’s advice on ‘managing High Risk Vendors within UK telecommunications networks’.Well, I have read the bulk of this and I am none the wiser. Broadly is is tautological and disingenuous.
The new US sanction announced in May 2020 means that Huawei is very unlikely to be able to continue to use US technology and software in the design and manufacture of its products. The NCSC has looked very closely at the impact of these changes on the UK and no longer considers that the UK will be able to manage the security risks of using affected Huawei technology in our future 5G networks.I would be interested if anyone can explain how the second sentence follows from the first in the paragraph above.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
The idea is to sign him up fro a month's free trial with his own account next weekend. That will come with a free credit so this version of Dombey and Son could be just the job as I remember him telling me that he thinks that there might be a play on one of the sub plots.
Great reviews, read by a Welsh actor, more than 40 hours long and free with a trial as opposed to a £34.99 regular price. What is not to like here.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Wales ready to play four home games at Twickenham during autumn 'festival of rugby' says the Torygraph today. My initial reaction was that this is madness, but the article goes on to say:
The WRU, which is facing a £50 million loss in revenue if games are not rescheduled, has been forced to consider other venues given warnings from the Welsh government that crowds are unlikely to be permitted in Cardiff until the new year.Between a rock and a hard place.
If the deal is closed, one of the games would be the rescheduled Six Nations clash with Scotland. I had tickets for Wales v Scotland in Cardiff. They have been on my mantelpiece since the it was cancelled. I wonder if they can be swapped for the Twickenham clash.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
I always remember a story he told about learning to be a football manager, because I think we can all learn from it.
In the first game and the first club he managed his team were losing at half time, so he started tearing a strip off them in the changing in the interval. After he finished ranting, a senior player looked up at him and said "Gov, you aren't helping." Charlton says that his was when he realized that by shouting and screaming he was only venting his own ego and embarrassment.
This he said was when he learned that the job was to make the best of what was available to him, and only ever to intervene with the positive intention of improving things.
Everyone can learn from that.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
I heard this twice on the radio on my way to Leamongton Spa yesterday and rather liked it. Perhaps I can pretend I am Niko B?
Today I learnt about #punk music. This song is called ‘Anarchy in the UK’ by the Sex Pistols. Anything goes with PUNK! We made this British Flag shirt because I am #British and so are the #sexpistols #afropunk @afropunk pic.twitter.com/wOylhnURHc— Nandi Bushell (@Nandi_Bushell) July 8, 2020
We all all about da youth today.
Friday, July 10, 2020
I am leaving the house very early this morning and driving up to Warwickshire, Shakespeare's county of birth. I have also finished Part 1 of Don Quixote.
The History of Cardenio, often referred to as merely Cardenio, is a lost play, known to have been performed by the King's Men, a London theatre company, in 1613. The play is attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher in a Stationers' Register entry of 1653. The content of the play is not known, but it was likely to have been based on an episode in Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote involving the character Cardenio, a young man who has been driven mad and lives in the Sierra Morena. Thomas Shelton's translation of the First Part of Don Quixote was published in 1612, and would thus have been available to the presumed authors of the play.The RSC tried to re-imagine it in 2011, making this a good post for me to queue up for today.
Thursday, July 09, 2020
In the evening I watched episode one of Warrior Nun on Netflix.
Caught in the middle of an ancient war between good and evil, a young girl wakes up in a morgue with inexplicable powers. Her search for answers brings her to The Order of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society of warrior nuns sworn to protect the world from evil. While juggling her responsibilities as the chosen one with the normal obstacles of a teenage girl, this mysterious fantasy drama is full of mystery, action, adventure, and teenage romance, proving our main character might fight in the name of good, but she’s no angel.
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Whitehall sources suggested on Tuesday night that some care bosses "must accept their share of the blame" for the epidemic in care homes, which is thought to have cost at least 20,000 lives.
"Obviously the Government has to face up to the fact that much of the guidance came too late, and the personal protection equipment (PPE) and testing was a disaster," the senior source said. "But some of these, care providers are no angels either."Just when we thought the government couldn't get any more shameless and cynical, it has started briefing anonymously against carers in the fallout from Boris' ridiculous outburst the day before yesterday.
My mother is in a home where a resident has just been diagnosed with COVID-19 and my father is in a home where the same thing has happened to a staff member. I haven't seen either of them since February and there is no chance now that I will see them before August.
Welcome to Johnson’s alternative reality – where care home workers get the blame: Marina Hyde.
...... the government is officially blaming care home workers for the deaths of people in care homes – and, presumably, blaming care home workers for the deaths of care home workers themselves. According to Boris Johnson, a Cobra-dodging handshake-nut who was blamelessly “mugged” by the virus himself, “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have”.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Monday, July 06, 2020
I am so used to conversation with Peter being at an exalted level that I was initially confused when he said he had started to watch a documentary about Epstein on Netflix but could't get on with it. I had assumed he was talking about Jacob Epstein the sculptor rather than the notorious Jeffrey Epstein.
Then later over a lager Ben started discoursing about Yukio Mishima, the Japanese author.
