Anorak

Key Posts | Anorak - Part 2

Key Posts Category

Arsenal Balls: 4 years since last away win over Big 6 team; greedy Stan Kroenke to blame; Emery needs 10 new players

Stan Kronke arsenal
Stan Kroenke – the man with one plan: milk the club and, er, that’s it

It is now four years and 21 matches since Arsenal last won away from home against a big-six rival — a 2-0 win against Manchester City in January 2015. Under Stan Kroenke’s ownership, Arsenal have dropped and dropped. Kroenke is the greedy, absentee owner the club never deserved. He puts no stock in the team winning on the pitch. There is no reflective glory. Arsenal fans would wager and win the bet that Kroenke doesn’t even know who Unai Emery is. It’s all just about dividends and cash. Kroenke doesn’t support Arsenal; Arsenal supports him and his avarice.

Arsenal’s way form against their so-called Premier League title rivals is dire. These are the points won in games away to the big six since that City victory:

Team
Man City Games 23, points 31
Liverpool 21, 24
Man Utd 21, 23
C Palace 24, 20
Southampton 24, 16
West Ham 24, 16
Chelsea 18, 16
Tottenham 19, 15
Leicester City 26, 14
West Brom 21, 12
Swansea City 20, 12
Burnley 19, 9
Everton 25, 8
Bournemouth 22, 8
Arsenal 21, 7
Newcastle 19, 5
Stoke City 19, 5
Watford 20, 4
Aston Villa 10, 3
Sunderland 15, 2
Huddersfield 10,2

Spotter: The Times

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Historic sex abuse: 33 men arrested in Yorkshire on the word of one woman

In Yorkshire, 33 men have been arrested over claims they were involved in child sex abuse. The men, aged from 30 to 40, were arrested in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford districts. The alleged crimes happened years ago. They are allegations of ‘historic sex abuse’. And, as the Examiner notes: “It comes after one woman has come forward alleging she was abused as a child, predominantly in the Halifax area, between 2002 and 2005.”

One woman makes a number of claims and 33 men are arrested. The paper tells us us: “All those who have been arrested have since been released under further investigation.”

Detective Inspector Laura Nield, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, goes on the record:

“Protecting and safeguarding children is a top priority for the Force and this operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing commitment to investigating both current and non-recent sexual offences against children. These crimes affect the most vulnerable in our society and are truly heinous crimes.”

Alleged offences. Surely she should have said the offences are alleged. The 33-men now being eyed with suspicion deserve that, don’t they?

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Maltipoo proves Ant McPartlin is not a shit

Ant Mcpartlin the sun bgt multipoo

The Sun doesn’t bother to hire a dog whisperer to translate what the pair of Mulitpoo dogs hooked in Ant McPartlin’s paws think of their new ‘owner’. But we do know that Ant (pedigree: Geordie) “kept them warm in his cosy jacket”. what else Ant keeps in his anorak is also left unsaid, and the pooches are advised to avid licking the ‘tic-tacs’.

Two more pages of Ant (not a shit) and his “2 poos” follow. We hear from a source (unnamed – pedigree: house-trained PR firm mutt), who tells us that Ant and his new love Anne-Marie (pedigree: a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Marie Antoinette) are in a “positive place”. No, not bed, you cynical sluts. Ant is taking a stroll on Wimbledon Common, and showing not the slightest hint of being affected by the man with camera tracking his every move. “Ant has never been so happy.” So there, Lisa (pedigree: ex-wife and former employee of aforesaid Anne-Marie).

By the way, the Sun lets it be know that Ant is now clean of booze and drugs (and Anne-Marie) and gainfully employed. You can keep track of his movements in your role as Ant Mentors as he treads the boards on TV show Britain’s Got Talent. First up is a man who says he can spin gold from a piece of shit. He works in PR and performs as ‘anonymous source’…

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Rapper Murs breaks it down: ‘Beastie Boys is the Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time’

I saw the Beastie Boys play live. They were fabulous.

Rapper MURS considers The Beastie Boys to be the greatest hip hop group of all time.

Do I think the Beastie Boys are the best? No. Are they my favorite of all time? No, but they are close. Did they have an unfair advantage? Yes. Do I feel like they show love and respect for the culture throughout their career? Yes. Their staying power, their dope live shows, their innovations, their philanthropy, their numbers. When I sit back and look at the facts objectively, I have to say at this point in hip-hop history the Beastie Boys are the greatest rap group of all time.

He’s right:

Beastie Boys VHS 1987 Licensed to Ill FULL from nutri871 on Vimeo.

