Key Posts | Anorak - Part 2

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Bacteria of the New York City subway: artist captures tiny life forms

Artist Craig Ward took sterilized sponges onto the New York sUbway system. He was looking for life invisible to the naked eye. He pressed the swabs into agar plates  and incubated them in his Brooklyn studio.

“Over the summer of 2015, I rode the trains of each of New York City’s twenty-two subway lines, collecting bacterial samples from hand rails, seats and other high traffic surfaces in an attempt to create an unconventional series of portraits of the city’s complex eco-system and a snapshot of the city at large,” says Craig. “The resulting images are a portrait of the complex microcosm that each of us contribute to and are a part of.”


NY subway bacteria


“When you hold onto the handrail it’s like you’re shaking hands with a hundred people at the same time.”



“You look at the subway and it’s all just different shapes and sizes and colours of people and you look at it at a microscopic level and it’s all just different shapes and sizes and colors of bacterial colonies,” Ward tells Bernstein & Andriulli. “It’s a nice kind of portrait of the city on a very small scale.”


The S Train - here the agar was actually removed from the plate in the shape of an S for visual variation.

The S Train – here the agar was actually removed from the plate in the shape of an S for visual variation.


Among the bugs are strains of E. coli, serratia marcescens,  proteus mirabilis and salmonella.


The B, D, F and M group

The B, D, F and M group

Microbial residents of the L Train. They were here before it was cool.

Microbial residents of the L Train. They were here before it was cool.


You can buy Craig’s work here.

Posted: 21st, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

How Chelsea’s Conte and Manchester United’s Mourinho manage failure

blame mourinhoFollowing Chelsea’s home defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League, the BBC says Blues’ manager Antonio Conte “subjected his players to an angry dressing-down”. Conte “accused his players of failing to play as a team.”

The Times says Conte read the “riot act to his players after the Liverpool loss”. He and the team took part in “an animated post-match exchange in the dressing room”.

But Conte is no Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea coach who explained his Manchester Untied’s 3-1 defeat to Watford by blaming the players publicly. “Some individuals probably feel the pressure and responsibility too much,” said Mourinho. We started the season very well…  I was completely aware that we were not perfect, with lots of players who are not end products and can make their own mistakes.”

And after Manchester United lost to Manchester City, Mourinho was pointing the finger:

“I had two or three players in the first half that, if I know what is going to happen, I don’t play them. This is football, though, and sometimes players disappoint managers.”

Compare and contrast to Conte who told the Chelsea FC website:

“I’m guilty because I’m the coach and it means I have to work more. We must feel the danger in every single moment of the game if we want to win and think like a great team. We must pay attention and be focused.”

Is it better to criticise your team in public or in private?

Matthew Syed notes:

“When pilots experience a near-miss with another aircraft, or have been flying at the wrong altitude, they file a report.  Providing that it is submitted within 10 days, they enjoy immunity…Openness and learning rather than blaming is the instinctive response – and system safety has been the greatest beneficiary.”

Conte the pilot?

“Contrast that with the healthcare scene, in which mistakes are very threatening to surgeons who have big egos, and the culture is very litigious – preventable medical error is now the third-biggest killer in western countries.”

Mourinho the surgeon?

Syed concludes:

“We love to think of ourselves as smart people, so we find mistakes, failure and sub-optimal outcomes challenging to our egos.”

We love to look around for someone else to blame. But the smart listen to advice, look at the data and learn not to repeat mistakes.

Posted: 19th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Media training be damned: Joey Barton entertains the trolls

Thrashed 5-1 by Glasgow Celtic in the Old Firm match, Glasgow Rangers wanted to regroup. So the club’s “marquee signing” (source: BBC) Joey Barton thought it an idea to  engage in “some sharp disagreement” with team-mate Andy Halliday.

“Some of the things I said were inappropriate and for that I apologise unreservedly,” Barton, 34, tweeted.

Nonetheless, his manager, Mark Warburton, thought it best for Barton to stay away from training until Monday.

You might think Barton should not say any more, go off an fight in a Nando’s, text pictures of his bellend to aspiring models or engage in some other sad hobby mainstream media trolls thinks all footballers do when away from the pitch. But he can’t help himself. He talks. Having apologised unreservedly, he then reserved the right to review his apology:

“I regret what happened and on Monday I will report for training and I will do what it takes to help the team draw a line under it so that we can get back to the task at hand.”

