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David Cameron: the cannabis years

Cameron cannabis marijuana

In 2007, it was reported that David Cameron had smoked cannabis in 1982, when the future Prime Minister and then leader of the Conservative Party was a 15 years old pupil at Eton College. The incident led to the expulsion of seven of Cameron’s peers. He was merely gated.

When asked if he’d taken illegal drugs whilst at Oxford University, Cameron told the Observer: “I had a normal university experience.” Prodded he added: “‘There were things I did as a student that I don’t think I should talk about now that I am a politician.”

That’s not to say they are irrelevant. In 2007, Cameron told media: “If it can be proved that there are real benefits, medicinal benefits and scientific evidence for it, I would be relaxed about that. My decision would be to licence it if it could be proved to have benefits.”

Fast forward to this week and Cameron is plugging his memoirs. When he went to boarding school his mum coped by “taking large dose of Valium”.

A few friends had started getting hold of cannabis. In those days it was mostly in the form of hash, typically dark brown and crumbly, although occasionally some “Red Leb”, supposedly from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, would show up. Instead of popping behind the school theatre for a fag, we started going for a joint.

Not everyone is a fortunate as Cameron. If your caught with cannabis you can get a formal (recorded) warning and a police caution. You may also be referred to the police Youth Diversion Scheme. And Cameron believes firmly in upholding the law, stating when eh was PM:

This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated…If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment”

Unless you’re connected…

Posted: 19th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Someone is leaving cannabis biscuits and cakes in England’s parks

marijuana art swing park

Who is baking hash cakes and dropping them on the grass? Sarah Kenny says she was walking her Jack Russell cross Max in St Helens, Merseyside, when he scampered into a bush. Later back at home he fell ill. Sarah says she smelt his vomit. “I could tell that it was chocolate which immediately raised alarm but then I smelt this really distinctive smell and I knew it was cannabis. I hadn’t seen what he’d eaten in the bush before but when he was sick we knew straight away it must have been a lot of cake.”

Meanwhile, over in Leyland, Lancashire, Sarah Eccles is taking Billy, a cavachon (King Charles cavalier and bichon frise cross) round the park. The Metro says Billy “stumbled upon a pile of discarded cookies”. The Indy says the “pile” was “two chocolate cookies lying in the grass at her local park”. Both sources see Billy on a video posted on Facebook looking very unwell. Oddly, the Daily Record delivers its story under the headline: “Mum reveals shock video of ‘stoned’ dog who almost died after eating cannabis cookie.” Not the dog’s mum, obviously, which makes her billing irrelevant. Or are mums more worried about cannabis in the bushes than other women?

The good news is Billy is ok. The bigger news is that the Indy reports “there was no indication it [the cookie] had been tested to confirm its ingredients”. But Sarah says she knew it was cannabis by the smell and “picked up one en route to the vets and returned later that night to dispose of the other”.

The identity of felons dropping space cakes in parks around the north-west of England has yet to be established.

Posted: 18th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Punching low down : The Guardian attacks David Cameron over the loss of his child

politicians with man bun putin obama bush cameron

The Guardian’s view on David Cameron’s memoirs was widely read for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who missed the toxicity, this is the cut that spread like a virus over the web. The background to the editorial sniping at Cameron’s “privileged pain” is that the former Prime Minister’s son, Ivan, died in 2009 at the age of six.

David Cameron privileged pain Guardian

Revolting stuff.

Anoosh Chakelian assesses the nastiness for the New Statesman, the Left wing political magazine that once gave full throat to “a Kosher Conspiracy” and then like many Labour Party supporters wonders how anti-Semitism went mainstream. The NS apologised for that bigotry. And the Guardian has apologised for its:

“The original version of an editorial posted online yesterday fell far short of our standards,” a spokesperson for the paper has commented. “It was changed significantly within two hours, and we apologise completely.”

Says Chakelian:

Punching up has turned into punching anyone you disagree with, and it’s everywhere – normalising online poison that is bound to spill over into mainstream formats like the Guardian’s editorial pages.

In an extract of his memoirs published in the Sunday Times, Cameron notes: “Nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the reality of losing your darling boy in this way. It was as if the world stopped turning.”

His wife Samantha told the Times in 2017 her son’s death “overshadowed everything” and rendered the outside world “meaningless”. “Like anyone else in my situation, I just kept going. You have to deal with it, because you have no choice.”