I am honoured by this exalted company.
Sunday, July 05, 2020
This won't work. Really. It's a waste of £0.5B of public funds. @RishiSunak - please get in touch, and I'll explain why. https://t.co/pGjuDgAnfp— Marek Ziebart (@MarekZiebart) June 26, 2020
The OneWeb fiasco. Watch this space. I am going to buy Dominic Cummings a geometry set for his birthday.
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Friday, July 03, 2020
Let's all just big up HAT Services Ltd, 106 High Street, Colliers Wood SW19 2BT. 0203 524 7530 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Rebekah Jones, who says she was fired from her job in charge of the state’s official Covid-19 database in May for refusing to manipulate its figures is running her own privately funded version now at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/7572b118dc3c48d885d1c643c195314e/
That is where I will be checking regularly for the time being.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that house arrest could go on so long.
When I say "reading" above, I really mean listening as I ingested via audible. I am now very much taken with having a story playing as I go about my morning business so I intend to continue with Don Quixote for the simple reason that the chapters seem to average out around fifteen minutes. There was talk of Sherlock Holmes but his stories seem to range from around 45 minutes to an hour and I don't have that much time between getting up and then getting down to the day's business.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
OneWeb declared bankruptcy in late March 2020, and has laid off most of their employees (reducing its workforce from 531 employees down to 74) but is maintaining the satellite operations center for the 68 satellites already in orbit while the court determines disposition of the OneWeb assets.
Our government now intends to pay £500m for 20% of it to mitigate the UK’s loss of access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system.
I will continue to follow this with interest as it disappears from the front pages as I find it utterly incomprehensible.
This is the same government that brought us the ongoing track and trace app debacle remember.
Monday, June 29, 2020
Two illegal street parties have been broken up by police during another night of unlawful gatherings in London.
Dispersal zones were put in place in Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common to clear crowds causing "significant disruptions" on Saturday night.Tooting Bec is two stops away from me at Colliers Wood on the Northern Line and Clapham Common is only five. What happened to my invitations?
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Referring to coverage of recent events by 'gay press', he says "they don't know what to do when a young Libyan asylum seeker allegedly stabs three gay men in Reading centre on a Saturday night".
I had no idea the victims were gay. Did you? Victims were 'true gentlemen' said the BBC; quite.
I always knew it would come to this (Icons passim). It gives me no satisfaction to be proved right 15 years later.
Have a couple of neologisms on me:
Islamophobiaphobic: the fear of being thought Islamophobic.
Homophobiaphobic: the fear of being thought homophobic.
The former is now higher up the totem pole in polite society than the latter.
Friday, June 26, 2020
It turns out that he had spent time with both the Indian and Bangladeshi armies while serving with British Forces.
He also told me a story about another part of the world, when he was with a ramshackle Sudanese contingent that accidentally strayed over the border into Eritrea. Vegetation stirred and they were intercepted by deeply camouflaged Eritreans who seemed to appear from nowhere. Luckily for Charlie the officers had been trained and Sandhurst and treated him with exemplary civility. Not so much detailing him as "inviting" him back the their headquarters for the evening.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
The original version of this book, Language in Action, published in 1941, was in many respects a response to the dangers of propaganda, especially as exemplified in Adolf Hitler's success in persuading millions to share his maniacal and destructive views. It was the writer's conviction then, as it remains now, that everyone needs to have a habitually critical attitude towards language—his own as well as that of others—both for the sake of his personal well being and for his adequate functioning as a citizen. Hitler is gone, but if the majority of our fellow citizens are more susceptible to the slogans of fear and race hatred than to those of peaceful accommodation and mutual respect among human beings, our political liberties remain at the mercy of any eloquent and unscrupulous demagogue.Those are wise words above. Once more with feeling, " if the majority of our fellow citizens are more susceptible to the slogans of fear and race hatred than to those of peaceful accommodation and mutual respect among human beings, our political liberties remain at the mercy of any eloquent and unscrupulous demagogue." I had never even heard of Hayakawa until Rayburn, who lives in Florida now with his partner and daughter, introduced me to his though with the wonderfully understated "I try my best to try and understand what's going on in the world."
Also, last night Kevin told me a story about Test and Trace's Dido Harding and a misplaced decimal point that I won't repeat but also won't forget.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Pubs to reopen July 4 - here are the rules and guidelines
Pubs can reopen, but only if they follow strict rules to keep customers safe. For now, it's table service only...It will be great to get back in the boozer, don't get me wrong, but there have been pluses from sitting out in the park as well. A month ago (Icons passim) I was decrying everyone's lack of mobility sitting on the grass in the park instead of around a table. Earlier this week at my birthday drink (I's P) I couldn't help but notice how much more comfortable everyone seemed ass to the grass; sitting down, then sitting then getting up again.
Use it or lose it. You are all much less likely to fall down and hurt yourself than you were a month ago. Grapple this to thy souls with hoops of steel. Falling down twice is what really impacted most profoundly on my mother's quality of life. Don't let it happen to you.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
|a socially distanced party in the park|
I already knew I shared my birthday with Danny Baker, but I was equally pleased to find that Billy Wilder is a June 22nd man as as well.
Monday, June 22, 2020
Finally, one of the key events over which Bolton eventually quit was Trump’s refusal to countenance a military assault on Iran. The Iranians had shot down an unmanned drone; the military presented a plan to hit their bases, which might have resulted in dozens of casualties. Trump said no. “I don’t like it,” Bolton recalls him stating. “They didn’t kill any of our people.”
For Bolton this was an unforgivable sign of weakness: "the most irrational thing I ever witnessed any president do." Some readers might admire it. For all his faults, Trump has pursued peace and avoided body bags. He is a very human president, perhaps too human – but sometimes he can be surprisingly humane.I have been saying Trump is a dove for months and everyone looks at me as if I am mad.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
How would you explain coronavirus to a younger version of yourself, beamed in from December 2019? How would you explain that, in just a few months, a novel virus has torn across the planet, killing more than 400,000 people and confining a third of the world’s population to their homes? A virus that has incapacitated senior members of the UK government, including the prime minister? And would they even believe you?
It sounds like the sort of light-hearted hypothetical you might be asked at a (virtual) dinner party, but for Daniel Thorson it is not so ridiculous. The 33-year-old lives and works at a Buddhist monastic academy in Vermont, in the northeastern United States, and recently spent two-and-a-half months in a silent retreat, denied any news from the outside world. Upon coming out on 23rd May, he logged in to Twitter and asked his followers: “Did I miss anything?”.My Zen reply; "You didn't miss anything."
Thorson, who now spends less time on his smartphone and tries to avoid binging on rolling news, is glad he missed what he calls the “anxiety hype cycle” that most of his friends went through in late March, when the world seemed to be falling apart. That said, he is left with one surprising regret. “There is a part of me that wishes I could have been there to watch it, because I've been studying this possibility for years and to have missed it - I don't want to say I feel sad, but it's interesting, I would have liked to learn and see it. But on the whole, what I was doing was so much more valuable than that.
“I’m still catching up.”
Saturday, June 20, 2020
On May 5, the Government revealed its first attempt at a contact-tracing app. But in a major u-turn, on June 18, it admitted that the app flawed and it would switch to a model being developed by tech giants Apple and Google.
It is an utter and maniacal disgrace that our betters didn't go with Google and Apple in the first place. Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales explains.
I have been doing a little wood-shedding on this as I was bemused by the fact that the Bluetooth LE protocol was central as I couldn't see (in the absence of beacons) how Bluetooth could be used to track locations. I turns out it is used to check to whom you have been close, not where the closeness occurred. The mist begins to clear. Take a look at https://www.google.com/covid19/exposurenotifications/ and the helpful links.
Matt Hancock criticising Apple's Bluetooth implementation, NHSX etc. God give me strength.
Friday, June 19, 2020
England rugby fans could soon be banned from singing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'
RFU reviewing use of the American slave anthem which has previously been criticised by academics for cultural appropriationI am not sure that this has been thought through. How would one go about enforcing such a ban? I remember when we were in school a teacher left at the end of a lesson and then returned in high dudgeon claiming that someone had hissed at her on the way out. I hadn't heard any hissing, but it instantly occurred to me (and many other classmates) that it is possible to hiss invisibly. Practically all of us hissed her on the second and many subsequent exits. It was madness to challenge us like that. The deputy head was summoned as I recall, such was the escalation.
I can remember hearing Swing Low Sweet Chariot at an international for the first time watching on the TV when Chris Oti scored a hat trick against Ireland in 1998. I was bemused to say the least.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
I think it is best that you take my word for the fact that it is working well. I would prefer it if you didn't come in to check while I am about my ablutions.
It also strike me that I should be able to take it out into the garden. The Wi-Fi should reach.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Prime Minister to put UK security first as he scraps international development department
Boris Johnson will use the £14 billion foreign aid budget to counter “Russian meddling” and protect national security after announcing he is to scrap the Department for International Development.Point of order; if you use the foreign aid budget to protect national security it is no longer the foreign aid budget. God knows I disagreed with David Cameron about many things but at least the man is in possession of a moral compass.
More could and should be done to co-ordinate aid and foreign policy, including through the National Security Council, but the end of @DFID_UK will mean less expertise, less voice for development at the top table and ultimately less respect for the UK overseas. 2/2— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 16, 2020
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Cf. Manchester United and England's Marcus Rashford who, as well as putting his money and time where his mouth is, penned an open letter this week asking the Government to reverse its decision to cease the free school meals scheme - for which nearly 1.3 million children are eligible - outside of school term time. (It's only a detail in the scheme of things, but that letter is a lovely piece of writing.)
Monday, June 15, 2020
Mark Ellen and David Hepworth talk to Guy Pratt on their "Word in Your Ear" podcast. I met Mark Ellen in 2009 (Icons passim) and Guy Pratt in 2017 (Icons passim).
A great entertainer...
A great Humanitarian...
And my dear friend of 25 years...
Why has David Hepworth been so stand-offish, not bumping into us anywhere do you think?