Draw a line. Move on. Not quite. On he went, adding a sympathetic backstory to his unreserved apology:

“I cannot, however, apologise for caring deeply about winning and for wanting to perform better myself and for Rangers to do much better.”

He then added a non-denial denial:

“Apologising doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego.”

All befitting a man who once tweeted: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. George Orwell.”

We love it, don’t we. As Barton said:

“I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve dealt with them. I’ll tell you one thing I am proud of; when I’m finished I’ll be able to look back at my career and know that I was never this media-hyped ponce who was manufactured.”

Media training be damned!

Posted: 16th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘The Ginger Twat Called Angus’ and other people on a South London pub’s banned list

The Half Moon pub in London’s Herne Hill has banned the following people. Santero tweeted the list, says“… it’s like a Guy Ritchie casting call.” I have to agree.

banned from herne hill pub london banned

Posted: 13th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Seven-year-old boy’s pet lion goes missing

To Russian, where a seven-year-old boy is looking for his lost cat. It’s a big cat. It’s a lion, albeit a cub.

Happily, a local in the city of Ufa spotted the lion and managed to tie it to a fence.


pet lion missing


The father of the boy, who had been given the cub for his birthday, says Shere Khan escaped after being taken for a vaccination.

“When we arrived [home], we gasped – the lion was not in the car,” he said.

Local news says, “The cub has a huge territory of 40 hectares to explore and is not alone, as the family also has horses, rabbits and a peafowl” – although in time the peafowl, rabbits and horses may well make even more room for a hungry lion.

Posted: 10th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Phuc Off: Zuckerberg and Facebook’s thought police erase Napalm Girl and you’re next

Facebook napalmFacebook has a tricky relationship with censoring images. It recently censored a drawing of a human hand and banned Stephen Ellcock, who’d posted the image. But how do we stand of pictures of naked children?

Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of “abusing power” after Facebook deleted pictures of 9-year-old Kim Phúc, aka ‘Napalm Girl’, one subject in Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war.

Norwegian Tom Egeland had posted the picture on Facebook as part of a wider debate on “seven photographs that changed the history of warfare”.

Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Norway’s Aftenposten, newspaper has used his organ’s front page to accuse Zuckerberg of “abusing your power”, adding:

“I am worried that the world’s most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way.”

Egeland’s post earned him a one-month suspension from Facebook. Aftenposten posted the news on its Facebook page, including the offending photo. It received the warning:

“Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed.”

So what?

Facebook is a website – a very large one, but, nonetheless a website. You can post the picture on your own website if you like.

What Facebook should mind is that it’s dull. It thinks a startling picture of the pain and horror of war is too strong for its delicate readers. It thinks you might get sexually aroused by the image. Facebook has a pretty low view of its customers.

And what goes for pictures goes for words, too. At a 2016 event in Berlin, Zuckenberg vowed to work closer with the German police and look out for victims. “Hate speech has no place on Facebook or in our community,” he said, declining to explain what hate speech is and who gets to decide what is and what is not offensive. He expanded on his view of “protected groups”, saying that Facebook will “now include hate speech against migrants as an important part of what we just now have no tolerance for… Until recently in Germany I don’t think we were doing a good enough job, and I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job.”

Protect migrants seeking better lives in countries where they can think and speak freely by censoring people in those countries from doing just that, banning the natives from doing the very things that make those places desirable to the oppressed. Got it?

That’s the viewpoint from the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook.

If you can be banned from Facebook for publishing a picture of a hand or a crying child, can you be banned for calling for a wall to be built between the USA and Mexico, saying ‘White Men Can’t Jump’, or stating that Nickelback fans are deluded?

Facebook is founded on human-to-human communication.

If you stymie that, the site loses its way. It becomes a safe space where only big corporations that play ball (and pay Facebook’s exorbitant fees to reach all of their own readers who ‘like’ their pages) show up on timelines. Then people will go elsewhere to talk freely and air an opinion.

Given the amount of time and effort we and many others have spent cultivating readers on Facebook – my own Flashbak page is soaring but not everyone who ‘liked’ it sees the thing – this is shaping up to be one of the biggest corporate pratfalls of all time.

UPDATE: Facebook will let this one go.

“Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed. It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days. We are always looking to improve our policies to make sure they both promote free expression and keep our community safe.”

Protecting the community. Sheesh.