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Ban mobile phones from schools and Parliament

Parliament mobile phones MPs Commons

You can read the Times’s story on calls to ban mobile phones in school – but only for the kids, natch. – and not have the foggiest idea why you’re reading it. It’s all about fanning the opinions of Nick Gibb. But nowhere in the story does the Times find space to tell readers who Gibb is. Well, he’s Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education. Who knew? Gibb, a man with a profile lower than a spoon, says mobile phones should be banned in schools. The ban will ensure the kinder have better chances of concentrating in class. The kids should be educated about the dangers of too much screen time at school, and at home.

Says Gibb, whose clearly not one of those MPs who sit in the Commons assembly hall ignoring the head’s addresses as they tip-tap on their phones and talk – like the kids must not do in their halls.:

“I believe very strongly that children should be limiting their own use at home. Every hour spent online and on a smartphone is an hour less talking to family, and it’s an hour less exercise and it’s an hour less sleep. And of course it is a lack of sleep that research is showing can have a damaging effect on a child’s mental health.”

An hour less slumped in front of the telly. An hour less watching video nasties. An hour less fighting the Rockers with switch blades. An hour less telling your mum you hate her and never asked to be born. An hour less reading comic books. An hour less having sex. Stop it. Stop it now!

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


A look around Roald Dahl’s Dylan Thomas-themed writing shed

In 1982 Roald Dahl, showed us inside his writing shed at his home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. The shed was relocated to the Roald Dahl Museum. The desk – a board balanced on the arms of a tatty chair – we knew about. Dahl called the 6ft x 7ft hut his “little nest, my womb”. One thing we didn’t know: Dahl modelled his shed on Dylan Thomas’s own writing shed in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The BBC:

Although Dahl based the design of his hut on Thomas’s shed, there was one major difference – the lack of natural light. He often kept his curtains drawn (10) to block out the outside world and was dependant on an angle-poise lamp for light….

Dahl’s widow Felicity said: “He realised he had to have a space of his own in the garden away from the children and the noise and the general domesticity and he remembered that Dylan had felt the same.

“And so he went down to Wales to look at Dylan’s writing hut and, like everybody, fell in love with it.”

Built to the same proportions, with the same angled roof – the similarities could be a coincidence. But according to his widow it was built in a similar design by Dahl’s builder friend Wally Saunders, who the BFG was based on.

“He built it exactly to the same proportions as Dylan’s hut, the same roof, one skin of brick,” said Mrs Dahl. “Of course Dylan’s hut was a garage originally, whereas Roald had nothing, it was an empty space that he built on.”

Roald dahl writing shed

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Books, Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Prince Philip: look who Freaky Phil could have killed

prince Philip accident car

The Sun has an “exclusive” on Prince’s Philip’s car accident in which one woman travelling in the other vehicle sustained a broken wrist. It’s an exclusive based on the opinions of one Graham Oakley.

Oakley might be the person behind the company Graham Oakley – Crash Detective Ltd, which you can access via something called The Federation of Forensic & Expert Witnesses

The Sun mentions neither company but does tell us Mr Oakley is a “retired cop”. He tells us that had the accident occurred differently then someone could have died. “It don’t beat thinking about,” he adds. Only it does because the Sun mocks up what “could” have happened. “A split second later and there would have been a tragedy,” the Sun states.

prince Philip accident car
Not ‘Phil the Greek’

The paper then adds a look-alike image of the Prince and a figure in the 1493 Leonardo Da Vinci artwork A Man Tricked By Gypsies. This gives space for the pun “Phil The Freak”. The image, which featured in the Royal Collection, is described thus:

The man at the centre of this drawing is surrounded by a band of Gypsies in traditional dress. He raises his right arm to have his palm read by the old woman in traditional Gypsy dress on the right – unfortunately the sheet was cut at an early date and the palm-reading trimmed off. While the man is distracted, the grinning Gypsy on the left reaches under his sleeve to steal his purse. The two figures behind stare with hooded brow or laugh hysterically, adding to the sense of claustrophobic menace.

A Man tricked by Gypsies.

Just wait til Phil sells his story to the papers.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Ariana Grande: new Japanese tattoo spells ‘Japanese barbecue finger’

Ariana Grande: new Japanese tattoo spells 'Japanese barbecue finger'

Into the ever popular realm of crap tattoos steps elfin singer Ariana Grande who invested in a new hand tattoo written in Japanese kanji characters to mark her new single 7 Rings (Hard cheese – Zsa Zsa Gabor had nine). It turns out that the tattoo actually promises not 7 rings but “small barbecue grill”.

Grande tweeted that she “left out ‘つの指’ which should have gone in between” the symbols, but “it hurt like fuck”. She “wouldn’t have lasted another symbol lmao”. The tweet is now deleted. And the tattoo has been updated:

Still, as BuzzFeed notes, it doesn’t read exactly right: Her tutor said that her original tattoo, 七輪, reads “seven circles” — or, as we have heard, “Japanese barbecue grill” — and suggested Grande add 指— the kanji for “finger” — between and above the characters, so it would read as 七指輪, or seven rings. But it seems there wasn’t room for that, so Grande had it added below. And since Japanese is mostly read from left to right, her solution means that the new one roughly translates to … “Japanese barbecue finger”.