Posted: 17th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


How they created the cover of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

Nevermind

Kirk Weddle descibes how he took that photograph for the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album:

4-month-old baby was cast and I conducted the shoot with just his parents and a lifeguard present. I placed a camera with a motor drive , in an underwater housing, mounted on a tripod at the bottom of a pool. Since kids are always an unknown at shoots, I did several prelight and prefocus passes with a doll. Once I felt I had the framing, light, and exposure dialed in; the parents slipped the child into the water. I took seven frames on the first pass and four frames on the second. As expected, the baby started to cry, this had been the babies first time underwater, and we wrapped the shoot. The dollar bill and the fishhook were stripped in in post.

Spencer Elden was that baby. 

Spotter: life is so beautiful , Flashba

Posted: 16th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Major Wank investigates severed penis

Major WAnk penis crime

To Eastern Carolina, where Victoria Frabutt, of Newport, has been charged with malicious castration. She is accused of using pair of rose pruners to separate James Frabutt from “his favorite part of himself”.

Having mentioned fornication as possible trigger for the purning, Mrs Frabutt was asked by 911 if there was much blood. “Oh no,”she replied. “Like I said, I couldn’t even get enough blood to make the sign of the cross, or write sinner, or anything like that.”

The bellend was located and put on ice. It may yet be reunited with the victim.

But the choicest cut from this story is not found in the icebox, rather in the name of the investigating officer. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Major Jason Wank.

major jason wank penis

Major Wank.

Posted: 13th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Donald Trump turns Congress blue giving three f***s at City Airport

Donal tRump buttplug

Members of US Congress used swear words such as “asshole” , “fuck”, “shit” and “bitch” 1,900 times on Twitter in 2019. That’s a tenfold rise on 2016 – before Trump’s election, the number was 193.

Can we blame Donald “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump for the coarsening of debate? What about airport bookshops?

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, is upset that “three of the top 10 ‘Airport Exclusive’ books at London City WH Smith have ‘fuck’ in the title.”

Lamentable stuff – today’s politicians are just so unimaginative:

Posted: 13th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


A doctor writes on the joy of treating the old

Dr Sayed A Tabatabai tweets as @TheRealDoctorT. At work as a nephrologist in San Antonio, Texas, a student asked him: “Don’t you wanna see young patients? Isn’t it rough seeing old people, on so many meds with so many medical problems, all the time?” His reply is worth repeating:

“For old people,” wrote Ursula K. Le Guin, “beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.”

Image: Barbara Hepworth’s Hospital Drawings (1947 – 1949)

Posted: 12th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


From Leicester to Galashiels and North Pickenham, cannabis is the drug of choice

cannabis oil

Would you hide a 1kg brick of cannabis in a place where it could go up in smoke in one huge hit? Two people in Leicester have bene arrested for allegedly hiding the stash in a barbecue.

In Scotland, a man has been found living with 700 cannabis plants in a former bookmakers in Galashiels town centre. He too has been arrested.

In North Pickenham, Norfolk, police arrested a man who claims the 693 cannabis plants growing in his garden shed were to ease his chronic pain.

In Sixmilecross, Northern Ireland, police found a “cannabis factory”. A local policeman tells media: “We will continue to do everything possible to prevent the supply of drugs and identify those involved while at the same time, make people aware of the real danger posed to their health and their lives by illegal drugs.”

But not all cannabis is illegal. It’s only illegal if the State doesn’t agree that you should have it. Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors.

With moves to legalise the drug afoot across the UK, how long before police stop arresting people for growing the drug and there’s an amnesty for anyone who has been?

Posted: 12th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Public Library receipt shows how much cheaper it is to borrow than buy books

Public Library receipt shows  how much cheaper it is to  borrow than buy books

Save the libraries. They’re one of the few place you can go and sit without needing to buying anything. And you can read the books, too. But not everyone appreciates the library until the burghers say it no longer pays and it’s gone. Staff at the Wichita Public Library understand. They’ve come up with a great way to out a price on library services and show us their monetary value.

They write:


“Every time materials are borrowed from the Wichita Public Library (WPL) customers receive a receipt showing how much they have saved in that visit, the year to date, and their lifetime savings. The information is displayed on the receipt similar to the ways that retail stores show savings to club members or coupon users…


“So far this year, the highest dollar amount saved by a customer’s account is $64,734.12. And the highest dollar amount saved by a customer’s account since this feature was implemented is $196,076.21.”