Posted: 9th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Holler Timing: Liverpool FC frozen in sponsorship hell

Liverpool have a new ‘official timing parter’. It’s a brand called Holler. This is how Holler announced the deal on their website:


Liverpool Holler


Yeah, not a single wrist in sight. Odd that a brand specialising in watches would show three Liverpool players not wearing one between them.

Holler describes itself thus:

The Official Timing Partner of Liverpool FC.
Holler was born out of a long history of soul music originating in the 1960’s. Soul is a genre which combines different elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues.

And what is soul music without watches?

And they’re on Twitter. This was how @HollerFC account tweeted about Liverpool.


Holler Liverpool


It looks like Holler announced the deal and then mocked Liverpool for their lack of league titles in recent years, praising Manchester United for good measure.

Timing, eh.

Like the time when Americans knew nothing about football…

NOTE: Is the @HollerFC account authentic? The Drum says:

…speculation around the legitimacy of the new Holler FC Twitter account in relation to the Holler brand has since circulated. However the @Holler_Soul twitter account, which has over 19,000 followers, had promoted the launch of the Holler FC division in its Twitter background page which read: “Coming soon at”. This has since changed but a screenshot of the old background can be seen below.


Holler Liverpool


And this:




Liverpool celebrate their last last league title win on April 28 1990.

Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Money, Sports, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

IKEA balls: customer who said he got testicles caught in stool comes clean

When news broke that Claus Jorstad had got a testicle trapped in an IKEA stool, he laughed. “Haha, part of the story is a lie,” he tells Altaposten. “What is true and less true I won’t go into here.”

It was his penis that got trapped as he sat on the stool in the shower?


IKEA testicles stool

Passing a stool


“I sat there and discovered all of a sudden that stool use could have unfortunate consequences for a man,” says Jorstad. “So decided to warn Ikea about what potentially could happen in future.”

Thanks, Claus, for the public service announcement. Others have been even more selfless, like herhimhim and him. And mind out in the hardware ssection:

Dr. Kevin Klauer, an E.R. doc based in Canton, Ohio, still remembers the day he dealt with a patient who was trying to fix his roof when he fell off and impaled himself on a shovel. You can see the shovel sticking out of what appears to be the rectal area. Even when you’ve seen a lot of bad injuries, this is really a cringe moment. Turning somebody to examine them while they have a shovel impaled in their rectum is not something anyone’s been trained to do. You have to work as a team.”

IKEA is not for everyone. Take care in there.


Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

IKEA customer gets his testicles trapped in MARIUS

Claus Jørstad of Alta, Norway got his testicle trapped in a MARIUS Stool from IKEA. We mention the product’s name so that any masochists know which one to go for.


Ikea balls

MARIUS – GSOH, loves to hug


Claus was seated on his stool in the shower when one of his testicles got stuck in a hole on the seat. The story goes that hot water caused them to expand – not the holes; the nuts – and Claus was transformed into a Nordic-budget furniture hybrid.

“Sitting there and noticing the accident, I bent down to see what happened, I realized the little nutter has got stuck,” he tells the Daily Mail.

Happily, Claus eventually ran out of hot water and the cold stuff caused considerable shrinkage.

Elsewhere in IKEA:


IKEA meatballs testicles

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Only the fearful sneer at ‘Giant Troll’ Milo Yiannopoulos

You don’t have to like him to support his right to free speech. Ann Althouse gets it:

“ABC’s Nightline goes after Milo Yiannopoulos and I’ve never bothered with this guy one way or the other… but this ham-handed effort to cut him down made me side with him. Why is the ABC reporter sneering and yelling at the person he’s interviewing?”

The hectoring reporter makes anyone who values free speech side with Milo. We all value the right to be offensive, right?



PS: The Ghostbusters remake is crap.

Posted: 6th, September 2016 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The incredible insect highway over your heads

The air is alive with insects. The wasp you saw was nothing. In the troposphere, there are billions of insects riding over your head. Take a look:


Posted: 5th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Keith Vaz: Vazeline sex, Paris Brown and a casualty of Modern Warfare 2

Keith Vaz MP is riding high on the news cycle. The Sunday Mirror has news on the Labour politician. It’s a story of sex, drugs and power. By way of a titter, the BBC notes: ‘Mr Vaz has been referred to in the media as the “Teflon” politician and “Vazeline” – because, in the words of the Telegraph, “nothing sticks”.’ The story is of gay sex with two male prostitutes, at leat one of whom is from Romania, allegedly.