Right now some Z-lister is kicking themselves that they didn’t get in their first with the barbecue finger tattoo and get some much-needed career exposure in TV Quick and the Argos catalogue. Stick to the A-list stuff, Ari, and leave the idiocy to those who need it.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment


Don’t make Fiona Onasanya a victim of our prejudice

Fiona Onasanya

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is one of the rarest breed: a politician actually jailed for lying (what – rather rather than getting a peerage? – ed). Onsanya claimed she wasn’t behind the wheel when her car was spotted being driven at 41mph in a 30mph zone, in July 2017. She was. She lied. This week she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and jailed for three months. She was expelled from the Labour party in December 2018. She remains an MP.

And some people think she got off lightly. The Mail hears them:

Jailed MP Fiona Onasanya could have her sentence increased after members of the public complained that it was too soft. The ex-solicitor, who has been kicked out of Labour, was locked up for three months for perverting the course of justice after lying over a speeding ticket. But the jail term is now being reviewed by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the Government’s chief law officer, under an unduly lenient sentencing scheme.

From being a crime it is now a moral offence. We expect better from our MPs, see, what with them being role models for the mentally negligible. So she should be given a tougher sentence so that we can feel pure and whole again. It should be different for them.

“You voted for a Labour Party person. Unfortunately the people of Peterborough were failed,” said Ian Lavery, the Labour Party chair. We want a Labour Party MP here who will do the people of Peterborough a great service.”

One aside: Fiona brother is called…Festus. He was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the smatter, after pleading guilty to the same charge.

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


State refuses compensation for two innocent men who served 24 years prison

Sam Hallam innocent

Hard cheese Sam Hallam, who was convicted of murder, and Victor Nealon, who was found guilty of attempted rape. Bother men had those convictions quashed in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They are innocent. Between them they spent 24 years in prison (Hallam: 7 years; Nealon: 17 years) before their convictions were overturned. Compensation, then – how much for having a large chunk of your life ripped away for a crime you did not commit? Nothing. Why not? Because the evidence demonstrating their convictions were wrong isn’t enough.

The Indy:

Their compensation claims under the 1988 Act were rejected on the basis that it was not the case, as required by the Act, that a “new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

What about the State trying to make right what it make wrong? What about doing the decent thing? When he was freed, Hallam’s mother, Wendy Cohen, told media: “I am just shocked. I knew this would happen, he should never have been in there. My family has gone through hell, it is like we were all being tortured. Sam’s father killed himself while he was inside, all of us have suffered.”

Henry Blaxland QC, for Hallam, said: “Sam Hallam – and I put it boldly – has been the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice brought about by a combination of manifestly unreliable identification evidence … failure by police properly to investigate his alibi and non-disclosure by the prosecution of material that could have supported his case.”

And for that he gets nought.

Mr Nealon was wrongly convicted and left to rot. The BBC:

A man who spent 17 years behind bars wrongfully convicted of attempted rape has received an apology from a body set up to examine miscarriages of justice. Victor Nealon, 53, was convicted of attacking a woman outside a nightclub in Redditch in 1996. He asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to examine his case but was turned down twice. His conviction was quashed last year… Commission chairman Richard Foster said: “I regret the fact in this particular case we missed something and I apologise to all concerned for the fact we did so.”

Simple question: what would you do if Mr Nealon was a loved one? Would you ignore his long protestations of innocence?

“I depended on people in that position to research paperwork and they didn’t do it,” Mr Nealon said… “I could have been out at least ten to 12 years ago but, on account of the CCRC and their failure to research a paper trail, I remained in prison.”

The law is unfit for purpose. “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” is a thought expressed by William Blackstone in his work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s. So what changed? When did we become such swine?

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Italy dips into recession; UK out-performs EU; BBC ignores figures

Italy dips into recession; UK out-performs EU; BBC ignores figures

Something is missing from the BBC’s report on the Italian economy slipping into recession. In the final quarter of 2018, the Italian economy shrank by 0.2%. That followed a 0.1% decline in the third quarter. The BBC tells us:

Growth in the euro area remained at 0.2% in the final quarter of 2018, the same as the previous quarter and in line with analysts’ expectations.

Bad news, then. Time to leave the EU. But hold on because the BBC has more news:

The figures, issued by the Eurostat agency, showed that in the 28-nation EU as a whole, fourth-quarter growth was 0.3%.

That figure includes the UK – which is leaving the EU. But the BBC doesn’t mention the UK’s economy anywhere in its report. It only says:

In contrast to Italy, some other eurozone economies expanded more than expected, with France and Spain posting growth rates of 0.3% and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter respectively.