Keep your local library up by using it.

Spotter: Flashbak, Open Culture 

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Raising a penguin without ‘assigned gender roles’

penguin gender roles

Did you know you a human being can raise a penguin living in the UK without “assigned gender roles? This is not a parody (I think):

Meanwhile…on the Island of Dr Moreau

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Nine things American women were banned from doing in 1971

feminism

We’ve come a long way, baby. On Twitter @WPCelebratio compiled a list of nine everyday things American women were banned from doing in 1971 (via):

  • A woman couldn’t get a credit card in her own name. They often needed a man to co-sign for a card. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act put a stop to this discrimination in 1974.
  • Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, women could be fired for getting pregnant (or not hired if they were pregnant). Despite the act, pregnancy discrimination continues today.
  • Fight on the front lines – admitted into military academies in 1976, it wasn’t until 2013 that the military ban on women in combat was lifted.
  • Women couldn’t attend certain Ivy League schools. Harvard did not fully admit women into its undergraduate program until 1977, Dartmouth took until 1972, and Columbia waited until 1983.
  • In some states, women couldn’t say “no” to sex with their husbands. In 1993, the last two states (Oklahoma and North Carolina) withdrew their marital rape exemptions. But even today, several states treat marital rape as a lesser offense with smaller penalties compared to non-marital rape.
  • Until a 1972 Supreme Court case, unmarried women in some states were prohibited from purchasing birth control pills.

Readers’ responses are illuminating:

The Telegraph looked at what women in the UK could not do in 1918:

Applying for a credit card or loan in their own name

Working in the legal profession and civil service

Inheriting and bequeathing property on the same terms as men

Claiming equal pay for doing the same work as men

Prosecuting a spouse for rape

no images were found

Posted: 11th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Dentist promises sedation – GPs doll out uppers

Dentist promises sedation

Where America leads, the UK follows. Look out, then,. for a dentist advertising sedation. Rob Beschizza saw a sign of the times:

Driving near Pittsburgh, PA, my wife Heather noticed this excellent billboard featuring a woman saying “Scared of the dentist? No, I called and got SEDATED!”.

The chemical cosh is wielded with abandon. A Public Health England review at the end of March 2018 found that half of people prescribed strong painkillers, antidepressants and sleeping tablets had been on them for at least 12 months.

Drugs UK

The numbers of people being fed these drugs are huge:

Nearly 12 million people took drugs such as antidepressants, sleeping pills and painkillers between 2017 and last year,

Worrying stuff.

Posted: 10th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Legalised cannabis will give police less excuse to target black people

marijuana

When cannabis is legalised in the UK, it will be, says one writer, “dominated by white men in suits”. Why would big co. marijuana be different from every other industry? UK citizens will get to smoke weed legally when those in power decide it’s worth the effort.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained why recreational cannabis is legal in Canada: “To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalise, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

The Canadian Government isn’t about freedom of choice. It simply wants to control the industry and the money that comes with it.

UK crime figures for 2017/18 tells us that black people were over 3 times as likely to be arrested as white people. Police recorded 35 arrests for every 1,000 Black people, and 11 arrests for every 1,000 white people. Black people had the highest arrest rates per 1,000 people in every police force area for which there was data. Why? “Black Caribbean people were 9.6 times as likely to stopped and searched as White British people.” Overall, 87.7 of conviction were for drugs.

Release, the ‘national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law’, tells us in a report: “Across London black people are charged for possession of cannabis at 5 times the rate of white people.”

While tens of thousands of people are being criminalised every year for low level possession offences, it is those from the black community who are a greater risk of criminalisation and harsher sanctions.

An LSE blog post explains the money:

The amount spent by Canadians on cannabis in 2017 was estimated by Statistics Canada to be around C$5.5 billion, with the black market in recreational use estimated to be around 90 per cent of that, or around C$5 billion (the remainder being legal purchases for medicinal use. This compares with spending of around C$23 billion and C$17 billion on alcohol and tobacco respectively. Statistics Canada estimates that legal consumer spending for cannabis will range between C$0.816 billion and C$1.018 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 (C$3.85 billion-C$4.8 billion annualised), with around 25 per cent of the market remaining illegal.

Smoking tobacco is bad for you. Smoking weed may have some health benefits. The cool kids have heard the message. Estimates suggest the global legal cannabis industry will grow to $66.3bn by 2023.