Keith Vaz sex


The Mirror claims:

He is one of the most influential MPs in the House of Commons and is currently overseeing the biggest shake-up of Britain’s prostitution laws in a generation. But today the Sunday Mirror can reveal Keith Vaz, a married father of two, is leading a double life paying young male escorts for sex.

(As is alleged.)

Was he for or against legalised sex with prostitutes?

The Mirror:

Mr Vaz last met two Eastern European prostitutes eight days ago, even though he is chair of a powerful parliamentary group probing vice and drugs. And as the talk ranged from sex to pets, Mr Vaz eventually said: “We need to get this party started.”

Pets? Richard Gere legend stuff? Dunno. But we’ve not seen Gordon the Gopher for a while, and you know how much Vaz loves celebs. But back to the story of sex for hire:

While chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Vaz has publicly said he was “not convinced” that men who pay for sex should face prosecution.

He said:

“Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.”

Good. What consenting adults do with their bodies is not the State’s business.

In a 90-minute rendezvous on August 27, the former Minister for Europe offered to cover the cost of cocaine if it was brought to the flat – but said he did not want any himself. He is currently heading up the committee which has investigated harm caused by the illegal Class A drug.

Mr Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East since 1987, also told the pair to bring along poppers – the sex-enhancing drug.

Cocaine? In 2009, Vaz said:

“As part of our investigation into the cocaine trade we want to explore the human cost of drug taking, particularly on users and their families. We are pleased Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy, has agreed to share with us research for a documentary on the damaging effects of drug abuse and of the effectiveness of drug rehabilitation.”

A touch hypocritical, then? Maybe. There is no suggestion he took any illegal drugs. If adults want to take banned narcotics, well, that too is their own affair. Cocaine should be legal. If what’s alleged is true, Vaz is coming across as a liberal.

Vaz tells the Mail on Sunday:

“I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions in particular to my wife and children. I will be informing the Committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the Committee with immediate effect.”

He then said in a statement:

“At this time I do not want there to be any distraction from the important work the Home Affairs Select Committee undertakes so well. Select Committees do vital work in holding the government and others to account. We are due to publish two Reports, one into Anti Semitism and the other into FGM in the next few days, in addition we have a number of key witnesses.

“I will of course inform Committee members first of my plans when we meet on Tuesday.

“My decision has been based entirely on what is in the best interests of the Committee which I have had the privilege of Chairing for the last 9 years.”

Got that? Vaz has stepped down from a committee looking into sex and drugs because it’s alleged he might know about them.

Like you we are shocked and appalled (surely, sniggering and gossiping – ed). After all, when Paris Brown, then just 17 years old, was chosen to be Kent’s youth police crime commissioner, her Twitter account made waves. There was a comment on drugs – “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies” – sex –  “Worst part about being single is coming from a party/night out horny as f*** and having to sleep alone” – and argy-bargy – “I don’t condone violence but im so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little fuck.”

Teenagers, eh. Exposed in the tabloid Press, Paris soon resigned.

And who was outraged and disgusted by Brown’s mere words? Yep, Keith Vaz, who stated:

“Public money should never be given to anyone who refers to violence, sex, drunkenness and other antisocial behaviour in this offensive manner.”

Paris was getting £15,000 a year as the police wonk. Vaz’s public service earns him far more. Although his alleged comments were made in private, via text.

PS: Think of the children. We look to our MPs as role models. If Keith Vaz is being linked to drugs and sex on the clock, won’t kids follow his example? After all, when he saw the computer game Modern Warfare 2, Vaz was “absolutely shocked at the level of violence in this game”. He asked what steps ministers were taking to ensure that violent games did not fall into the hands of children and young people. “It’s not about censorship,” said dad-of-two Keith, “it’s about protecting our children.”

 Amen to that.

Posted: 4th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Idiocy in a New York City bike lane

Stay in the bike lane. And stay to the end of this video. It’s not easy.


Spotter New York Times

Posted: 3rd, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Donald Trump should vet only male immigrants and hire more women cops

Amanda Marcotte has a message for Trump supporters. She writes in Salon:

A modest proposal: Trump has it all wrong — to prevent crime, we need to do some “extreme vetting” of men

It’s not all immigrants who need vetting. It’s just the male ones. We should only let the women in. At least that’s what she might be saying:

There are, however, two groups of people who really do commit crime, especially violent crime, at wildly different rates: Men and women.

According to FBI crime statistics, men are arrested for roughly three-quarters of all crimes. When it comes to violent crime, the stats are even worse. Nearly 9 out of 10 people arrested for murder are male. Ninety-nine percent of rape arrestees are men. Men are arrested for 8 out of 10 aggravated assaults.

If Trump is right and the crime rate is serious enough of a problem to compel us to abandon basic human rights so as to subject certain groups of people to monitoring and legal intimidation, then it’s not immigrants we should target. It’s men.

Amanda. Spot on. But the forces of law and order already know it. They watch men far more than they watch women (via):


prison gender


Rather than stating the bleedin’ obvious and missing the truth of it, Amanda might care to campaign for more female police officers (via):

Female cops accounted for just 3.4 percent of officers involved in the “83 most serious lawsuits” against the LAPD from 1986 to 1990. While the stats suggested that female cops aren’t reluctant to use force, the commission reasoned, they’re not nearly as likely to use excessive force. “With some exceptions, female officers interviewed believed they were more communicative, more skillful at de-escalating potentially violent situations and less confrontational,” the report reads. “A suspect’s defiance and disrespect of an officer often gives rise to use of force by an officer. Many officers, both male and female, believe female officers are less personally challenged by defiant suspects and feel less need to deal with defiance with immediate force or confrontational language.”


Policing remains one of the most male-dominated professions in America: in the 1970s, about 97 percent of American cops were men, and in 2013, that had fallen only to 88 percent, meaning that the police force is even more gender imbalanced than the active-duty military, which was 84.9 percent male as of 2014. And while there are way more men than there are women policing American streets, the gender disparity for police use of force is even greater. Paquette reports that of the 54 officers that have been charged with killing someone with a gun while they were on duty, just two have been female.

And sex crimes?

Deborah Friedl has 30 years with the Lowell Police Department in Massachusetts, and she is now deputy superintendent of police there, the first woman to hold that job. For at least a decade, she and an international cadre of women police leaders, including The National Center for Women and Policing in the U.S. have been promoting research showing that the best way to reduce rates of violence against women, sexual assault, rape, and homicide is to hire more women officers.

Maybe the new arrivals could be encouraged to join the Thin Blue Line?


Posted: 3rd, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Who farted in Grimsby Magistrates’ Court?

“Woman breaking wind cuts through sombre silence of Grimsby courtroom” is our local news story of the week.

The Grimsby Telegraph doesn’t say whether Grimsby Magistrates’ Court is famed for its silence, only that during proceedings a woman sat in the public gallery let rip.


local news farted grimsby


Mark Naylor then adds:

One male observer, originally sitting unknowingly next to the culprit on the front row of the public gallery.. hastily moved back a row to provide a bit more distance in the event of a second unexpected event.

He also took cover outside the courtroom door later on during proceedings in a wise pre-emptive bid to avoid being in the firing line in the event of an ear-splitting encore.

He later suffered the indignity of being blamed by others for being the one responsible for the noise in the first place.

Where this man is known to your reporter is unknown, but reputations for chivalry have been built on less.

Posted: 3rd, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Crystal Palace chairman bemoans the money game but Premier League wages are of the clubs’ making

With the football Transfer Window, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish assesses the scene in the Times:

There is one price for a club and there is another price for a Premier League club. But it isn’t just the increase in transfer fees we’ve seen. You now have a massive wage escalation, too.

Palace were in for Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere but, reportedly, baulked at paying all of his £90,000-a-week wages. They did, however, spend big, agreeing permanent deals for: Christian Benteke (Liverpool, £32m), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United, £13m), James Tomkins (West Ham United, £10m)  and Steve Mandanda (Marseille £1.5m). Palace also took Loic Remy on loan from Chelsea, with an option to buy him for £10.3 million.

Palace pay big fees and big wages. Johan Cabaye, reportedly, signed a £100,000-a-week deal on his move to Selhurst Park. With so much money flying around, it’s odd that Palace didn’t stump up for a rare talent like Wilshere, who would have thrived behind Remy, Benteke and Townsend.


Parish adds:

The problem is that we’re paying players amounts of money that only our league can afford. I think to myself: ‘Where are these players going to go?’

Answer: China or, like Bastian Schweinsteiger, who refused to leave Manchester United, nowhere.


Former Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis with his wife, Helen, and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the City Ground Nottingham after becoming Britain's most expensive player.   Date: 09/02/1979

Former Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis with his wife, Helen, and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the City Ground Nottingham after becoming Britain’s most expensive player.
Date: 09/02/1979


Most Premier League players will be earning £25,000-£30,000 per week. And that is just your entry level for a good solid pro, so if your top, top wage in the Championship — apart from the parachute clubs — is around £10,000, where do they go? There is no European market. That is the problem.

Isn’t the problem with the clubs who offer these wages?

We don’t get value for money, really. You have to buy assets that you can recycle. A club like us, you have to accept that you need to create assets and you have to reinvent, as Southampton have done brilliantly over the past three or four years.

Dan Jones, who works at Deloitte, adds a few words:

If you look around Europe, you will see Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich making big-money signings. But you won’t see that from the mid-table clubs and those involved in relegation battles because they don’t have the money and that is because the TV deals in those countries aren’t as big and aren’t shared equally.

England has the most equal model about how they distribute that money. That means if you are a mid-ranking Premier League club you can compete with all but the biggest clubs in Europe, so it puts you in a pretty strong position.

Precisely. The money goes up when a Premier League club calls because the PL has the most cash. But the team has to woo the player with wages. Do they have to be bigger? Why do they want more?

Geraint Anderson, 38, who was earning a base salary of £120,000 and a bonus of £500,000 by the time he left investment banking after 12 years in the City, took a view:

“It’s like a gilded cage. They earn huge amounts but they have the massive mortgage, they have the high-maintenance trophy wife, they have the kids at Harrow – then they wake up on their 50th birthday and think, ‘What a waste of a life.’ They get into this culture where their worth is valued by how much they earn, so they work ridiculous hours. I’d rather earn £25,000, have the kids at a local school and not owe anyone anything.”

Can we blame the clubs for fomenting the money game?

Posted: 2nd, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Money, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘I adore distilled whippet shit’: ‘Tom Baker’s’ advert outtake (NSFW)

Is this Tom Baker talking in an outtake for an advert he was recording? YouTuber campfreddie thinks it might be:

Tom Baker is over here.

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Woman cleans her ear with her very long tongue (video)

Gerkary Bracho has a very long tongue. Or maybe she has an average-sized tongue in a very small head?

huge tongue

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Gifs, Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mia Ayliffe-Chung: the rush to blame poor mental health

Is the man accused of killing British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung mentally ill? It’s the default position whenever anyone is killed in what could look like a racially-motivated attack. The Sun looks at Mia’s alleged killer, Smail Ayad, and wonders:

BACKPACKER KILLER’S ‘DEADLY OBSESSIONDeluded French knifeman killed British girl, 21, after ‘bizarrely claiming they were MARRIED and flying into a rage when she posed for a magazine’

Deluded. Obsessed. Bizarre. Rage. Mentally Ill?

All that follows an earlier headline:


Mia Ayliffe-Chung


What happened?

Mia was killed in a brutal attack at a backpackers’ hostel in Queensland, Australia overnight, while three others are thought to have been injured.

The tenth paragraph of the Sun’s story contains another idea, previously delivered in headline form:

She was knifed in a frenzied attack in front of 30 horrified witnesses, while her attacker is alleged to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the ordeal.

Oddly, what first appeared as a ‘claim’ soon appears as a caption:


Mia Ayliffe-Chung


English backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was knifed by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a hostel in Australia

The BBC says:

A 30-year-old British man – named locally as Tom Jackson from Cheshire – was severely injured in the attack in Home Hill, Queensland, and is in a critical condition. A French suspect, 29, who allegedly said the Arabic phrase “Allahu akbar” during the attack, was arrested.

The Guardian: “Queensland stabbing: British woman killed by attacker who allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar'”

Steve Gollschewski, a deputy police commissioner, said the alleged offender’s comments “may be construed as being of an extremist nature” and investigators were working with Australian federal police to establish his motives.

What motives are being considered?

But police were “not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be criminal or political”.

Investigators would also consider whether “mental health or drug misuse” issues were a factor in the attack alongside any “indication of an extremist slant or he was radicalised”, Gollschewski said at a press conference in Brisbane.

They don’t know why. But they know enough to narrow the field of investigation:

This is not about race or religion, it is about individual criminal behaviour,” he said.