In the third quarter of 2018, the UK economy grew by 0.6%. The next quarter looks to have produced a rise of 0.4%. Why doesn’t the BBC think this important to mention? Might it have something to do with Brexit, and how Remain-supporting MPs told us a vote for Leave was a vote for a deep recession? George Osborne told us every household would be £4,300 worse off by 2030 if we voted Leave. We didn’t. And we’re not.

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Writer turns sleep apnea mask into an Alien Facehugger

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Who says you can’t have fun with sleep apnea? Not Jared Grey, who fashioned his Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask into an Alien life-size foam Facehugger. And here’s how he did it, telling us:

I’ve been joking for years that if I ever ended up needing a CPAP mask, I’d incorporate it into a facehugger. Because obviously. …I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and now have my own CPAP torture machine. Seriously, these things are awful and create as much discomfort as they prevent. So I may as well have some fun with this thing while it’s intruding on my life.

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Spotter:  Jared Greyvia Technabob

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Brexit: May the appeaser becomes ‘Our Theresa’ in the tabloids

‘SHE’ who must be obeyed

Any idea what the tabloids made of yesterday’s vote in which MPs despatched the PM to Brussels to ask the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement – you know, that deal she agreed and her peers thought was crap; the one the same MPs voted down by a record margin of defeat for a serving Government a whole two weeks ago? Take a look. The tabloids it. They love “Theresa” (Mail), “She” who must be obeyed (Express) and a pretty chipper public school “May” (Mirror).

Theresa the Wheezer is limping to the finishing line. Theresa the Squeezer is eking out every last drop of credibility for her fudge. Or how about any one of Caesar, freezer, pleaser, teaser, appeaser, bumfreezer, displeaser, misfeasor, tranquilizar and any other pun the tabloids could have employed to ridicule the painfully absurd state of British politics?

Remainers and Brexiteers like to promote themselves as opposing sides in a frenzied, thrusting debate. But both camps are united only in their introversion, a chamber of inward looking dullards seeking truth in a solid past and never daring to press on. Calls for a second vote are as steeped in nostalgia and insecurity as the Brexiteers they deride, for whom distance is always measured in yards and bad teeth are a national treasure.

The tabloids must try harder. We get it: they want anyone but Corbyn, But the papers’ sappiness means we also get May. And that’s got us nowhere.

Oh for a Leaver leader capable of embracing the vote and blessed with courage and an expansive outlook. But the loud, arcane Brexiteers left it to May, a Remainer, to cobble something together as they snarked and sniped from DJ booths, newspaper columns and the back benches, turning the simple act of writing a letter, something they must have dictated to a nanny, tutor or divorce lawyer hundreds of times, into a group therapy session they flunked. Sat across the way is Jeremy Corbyn, a monocular visionary so stuffed with contradictions and hypocrisy that Michael Gove, the MP who stabbed Boris Johnson in the back, managed to toss a wreath over the Labour leader’s frowning bonce and reel him in for a pasting. And that frown, the one Corbyn uses to portray, in his mind at least, deep thought and knowing but gives him the look of a confused viewer trying to work out how Dirty Den came back from the dead.

So farewell, Theresa. Off you pop to serve the EU’s wonks the Parliament-backed Brady amendment, with its “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop. Best of luck. May’s shuffling back. Nigel Farage and Yvette Cooper can only look on approvingly.

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Thailand fires water canon to clear Bangkok smog; London learns

smog pollution london

You know you’re in Bangkok, Thailand, because you can see the air moving. But worry not. The Thais are defeating the smoggy pea-soupers with water cannon.

Global News has more:

Thai authorities used water cannons on Monday in an effort to combat Bangkok’s air pollution. Masks were also provided after hazardous dust particles reportedly reached an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 180.

Any level above 150 is considered unhealthy and Bangkok ranked in the top 10 of polluted cities worldwide on Monday.

The particles, known as PM 2.5, are a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that can include dust, soot and smoke.

Diesel fumes contributed up to 60 per cent of the pollution while burning rubbish and crops attributed about 35 per cent.

The Straits Times says the “PM2.5 air-quality index (AQI) in Bangkok on [last] Sunday reached a peak of 195, an unhealthy level, while some areas such as Bang Khen district were at hazardous levels, with PM2.5 AQI at 394 on Sunday morning”. That’s way over the target of 50.

The Mail:

Stagnant weather conditions mean it is unlikely to clear quickly own its own. But the government is set to deploy rainmaking planes to seed clouds by dispersing chemicals into the air to aid condensation. 
The weather modification technique should in theory result in rain, which would help to clear the skies.