A poll in the Times found 47 per cent of people living in Scotland support the legalisation of cannabis – 37 per cent were opposed and 17 per cent unsure.

The rewards for whoever controls the marijuana industry are huge. The losers will be many,

Posted: 9th, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


When Iggy Pop could have been a Neil Diamond impersonator

Iggy and the Stooges  stooges

Iggy Pop, the electric punk musician who made Cole Porter growl, one-time member of The Prime Movers, thriller of high schoolers and Zanzibar nights might have been a Neil Diamond impersonator.

“You know, I finally got the voice that I was supposed to have in some senses. When I was 21, I was in love with a girl from Cleveland and we actually got married for a couple of weeks,” he explains.

“I had just put out the first Stooges album and I met her dad, he was a big shot in business. He said, ‘Well, meeting and listening to you talk I guess you probably sing like Neil Diamond right?’

“I’ve since learned a lot of respect for Neil but at that time, you don’t tell Iggy Pop that he sounds like Neil Diamond. But on the other hand, a part of me was thinking, ‘Damn, if I sang like Neil Diamond, I’d have a lot more money you know’.”

Iggy Pop was talking to the BBC about his new album Free.

Posted: 6th, September 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music | Comment


The teen who did not go blind from eating crisps, chips and sausages

blinded by chips and sausages

Hear about the boy “blinded by chips and sausages”? Or as the BBC’s headline puts it, a little more accurately: “Teenager ‘blind’ from living off crisps and chips.”

blinded by chips and sausages
blinded by chips and sausages

The tabloid’s headline conjures all kinds of images (see above). But the story is less bizarre. The 17-year-old has long-standing eating issues for which he sought help. And for that we can only feel sympathy. Things got so bad that the lack of nutrients affected his vision. His diet is a composite mix of: French fries, Pringles, white bread, the occasional slice of ham or a sausage.

Truth is that the sausage might well be the heartiest thing he ate. Sausage did not make the teenager blind.

The boy’s visit to the Bristol Eye Hospital is recorded in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr Denize Atan, who treated him at the hospital, notes: “His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps – Pringles – and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables. He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat. He had blind spots right in the middle of his vision. That means he can’t drive and would find it really difficult to read, watch TV or discern faces. He can walk around on his own though because he has got peripheral vision.”

Sausages are innocent. Mental health should not be mocked.

Posted: 3rd, September 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment


Carl Beech’s lies earned him £22,000 – Mohammed Banares is short-changed

carl beech nick

Carl Beech doesn’t have to pay back the £22,000 handed to him by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). He could feel a pang of guilt at his lies and dig deep into his prison overalls for spare change, leftovers from the compensation payout he received on the strength of Wiltshire Police’s support for his claims that he’d been tortured and raped by a ‘ring’ of child-killing VIP peadophiles. We know Beech invested £10,000 of his windfall as down payment on a £34,000 Ford Mustang.

What the man found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud – prison sentence: 18 years – is unknown. Beech needed to provide no evidence of his ordeal for politicians and police to find it ‘credible and true’.

Not everything about police work is so subjective as believing in tales of VIP peados. It’s pretty easy to see what happened to Mohammed Banares, who, reportedly, lost both his legs in an unprovoked machete attack in Birmingham. The CICA priced his ordeal at £32,000. “I’m at the point of giving up. I was hoping that CICA would help me to recover,” he says. “The stress of what should be a straightforward claim has left me depressed and without hope. I don’t know how I will manage my life going forward.”


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


Going Prorogue – MPs fight to be the least democratic

Stop democracy Brexit
A contender for the most ost absurd banner of all time: ‘Defend Democracy – Stop Brexit’

The Government’s decision to prorogue parliament means MPs have less time to debate Brexit before the UK is legally obliged to leave the EU on October 31 – with or without a deal. Between three and eight parliamentary days will be lost. A parliamentary session usually lasts for one year but the current one has been going on for two years. The new session is hailed by the Queen’s Speech in which Her Maj lets us know the Government’s plans. Boris Johnson’s move is a high-wire act to achieve Brexit by giving MPs less time to block no deal, topple the government via a vote of ‘no confidence’ and keep kicking Brexit into the long grass with the aim of stopping it. The UK was supposed to leave the EU on 29 March. MPs rejected the deal negotiated with the EU three times. So the deadline was extended until 31 October.