Is that a fact?

The Australian:

Friends of a British backpacker stabbed more than 20 times as he tried in vain to save the life of a young woman allegedly knifed by a Frenchman shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a north Queensland hostel are praying he recovers.

Up to 30 terrified witnesses at the Shelley’s Home Hill hostel 100km south of Townsville watched as Smail Ayad, 29, who had been singing the French ­national ­anthem, burst in crying “God is great” in Arabic.

The Mirror:

Australian Federal Police are now investigating if the attacker has any link to any terror organisations…

In a press conference, deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the investigation was in its early stages and all motivations were being considered, including criminal and political, as well as the impact of drugs and mental health problems.

Always the mental health issues. Just Press f9 on the keyboard and everything is ok. (Unless you suffer from the horror of poor mental health and are being profiled as a potential knife attacker, in which case, it’s awful.)

Posted: 24th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann and Damien Nettles compete for Theresa May’s cash

nettles damienMadeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news.

The Sun: “FRESH HOPE FOR MADDIE? Brit cops may push for more government cash to help hunt for missing Madeleine McCann”

A questions mark. A story headlined “may”. No new facts. No news. This is the story since 2007, when the child vanished. The paper continues:

DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have “outstanding work” left to do on the inquiry and may apply for more Home Office funding.

Or, they may not. The word “may” appears in the headline versions of the same story on the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph websites.

The Sun adds:

In April, then-home secretary Theresa May granted the team £95,000 to keep the investigation going, with the cash expected to last until October. On Wednesday, Scotland Yard said it would talk to the Home Office about funding.

A force spokesman told the Press Association: “Whilst there remains outstanding work on this case, the Metropolitan Police Service will remain in dialogue with the Home Office regarding the continuation of funding.”

It’s a sad story with no sign of an end. But if not Madeleine, what could money be spent on?

Gloucestershire Live: “Family want Madeleine McCann-style woodland search for teenage relative who disappeared 20 years ago”

Madeleine McCann is the benchmark of all missing children.

Prime Minister Theresa May is coming under pressure to make missing schoolboy Damien Nettles the next Madeleine McCann so police can search a copse where his family have been told his body was buried 20 years ago.

Finite resources are being stretched.

Relatives in the Forest of Dean want police to carry out an official search of the woodland at the back of Gurnard Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight which has been named by some sources on the island as the ‘murdered’ teenager’s final resting place. And they have started a petition to force the Government to plough more money into solving the mystery of the 16-year-old who disappeared walking home from a party on November 2, 1996.

Some supporters have already started searching the woodlands with cadaver dogs, but the family believe they need the expertise of cold case murder squad forensic teams to either find his body or rule out the woodlands which are a few miles from where he vanished.


And they are hoping the petition will mean Damien’s case will attract extra funding for one last push in the same way as the Maddie McCann inquiry received an extra £12 million and Ben Needham inquiry was given £1 million so detectives could travel to Kos earlier this year.

Damien Nettles’ family have posted a petition online:

Please provide Hampshire Police with funding to find Damien Nettles remains

Damien Nettles aged 16 went missing 20 years ago in Cowes, Isle of Wight. His case remains a missing person despite a presumption of murder. Hampshire Police do not have the resources or funding to elevate this case. His family are desperate for justice and closure to move on. Thank you in advance.

You can read more about the disappearance here.  Damien Nettles disappeared on November 2, 1996 when he was 16.

Posted: 24th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brendan O’Neill, Corinne Grant, Cindy Prior and an assault on free speech

Brendan O’Neill asks Corinne Grant a question:



The story is:

Cindy Prior, an indigenous administration officer in QUT’s Oodgeroo Unit, is using section 18C of the racial discrimination act – the controversial section that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed to repeal – to sue three staff at QUT and five students.

Ms Prior claims she suffered “offence, embarrassment, humiliation and psychiatric injury­” as well as ongoing fear for her safety, because of their actions and comments.

As The Australian has reported, the problems started when three students, who wandered into the Oodgeroo Unit in May 2013 looking for a place to use a computer, were asked by Ms Prior “whether they were indigenous”.

They said they were not, and she said there were other computers they could use.

She asked the students to leave the unit and they went away.

An hour later a Facebook page, called ‘QUT Stalker Space’, featured a post from one of the students, Alex Wood, saying: “Just got kicked out of the unsigned indigenous computer room. QUT (is) stopping segregation with segregation.”