‘The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation… expects the rainmaking to be done tomorrow but it depends on wind and humidity levels,’ Pralong Dumrongthai, director-general of Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, told reporters. 

Waiting for rain is dull – as is cutting the reliance on pollutants. Better to fire up the water canon. But the water don’t taste like what it outta:

Thai media reported that in a desperate attempt to bring down critical air pollution levels in Bangkok, local authorities started experimenting with sweetened water, instead of regular one. The idea behind the bizarre pollution-fighting strategy is that by increasing the viscosity of the water using sugar will allow it to trap more dangerous particles when sprayed into the air. However, some experts believe that the unconventional approach could do more harm than good.

Dr. Weerachai Putthawong, a professor of organic chemistry at Kasetsart University, told Workingpoint News that he has serious doubts that the sweetened water will yield better results than regular water. He claims that the increased viscosity of the liquid won’t make much of a difference, because the equipment used to spray it isn’t powerful enough to pulverize it into small enough droplets to catch dust and particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns in size. The current machines used to spray the water can only catch particles down to 10 microns.

To make matters worse, the added sugar could cause the surfaces the mixture lands on to develop dangerous mold, as the organic additive would allow bacteria and fungi to develop.

Back in the UK, London just sold its convoy of three water canon. “Although London’s air often appears clear to the naked eye, the city has suffered from illegal levels  of air pollution since 2010,” says the FT. Recall the canon. Fire at will!

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Morrisons offer: 20p for a paper bag or 15p for a more environmentally friendly plastic bag?

plastic bag tax
Bag. 2012.3045.04. McDonald’s: Toy Story 2.

Morrisons is offering its customers the chance to buy a reusable paper bag. Prince: 20p. The supermarket chain is also offering a reusable plastic carrier bag. Cost: 15p. The offer runs for eight weeks. So you’ll all buy the more expensive bag one, right, because it’s more environmentally friendly to do so. Or not.

Waitrose is not currently introducing a paper bag because “it can take three times more energy to make a paper bag than a plastic one”. True. And – get this – the paper bag is made of paper, which gets wet and falls to bits. The durability of paper bags – ie: the lack of it – is why plastic bags were so popular and needed. A good plastic bag is so very hard to destroy – just look how long they can survive in the ocean.

The BBC notes:

The production of paper bags uses more energy and creates more CO2 emissions than the manufacture of plastic bags. But paper decomposes much more quickly, while plastic can remain part of the environment for hundreds of years, causing damage to animals and marine life.

Tim Worstall adds:

How many times do we need to reuse a bag for it to have as little resource use – and thus environmental effect – as just the one use of those thin single use plastic ones? Obviously enough, the single use that we’re told not to use has a value of one here. The bag for life must be reused 35 times. A bag for life from recycled plastic 84 times. A paper bag must be reused 43 times – yes, paper. A cotton bag 7,100 times and an organic cotton? 20,000.

The answer: grow everything yourselves and eat out. Careworn urbanites can eat actual ‘street food’ in streets, rather than street food in new restaurants. Or maybe not. Those street food Meccas are pretty polluted:

 Shocking report reveals that 95% of plastic polluting the world’s oceans comes from just TEN rivers including the Ganges and Niger. “More than half of the plastic waste that flows into the oceans comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.”

Five. How about 8?

Just eight countries in the region are responsible for about 63 percent of total plastic waste flowing into the oceans. Little of that junk has been exported by rich economies. Instead, it’s almost solely generated by Asia’s newly minted consumer classes, the vast majority of whom lack access to garbage collection, modern landfills and incineration. Any progress in reducing ocean plastic will have to start with them.

A boom in garbage is almost always the result of two related phenomena: urbanization and income growth. Rural dwellers moving to the city shift from buying unpackaged goods to buying stuff (especially food) wrapped in plastic. As their incomes rise, their purchases increase. That growth in consumption is almost never matched by expanded garbage collection and disposal. In typical low-income countries, less than half of all garbage is collected formally, and what little is picked up tends to end up in unregulated open dumps. In 2015, scientists estimated that as much as 88 percent of the waste generated in Vietnam is either littered or tossed into uncontained dumps. In China, the rate is about 77 percent. By comparison, the U.S. rate is 2 percent.

Every big city in developing Asia faces this problem. Jakarta’s waterways are choked with plastic trash. In Kuala Lumpur, instances of open dumping line the high-speed train route to the airport. On the outskirts of any Chinese city, loose plastic bags and instant-noodle cups litter every road’s shoulder. Much of this junk ends up in waterways — and, eventually, the ocean. One study found that eight of the 10 rivers conveying the most plastic waste into the oceans are in Asia. China’s Yangtze alone delivers 1.5 million metric tons of plastic to the Yellow Sea each year.