Many protesting against a “coup” are more than happy to support a coup against democracy when the vote went against them. People like Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. She tweets:

By suspending Parliament to force through a No Deal, Boris Johnson and the Government would remove the voice of the people. It is a dangerous and unacceptable course of action which the @LibDems will strongly oppose.

Noble stuff. the problem is that she also says she would do “whatever it takes to stop Brexit” and when she would implement Brexit in Parliament if voters backed it again in a second referendum replied: “No, because I was elected on a firm manifesto pledge for Scotland’s pledge in the UK and Britain’s place in the European Union and that’s what Liberal Democrats are here to do. That is the mandate that we have.”

Brexit coup prorogue
A ‘pro-democracy’ protester

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle is upset by Johnson’s entirely legal move. He tells the Mirror: “If the government tries to drive no deal through by stopping parliament from sitting, we cannot just rely on the courts and parliamentary process. We need a mass movement of resistance, with marches, civil disobedience and protests in every village, town and city of this country.”

And what about Jeremy Corbyn, a man who lead by asking what others would do and then does nothing? He’s written to the Queen asking for her to stop it all. How’s that for sticking it to the elites?

Posted: 29th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Royal Mint needs Enid Blyton and Paddington Bear coins to make bankers appear human

Paddington coin

Do you know what’s on a 20 euro note? Yes, yes, the number 20. Very good. But what’s the picture of? It’s an image of “Gothic architecture”. Euro banknotes “show architectural styles from various periods in Europe’s history, but do not show any actual existing monuments or bridges.” They’re works of fiction based on the something familiar and hackneyed.

In the UK, we don’t have Euros, of course, preferring sterling and pictures of Prince Andrew’s mother – and nothing honouring children’s author Enid Blyton. The commemorative coin to mark the 50th anniversary of her death (a morbid plan) has been shelved because the Royal Mint’s advisory committee says Blyton is “racist”, “sexist” and “homophobic”. None of which is desirable. Fearing an unfavourable response, the coin to celebrate (?) the death of the best-selling children’s writer won’t be made.

So we’re stuck with British money featuring “people who have shaped UK society through their thought innovation, leadership or values”, such as the anti-creationist Charles Darwin.

Perhaps the bigger question is not how the Royal Mint choses certain people and non-people – Paddington Bear, Harry Potter, C3P0 and characters from Game of Thrones – to be on its commemorative 50p pieces but if those people want to be associated with the nastiness and horrors of banking.

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


Carly Barton’s amnesty – a campaign for legal cannabis

carly barton carly's amnesty cannabis

Carly Barton was hit by a stroke in her early 20s. She discovered that cannabis alleviated the continual pain, what she describes as a “ridiculous amount of all-over pain – it just feels like you’re burning from the inside out, like my bones have been replaced by red hot pokers.” But cannabis was illegal in the UK.

Medics gave her strong painkillers. Over time she developed a tolerance to the effects of the legal opiates – “a cocktail of substances which included morphine and fentanyl.” She says: “I was struggling to feel the world as I hobbled along in a zombified state; this was not sustainable. I started looking at end-of-life clinics online.”

She became the first person in the UK to be legally given herbal cannabis . But with regulation comes increased costs. It cost £2,500 of her own money for three-months of pain relief. Her prescription comes from a private specialist. The NHS won’t provide it. “We are going to be put in a position where the rich are patients and the poor are criminals,” she told the Daily Mirror.

“I am going to openly break the law until I can access my medicine or they give me some kind of exemption,” said Carly in April. “I do not see myself as a criminal. There are two doctors who have prescribed it to me and now there is a vague law which does not seem to see it as a potential medicine.”

Carley’s Amnesty is a campaign she runs which seeks to allow other patients afflicted by chronic pain to use cannabis legally.

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


Haddon Salt was the king of fish and chips from Skegness to California

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yorkshireman Haddon Salt run a fish and chips empire that in the 1960s exceeded 500 stores. Kentucky Fried Chicken noticed the immigrant’s success. In 1969 the chicken mongers bought all of the H. Salt, Esq. Authentic English Fish and Chips outlets. The NY Times:

An initial Google search revealed that this shop was the last gasp of a once-sprawling fish-and-chips empire with hundreds of locations that started with an immigrant’s secret family recipe, flourished into an eight-figure deal with Colonel Sanders and ended in collapse.