Another student, Jackson Powell, wrote on the Facebook page: “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is.”

Another post — “ITT n—ers” — was attributed to another stud­ent, Calum Thwaites, who has emphatically denied that he had anything to do with the post.


Prior went to a doctor and was medically certified as unfit for work. Her initial doctor wrote: “Cynthia feels unsafe and frightened to return to work.”

Ten days after the students walked into the Oodgeroo Unit, a second doctor issued a workers’ compensation certificate declaring her unfit for work due to “nightmares, fear and sweating”. Four days later, Prior, who has not returned to the unit in the three years since the incident, told QUT she would be taking the matter to the Human Rights Commission. She felt “disheartened and powerless” because the university and its vice-chancellor, Peter Coaldrake, had made public statements about the incident and directed new strategies, which did not go far enough in her view. She felt “the critical issue of how to get me back to work and feeling safe once again” was being avoided.


…is suing the three students and the university for almost $250,000 in lost wages and general damages, plus future economic loss. She later claimed she felt unsafe leaving her home due to fears of being verbally abused and was unable to return to work in a role requiring face-to-face contact with white people.

So. About free speech. What does it cost?

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Culture Kalash: Pakistani tribe doesn’t like Muslim migrants

There is trouble in Pakistan. The Kalash tribe is threatened:

Hidden up in the mountains near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, the Kalash tribe loves homemade wine and whiskey, dances for days at colorful festivals, and practices a religion that holds that God has spirits and messengers who speak through nature…

But over the past century, Muslims from modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan began moving in. Now villagers say their Kalash culture and religion are threatened by forced conversions, robberies and assaults.

New arrivals not wanted by locals. The BBC says the Kalash was founded by settling armies of Alexander the Great.  Adding:

“Unlike most of Pakistan, where even eye contact between unrelated men and women can be taboo, the Kalash express themselves freely. Children of both sexes play together and women breastfeed in public.”





CNN has more:

Loveless liaisons hold no appeal for the spirited Kalasha women: “We choose our husbands, and if they don’t treat us well, or it doesn’t work out, we can leave and find a new partner,” says Gul, as her two friends, teenage mothers Farida and Asmar, nod and blush.

Back to the issue:

“We are scared,” said Yasir Kalash, the manager of a hotel here in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “They capture our lands, our pastures and our forests, and sometimes take our goats and women …

“We are afraid in the next few years we will be finished.”

In 2009, the Telegraph reported:

While Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians were slowly driven out of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province by Muslim militants, the Kalash were free to drink their own distilled spirits and smoke cannabis. But the militant maulanas of the Taliban have finally caught up with them.

If you need to forcibly convert anyone to your beliefs, you are wrong.

Time to revisit Christopher Hitchens’ 10 Commandments for 21st Century living:

I: Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or color.
II: Do not ever use people as private property.
III: Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
IV: Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
V: Do not condemn people for their inborn nature.
VI: Be aware that you too are an animal and dependent on the web of nature, and think and act accordingly.
VII: Do not imagine that you can escape judgment if you rob people with a false prospectus rather than with a knife.
VIII: Turn off that fucking cell phone.
IX: Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions.
X: Be willing to renounce any god or any religion if any holy commandments should contradict any of the above.


Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: ‘Sick’ tweets from The Sun and Fruity King

It’s been a slow summer for news of Madeleine McCann, the missing child who was once a mainstay of the summer news cycle. The Sun, however, has news:

SICK MADDIE SLUR Online casino mocks Madeleine McCann’s family in sick tweet about Man Utd’s new £109million signing Paul Pogba


madeleine mccann sick



Fruity King said the football club’s decision to buy back the player was ‘worse’ than leaving Maddie alone


The vile tweet, sent to Fruity King’s 2,264 followers, was published in the same week it was announced British police have stopped their forensic investigation into Maddie‘s disappearance.

And it might be as sick as this from 2013:


madeleine mccann sick tweet


Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects.


Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Man passes out after having sex with a van

Police say Michael Henson was trying to have sex with a van in Dayton, Ohio at around 8:00pm.


sex with van man

Caught in Transit


A woman who called police claims to have seen Henson pull his shorts down and place his genitals in the front grille of the van that was parked on the street. She says this went on for some time before Henson shambled away and passed out.

Men, eh. Wham. Bam. Thank you, van.

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0