Paper bags and ready-made food is the answer. McDonald’s all round it is, then…

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Arsenal balls: sex, Joe Willock and The Sun’s Ashley Cole rerun

When back in December the Sun told us about Arsenal players allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide – “hippy crack” – we were assured that the “images will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage no-nonsense Spanish team coach Unai Emery”. Fast forward to January and club’s teenage prospect Joe Willock is the subject of an alleged huff ‘n’ tell. And the Sun once more tells us: “His antics will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense Spanish coach Unai Emery.”

Arsenal hippy crack
The Sun – December 2018
The Sun – Janaury 2019

The fallout from the December story has been softer than an autumn leaf dropping from a woodland tree. So will the Willock ‘The Pillock’ story travel better? It has a chance because it features “French model Eglantine Flore Aguilar”. You may recall her from her time with former Arsenal player Ashley Cole? Yeah – like the quote, she too is a repeat. Says La Eggplant: “He certainly moved quickly. One minute he was messaging me on Instagram, the next he was buying me tickets to London. His conversation was very boring, possibly because he’s so young. The sex was also really weird. He wanted to try all different positions in the shortest possible time. I didn’t enjoy it.”

The unmarried lad’s a nippy utility player. And:

The Sun – with typo

The paper’s typo and repetition will surely horrify Sun fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense editor.

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Victoria Wood remembered in hilarious statue

Victoria Wood statue

BBC Radio Manchester alerts us to the statue which Bury Council have approved to honour Victoria Wood (19 May 1953 – 20 April 2016). It will stand on Silver Street next to the Library Gardens in the comedian’s home town.

You’ll know it’s her by the plaque and sounds of laughter.

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Unicorn robber captured

unicorn thief

Police in Spain have captured a unicorn who allegedly robbed several stores in Malaga. The unicorn is said to be a man dressed in a soft onsie with a unicorn-style horn on his head. Well, so they say. What price the real thief – the nefarious and prolific unicorn – prompted a desperate man into a copy-cat crime? If this poor soul needs a defence, call me. The truth is out there. I have books…

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Memorial Day: A Song For The End of The World

Holocaust

On Memorial Day we think of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We think of the murdered, the deniers who make liars of the victims, the brave, the saviours, the survivors, the banality of evil, the complicit, the lost, the never-to-be-forgotten, the silence, and the enduring spirit of humanity, encapsulated in the wonderful Lydia Lova’s pompoms.

We should never forget. But we are. We do. One in 20 UK adults deny the Holocaust took place, a survey a survey of more than 2,000 people by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) found. One in 12 thinks its scale has been exaggerated. Around 64% either could not say how many Jews were murdered or “grossly” under-estimated the number. Jew haters never vanished. They were simply beaten down.

“A Song on the End of the World” by Czeslaw Milosz
Written in 1944.
Translated by Anthony Milosz:

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.
—Warsaw, 1944

Photo: This is a prisoner identity photo provided by the Auschwitz Museum, taken by Wilhelm Brasse while working in the photography department at Auschwitz, the Nazi-run death camp where some 1.5 million people, most of them Jewish, died during World War II. The Nazis sent Brasse to the camp as a Polish political prisoner in 1940, where he estimates that he took some 40,000 to 50,000 such identity pictures for the Nazis.

Posted: 27th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts | Comment


“Judea dies’, thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights”

"Judea dies’, thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights"

Friday December 11 1931 was the eighth and final night of Chanukkah, and Rabbi Akiva Boruch Posner, Doctor of Philosophy from Halle-Wittenberg University, struck a match and lit the Menorah. His home was across the way from the headquarters of the local Nazi Party. Rabbi Posner’s wife, Rachel, took a photo of the view from her window. When the film had been processed and returned to her in early 1931, she wrote a few lines in German on the back.

“Juda verrecke, die Fahne spricht. Juda lebt ewig, erwidert das Licht”

“Chanukah, 5692. ‘Judea dies’, thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights.”

What came next was humanity at its more depraved. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.

More: Judea Lives Forever’: Candles Illuminate Nazis In Kiel, 1931

Posted: 27th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The Cheese Label Museum

Cheese Museum Flashbak vintage labels

“This is my father’s collection of cheese labels from the 1940s and 50s,” says Londoner Julian Tysoe, whose mini museum can be seen on Flashbak. Julian’s father, John Jeremy ‘Gus’ Tysoe (26 August 1938 – 25 September 2016) also wrote letters to the great English animator Oliver Postage (Ivor the Engine, Noggin’s the Nog and more). They discussed chess, Tolkien, accountants and more.