It took several years and the research help of friends to track down Mr. Salt. We found him in a remote retirement community in Southern California’s desert. The rest you can see in the film before you.

For every icon there are those who were almost famous. And perhaps they, even more than their conqueror, have the lessons we need to hear.

Image: H. Salt Fish and Chips restaurant on Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood.

Spotter: Flashbak

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


Hal is coming: Russian Spacecraft carrying humanoid Robot aborts Space Station docking

The Russian Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft carrying the humanoid robot Skybot F-850 is seen during final approach to the International Space Station on Aug. 24, 2019. The Soyuz's docking was aborted due to a problem with its Kurs rendezvous system.

Have Ronald Reagan’s ray guns readied. An uncrewed Russian Soyuz Spacecraft carrying a humanoid robot has aborted docking at International Space Station.

Onboard the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is the humanoid robot Skybot F-850. On its final approach to the ISS, the automated docking system failed to lock on to its intended docking port.

“At no point was the crew in any danger,” says NASA spokesperson Rob Navias of the ISS’s six-person crew. But it’s not just the humans we’re worried about, is it. It’s the robot, aka Fedor.

“Like any person, Skybot f-850 is very sociable and has a sense of humor,’” says Alexander Bloshenko, science adviser to Roscosmos state space corporation’s director general. “As I have mentioned before, it can support any topic of conversation and answer a variety of questions: from welcoming remarks, continuing with a speech about its creators and ending with the philosophy of space.”

Hal… Come in Hal

Fedor spec robot

Image: The Russian Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft carrying the humanoid robot Skybot F-850 is seen during final approach to the International Space Station on Aug. 24, 2019. The Soyuz’s docking was aborted due to a problem with its Kurs rendezvous system.

Via: Russian Soyuz Spacecraft Carrying Humanoid Robot Aborts Docking at Space Station

Posted: 25th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment


Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew’s pathetic defence in full

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew has issued a statement about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It’s utter bilge. Quite extraordinary nonsense.

“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”

Andrew seems to be saying that when he hung out with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Prince thought the American billionaire was a really good bloke, but after the convicted paedophile was arrested on suspicion of molesting lots more children (see: Epstein’s “lifestyle”), the Prince come to realise that Epstein might not be the top person he thought him to be when he had been in prison for over a year during the course of their friendship for having sex with a 14-year-old.

That, says the Prince, is “closure”. And that, dear readers, is the best the finest minds among the Palace’s contingent of PRs can muster. The allegations are worse than the actual crime? Andrew’s in a bigger hole than even he can fill.

Posted: 24th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Situations vacant : young women to rub Prince Andrew’s post-Epstein feet

prince andrew roberts

Before he was “appalled” by Jeffrey Epstein’s corpse and the financier’s “alleged crimes”, Prince Andrew was seen getting a foot massage from a young woman at Epstein’s apartment. Writing in the New Republic, Evgeny Morozov paints a tableaux of what life is like for Randy Andy in one of those distilled culture war moments. You, the civilised, think ‘who is that pompous twat in the suit’. Entitled knobs think: keep the lower orders in their place?

Last time I visited his house (the largest private residence in NYC), I walked in to find him in a sweatsuit and a British guy in a suit with suspenders, getting foot massages from two young well-dressed Russian women. After grilling me for a while about cyber-security, the Brit, named Andy, was commenting on the Swedish authorities and the charges against Julian Assange.

“We think they’re liberal in Sweden, but it’s more like Northern England as opposed to Southern Europe,” he said. “In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I’m in big trouble.” At that point I realized that the recipient of Irina’s foot massage was his Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Indeed, a week later, on a slow news day, the cover of the NYPost had a full-page photo of Jeffrey and Andrew walking in Central Park under the headline: “The Prince and the Perv.” (That was the end of Andrew’s role at the UK trade ambassador.)

It’s not just the word that the foot rubbers are young women and the bores all middle-aged blokes, but that the women are “well-dressed’, their clothes adding a mask of decency to the sleaze, like stashing your porn in a Smythson briefcase and hiring expensive lawyers to muzzle accusers.

Anyhow, Andrew is “appalled by recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes”. Whether Andrew is more of less appalled by Epstein’s 2008 conviction of sex with a 14-year-old is not known. All we know is that in 2010, they were hanging out in New York together…

Posted: 24th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment