This might be a bit of a cheap shot, you might say, but the benefit of cheap shots is that they often hit the target and are not expensive to fire.
This guy appointed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, an organisation that, remember, did such a splendid job in preventing the 2008 crash, Bernard Madoff, and so on, has the perfect name for the job.
Have a good weekend everyone.
Encountered at a truck stop near the Armenia/Georgia border (on the Armenian side) yesterday.
A court in Iceland has ruled that a 15-year-old girl can officially use her name. It seems that in Iceland there is a Naming Committee, and they can reject names that are not grammatically correct, or are “too masculine”.
There is a lot wrong with this. But I am most confused about one thing.
“I’m very happy,” Blaer said after the ruling.
“I’m glad this is over. Now I expect I’ll have to get new identity papers. Finally, I’ll have the name Blaer in my passport.”
Why does anyone care about the opinions of officials? None of my friends has ever asked to see my identity papers.
“The trouble with cults is that they aren’t actually about the parts that are true. They’re about using the true parts to hook you, to condition you into an becoming an eager little propagator of their memetic infection. For that to happen, your ability to think critically about the doctrine has to be pretty much entirely shut down. Fortunately the behavioral signs of this degeneration are quite easy to spot – I would have learned to recognize them back at the dawn of the New Age movement around 1970 even if I hadn’t gone to Catholic schools before that.”
- Eric Raymond. Read the whole way down to the punchline at the end. You will not regret it.
Two men dressed as Oompa-Loompas – characters from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – are being sought by police in Norwich after an attack in the heart of the city.
The Daily Telegraph.
Look, I know that folk from East Anglia – where I come from – are used to being abused for being “in-bred” or having “webbed feet” and other silly nonsense, but to be accused of trying to commit crimes while dressed as Willy Wonka’s employees is a bit much. (Just in case anyone wonders, I am not making light of what might be a serious crime.)
Mind you, Norwich did used to have several chocolate factories. Oh well, it makes a change from reading about the US “fiscal cliff”. I promise to be a bit more productive on this site than I have been in recent months. 2012 was effing busy.
Okay, I admit it. This is me checking out how you post photos on Samizdata, with Michael Jennings sitting next to me to show me, what with him already having done this successfully.
Nevertheless, this is quite a fun photo. It was taken on November 28th of this year:
Words don’t fail me, but you surely know what I mean.
There’s the fact that Concorde was scrapped in 2003. There’s the weird colour changes imposed upon the dear old Union Jack (which were such a feature of life in London in this Olympic Year). There’s the fact that this is an item of weirdly designed Olympic stuff on sale and on display in a London shop (it was not the only one – trust me). And there is the fact that this weirdly designed Olympic object is still on sale now, months after the Olympics have been and gone. Michael assures me that Olympic crap will still be around in our shops for many more months yet.
There is probably plenty more to be said about this strange, strange thing, but I leave it to others to add such observations.
Perry has occasionally suggested the possibility of introducing a new category named “No shit, Sherlock”, principally for quoting people who have, apparently after a long struggle, managed to figure out the blindingly obvious.
I think it might apply here too. In Cyprus, between the opposing armies of Turkey and Greek Cyprus, there is a buffer zone, monitored by the United Nations. This buffer zone is not as empty or as off limits as many other such zones in other parts of the world, but like many such zones it has become an involuntary nature reserve, full of wildlife.
There are also a small number of occupied towns in the zone. One of these is Pyla, which has the distinction of being the only town on the island of Cyprus in which citizens of Greek and Turkish ethnicity live side by side. This town contains both active mosques and active churches, pubs that serve Efes and different pubs that serve KEO. (Why is beer such a sectarian thing?) There is a significant UN presence in the town. Rather tiresomely, there are also lots of signs prohibiting photography of buildings occupied by the UN, but one still does one’s best. Surreptitious photography does not always lead to the best results, alas.
On the side of the local UN police station is the above sign, which explains that hunting is prohibited. Apparently it is a bad idea to run around a neutral zone between two hostile and opposing armies wearing camouflage and firing weapons. Who would have thought it?
I confess that I have mixed feelings about the necessity for such signs. Sometimes people should be allowed to collect their richly deserved Darwin awards, if they are determined enough.
From: The Times, 11 December 1912 p5
Burton Roll Out ‘Arthur Scargill Clothing Line’ Inspired By Trade Unionist Leader.
Seen via what I intially thought was a first-class joke article in the Guardian. But the only joke in the piece is Aditya Chakrabortty’s gullibility regarding TUC “research”, for, verily, Burton menswear really is offering the discerning customer a ‘vintage-inspired fashion-aware range’, designed by Liam Hodges
…to include casual and formal design, woven and jersey, and knit, ‘accessible to the everyday guy’.
Hodges’ winning designs take inspiration from the miners’ strikes of the 1980s and took into account production practicalities – from factory capacities to UK-sourced yarns.
“I was reading lots about the miners and watching documentaries. What I’ve created draws on classic garments from that era, updating them with modern jackets,’ Hodges said.
The next step for the brand simply must be haircare.
Look, I want you to know that if I thought there was the slightest chance that it was really going to happen my first reaction to this story would probably not have been to say “Cool”.
Lord Gilbert Suggests Dropping A Neutron Bomb On Pakistan-Afghanistan Border
Even cooler: he is a former Labour defence minister.
Responding for the government Lord Wallace said the coalition did not share the “rumbustious views” of Gilbert.
In China, the government wanted to build a road where there were some flats. Instead of evicting the residents, they lured them away with money. But for one couple the money was not enough, so the rest of the building was knocked down and the road was built anyway. The couple who refused to move now live in the middle of the road.
The article does not mention whether they still have water and electricity, but it does give some other examples of similar situations where utilities were disconnected.
This is China, so it is likely that there is more going on than meets the eye. But on the face of it no property rights have been violated. The land the road sits on was bought fair and square. This situation demonstrates that compulsory purchase and eminent domain are not necessary to solve the problem of recalcitrant landowners: if all your neighbours sell it is likely that your property is about to lose value and you would be wise to sell also.
In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996).
Clearly someone does not have enough real work to do.