My Father’s Collection of Cheese Labels from the 1940s and 50s

Posted: 26th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Amanda Knox: ‘Foxy Knoxy’ wins damages from Italian police

U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by an Italian penitentiary police officer at a hearing in Perugia's court, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Earlier this month, prosecutors requested life sentences for American student Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito accused of killing a young British woman in Italy. Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini asked a jury in Perugia to convict Amanda Knox and Sollecito on charges of murder and sexual violence for their alleged role in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher. They deny wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Stefano Medici)

How do you tell the story of Amanda Knox, the American embroiled in the investigation into the 2007 murder of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher? The media was attracted to the story of the blonde American and her Italian boyfriend accused of murdering a fellow student in a sex game. Very swiftly, Knox became ‘Foxy Knoxy’. Today the European Court of Human Rights found the Italian state guilty of violating Knox’s rights. Knox was convicted then acquitted over Kercher’s murder. She served four years of a 26-year tariff. Italy must pay Ms Knox €18,400 in damages.

Fox became ‘Foxy’ in a tale of sex

Knox has issued a statement: “I was interrogated for 53 hours over five days, without a lawyer, in a language I understood maybe as well as a ten-year-old.”

The Times says Knox “claimed she was pressured during interrogation into admitting she was at the scene and pinning the murder on the local Congolese barman Patrick Lumumba, an accusation she then dropped.” Do we mention Mr Lumamaba, the innocent black man? “They were determined to break me,” says Knox in a statement. “They threatened me with 30 years in prison if I didn’t remember what they wanted me to remember. Finally, in the delirium they put me through, I didn’t know what to believe. I thought, for a brief moment, maybe they were right.”

The Times adds: “A three-year sentence for Ms Knox for falsely accusing Mr Lumumba was never dropped, although her four years in jail covered the sentence.”

The New York Post presents the award as a defeat: “Italy to pay just $21K in damages to Amanda Knox after she sought millions.” She wanted $3 million. Does the amount matter? Knox’s lawyer, who’s not quoted in the paper, said: “It is impossible to compensate Amanda for four years in prison for a mistake. There will be no amount. We are not looking for compensation of damages. We are doing this on principal.” The Post does note: “Ms. Knox had been particularly vulnerable, being a foreign young woman, 20, at the time, not having been in Italy for very long and not being fluent in Italian,” the European Court of Human Rights noted. The paper then says: “She falsely accused an innocent Congolese barman of being involved in the murder.”

The British press took a position

Buzzfeed looks at why she pointed the finger. It leads: “Knox was convicted of making false statements during the investigation into the murder of her British roommate. A court ruled these had been made in an atmosphere of ‘intense psychological pressure’.” Adding: “They awarded her €10,400 for damages and an additional €8,000 for costs ($20,400 altogether).”

US Press took a position

AP reports: “The human rights court, however, said there was not enough evidence to conclude Knox had “sustained the inhuman or degrading treatment” she claimed. Knox said she had been slapped twice on the side of the head by police, while also being subjected to pressure, threats of imprisonment and shouting.”

Is it different for women?

And what of Kercher? The Telegraph notes:

The panel of seven judges added, however, that they had found no evidence that Knox was subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment during her questioning … Knox’s lawyer in Italy, Carlo Della Vedova, said her conviction for murder and sexual assault amounted to “the biggest judicial error by the Italian justice system in the last 50 years.

“This young woman was sent to prison at the age of 20 and came out at the age of 24 – four years of wrongful imprisonment. Strasbourg has confirmed the violation of her fundamental rights.”

But Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the Kerchers, said the family felt “dissatisfaction” with the Strasbourg court’s ruling, along with the outcome of the judicial process in Italy, which had led to the acquittal of Ms Knox and her ex-boyfriend.


The paper adds that “The only person to have been convicted for the murder of Kercher is Rudy Guede”. “Only”. How many were needed? He is serving a 16-year sentence.

Image: “U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by an Italian penitentiary police officer at a hearing in Perugia’s court, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Earlier this month, prosecutors requested life sentences for American student Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito accused of killing a young British woman in Italy. Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini asked a jury in Perugia to convict Amanda Knox and Sollecito on charges of murder and sexual violence for their alleged role in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher. They deny wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Stefano Medici)”

Posted: 24th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The court calls Mr Farrelly of Muff Crescent, Nobber

Ireland’s Ardee District Court calls Mr Conor Farrelly, 22, who stands accused of driving a 2011 BMW car into a wall in Ardee, fleeing the scene and heading into a pub. Mr Farrelly of Muff Crescent, Nobber… Pardon me? No giggling in court. You there! I’ll have you removed.

Mr Farrelly offered guilty pleas to dangerous driving and not being insured. Judge Coughlan banned Mr Farrelly from driving for two years. He also sought a probation report in respect of the defendant doing 240 hours community service in lieu of five months in jail.

The matter will return to court on May 13 when final sentencing will be passed. In the meantime, Mr Farrelly will reside at the property in Muff Crescent in Nobber… Enough! Dismissed!!!

Spotter: Dundalk Democrat

Posted: 24th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


James Bulger: And the Oscar for bad taste goes to…

James Bulger is back in the news. The child murdered by children is on the Mirror’s front page. “BULGERS RAGE AT OSCARS INSULTS,” says the headline. The story is yet another painful episode in which the child’s parents, Denise Ferguson and Ralph Bulger, are invited to share her pain for our gratification.

Denise Fergus is “disgusted” that Detainment, a film about the crime, is being considered for an Oscar. “To have a child re-enact the final hours of James’s life before he was brutally murdered means we have to relive the all this again,” she says.

THREE OF THE BOYS WHO FOUND THE BODY OF TWO YEAR-OLD JAMES BULGER. L-R, STEPHEN GUNNIAN, JAMES RILEY AND HIS BROTHER TERENCE. Date: 15/02/1993

But reliving the horror as entertainment was ever so. The comments attributed to the murder of a two-year-old by two ten-year-olds read like billboard splashes to come see the show. An act of “unparalleled evil” – Trial Judge. “In almost any city, town or village more minor versions of the same events are becoming an almost everyday part of our lives” – Tony Blair. “FREAKS OF NATURE” – Daily Mirror.

Daily Mirror Bulger freaks
Via
A POLICE POSTER SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE MURDER OF TWO-YEAR OLD JAMES BULGER IS PLACED OUTSIDE MARSH LANE POLICE STATION IN LIVERPOOL.    Date: 15/02/1993
A POLICE POSTER SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE MURDER OF TWO-YEAR OLD JAMES BULGER IS PLACED OUTSIDE MARSH LANE POLICE STATION IN LIVERPOOL. Date: 15/02/1993

The Mirror uses its editorial to slam the “Bulger shame”. We hear that Denise Fergus’s “disgust and upset is understandable”. Of course it is. We know that. It is “about showing compassion… and respect for a woman who has suffered enough”. Why, then, is her pain front-page news? The Mirror says it is “not too late” for “Irish director [why is his nationality important?] to go cap in hand to apologise in person” to the Bulgers.

In which case he can join the queue behind the politicians, judges and tabloid Press…

Posted: 23rd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


After Covington: the cult of the kid is dead

Kathy Griffith wanted “these fuckers” “named” and “shamed” in public. “NAMES,” she demanded. Daily Mirror columnist Stan Collymore called them “the bastard children of Trump.” Adding: “Like all vermin, they run in numbers , seldom happy to fight alone.” These inhuman beasts were the children of a US Catholic high school. After years of pandering to children’s needs – seeing life in terms of risks to them and their need to be protected from Brexit, sugar, sex, drugs, smartphones and adults – here was a sudden change: the enlightened were going after the kids and inviting all right-minded adults of join in the hunt.

The Covington’s boys’ crime against humanity was to have allegedly menaced a Native American veteran after the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. The confrontation was videoed, uploaded to the web and – bang! – everyone wanted a piece of the “vermin”. The Twitter mob was in full cry. Being the fourth wall is a lot of fun, but we don’t always see the full picture. And so after the initial video went viral we got to see around two hours more.

We saw that the boys had been targeted by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI), self-styled descendants of the ancient Israelites. As the BHI regaled the Covington lads with such niceties as “White people, go back to Europe” and ‘Your president is a homosexual”, calling them “faggots”, the products of incest and paedophiles, the lads make no comment. The BHI tell one black lad that his friends will steal his organs after killing him. There they are stood pretty still, a gaggle of predominately white teens dressed in red MAGA hats.

Cue Nathan Phillips. The Native American was in town for a peace protest. He saw the two groups and stepped in between them. He went right up to the teens. Now the teens did react. One stood and stared. Others danced as if mocking Philips. Teens, eh. Such twats. Although one later said:

“We are an all-male school that loves to get hyped up. And as we have done for years prior, we decided to do some cheers to pass time. In the midst of our cheers, we were approached by a group of adults led by Nathan Phillips, with Phillips beating his drum. They forced their way to the center of our group. We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat.”

But this were different. Prejudice was to the fore. Those Trump hats. Those pale skin tones. These teens had been churned out by a “hate factory“. Watch the whole thing  here. Philips might care to. He told The Detroit Free Press that the teens “were in the process of attacking these four black individuals”. Phillips dehumanises the kids:

“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

For now the last word is with Nick Sandmann, the Covington student whose face has been splashed all over the web:

I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.

I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally, and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.

When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.

The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.

Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group.

At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.

After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera.

The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.

I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.

I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.

During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.

I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.

The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.

I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.

I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.

I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.

I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.

I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.

I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen – that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.

I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech. I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either.

I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran.

I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgement based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas.

I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.

The kids are alright-ish.

Posted: 22nd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment