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The contents of NuGgets 2104 are being transferred now, please return soon
year 2014 - first part ()
year 2014 - part two ()
year 2014 - part three ()
year 2014 - fourth part ()
Other Blogjob years - Blogjob main menu
How Robots Age The Singapore Circle... (ominous background music.)- Ed. Nutcase - by aerospace correspondent Vera Boareng Kim Bang Bong The 'Ghastly Spectre' of 2015 - by Jane Sbond Righteous Hacking U krain't believe it. (Putin Things In Perspective 6.) God's Frequency Branson Pickle Porkhenge Anti-climax
Chew It Over "Now Here's De Word Of De Lord."
Sex At Seven - NG-2 Kerala Kontoversy What If? Near East Earache. - Ed.
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And Finally - last for 2014
Figures released by Britain's most anti-motorist police force, North Wales, reveal that they tested 13,000, (yes that's thirteen THOUSAND,) motorists for alcohol over the Christmas period. Only 60 proved positive. The words Wasted and Resources come to mind.
NASA is to "hack" its own robot Mars Rover because it has an "age related memory problem." It's only ten years old and already has Alzheimers!
What is it about south-east Asia and aeroplanes? Either its an unprecedented coincidence that two modern passenger jets disappear in the same region, or something somewhere is going wrong. It could be incompetent, (or even malevolant,) pilots, but surely that would have come to notice before. It could be poor maintenance, but again someone would have whistle-blown by now. Conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day, that's for sure, until convincing evidence is unearthed. Bermuda Triangle, pah! I'm thinking along the lines of magnetic anomalies, weather freaks, super-villains, solar flares, acts of God; anyone taking it up?
It's barely believable, but true. South Korean airlines passenger jet turned round in mid flight because the chief executive's daughter spots nuts being dished out in bags, intead of being presented on a plate. What planet is she living on? (Maybe she's related to Kim Bang Bong- Ed.)
Predictably the little fatty-puff has blown his top after USA accused North Korea of the massive Sony hack and asking the Chinese to block such access from NK. (See two paras down.) We will attack the White House, the Pentagon and all of America. Yeah we believe you can do that.
On the same subject, Sony, you should be ashamed of yourselves, both for getting hacked so badly and for giving in to blackmail by cancelling The Interview.
You can tell UK is gearing up for next year's elections already when the coalition junior partner says the current budget plans cannot work. Blunt as you like. Mind you, after the Euro-elections when the Lib-Dems got smashed to bits, I guess Cleggy Poo realises his time in power sharing is pretty much done. The question is then, who next? Labour won't work with UKIP, (the party on the rise.) They might work with the Lib-Dems but only if there enough Lib-Dem MPs after the election; doesn't look very likely at present. The 'Ghastly Spectre' of UKIP teaming with the Conservatives makes most people's blood freeze. It will make Ding Dong Thatcher's very right-wing government look centre ground by comparison. God help us all if that happens!
If anyone had doubts that Kim Bang Bong is nuts, the religious tone of North Korea's defence of an attack on Sony makes us think he's not just nuts, but completely deluded. It's all about a film that takes the mickey out of Kim. Hooray, bang, bong!
Dour faced Vladimir was even dourer after the G20 summit. Supposedly about encouraging economic growth, nearly all the other delegates had a public go at Russia for its support of Ukrainian rebels. He didn't like it and left early. Nothing will improve though, not while he's in charge: Putin is part of the problem, not the solution.
A TV exposé of "Psychic Mediums" came up with the memorable phrase 'we got god's frequency!' It was a micro transmitter/receiver system fitted to a phoney preacher style fraudster. And it is... 39·1 MCs. You'd have thought God would have gone higher than that, even FM radio is, let alone mobile phones. Maybe God is showing humility with her frequency? Speak direct to God on 39100000 Hertz; trouble is, that's low VHF and doesn't have a very good range on Earth. That could explain a few things.
Two major explosions in three years, four people dead and several injured. That's not the way to inspire confidence in a space-plane. SpaceShipTwo scattered all over the Mojave desert. It's Virgin on intolerable.
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A few years ago bird-flu was in every headline and TV discussion. Then it was the hyped-up fuss about SARS with riduclous predictions of mass death. Now we actually have mass death and the fuss is very muted. Ebola of course. So why has it taken so long to raise awareness and get something useful done about it? Perhaps its because of all the previous fuss, a la "cry wolf."
According to the BBC, Stonehenge was made with sausage stones. They must have been overcooked. (Subtitles for sarsen stones.)
We've deliberately avoided the Scottish independence referendum up until now, apart from a scathing mention over a year ago. (See blogjob.) Now we have the result, pretty much exactly what the polls predicted all year until six weeks ago: 45%- yes, 55%+ stay with UK. Only three council areas voted for independence and they were old labour heartland areas. Orkney and Edinburgh both voted more than 2-1 against. Back to normal. Haggis price doesn't rocket in England, phew.
A new device to harness the power of the human jaw, when in use, has been announced in Canada. They say it could recharge devices such as hearing aids. One snag though, at present it only makes 5% of the electricity needed for a hearing aid. That's why people in Canada shout.
We know how tough these racing tour cyclists are, but yesterday on TV a secret was let out; they have a different physiology to the rest of us. Commentating on the Vuelta the words twice slipped out "fractured Peloton." One assumes this is a new bone they grow with exercise. Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Cycle Bones !
Strangely, that headline is the actual truth, not the usual pun. In fact, in the UK, an educational think tank has suggested that some 'age appropriate' form of sex education, along with social responsibility and money management, should be introduced into school curricula starting at the age of seven years old. As an ex-teacher who used to teach 'hard sex' education in science to twelve year olds, I'm in favour. It has always puzzled me why such subjects are left so late. In one school, I used form time with my eleven year olds to show a 'shock' BBC Horizon recording of the effects of smoking. The head of Personal and Social Education there told me off, saying they do that in class at fourteen. 'Fourteen!' was my response, 'most smokers start long before that.' Of course the Conservatives, who are in charge of education at present, don't want to know.
Kerala in south-west India, it is reported, is proposing to ban sales and drinking of alcohol in all its forms. Consumption there is the highest in India, but still way below consumption in much of Europe, especially Russia. Kerala also has a bit of reputation in the western press for out of control men, resulting in the occasional rape and/or murder of tourists. Q- Would banning of alcohol make any difference? A- Only if the ban could be enforced, which history shows is impossible. What is more likely is the Indian equivalent of Prohibition in America; that resulted in some of the most violent gang warfare ever seen there. It would also put off tourists. Perhaps you'd better think it out again over a beer or two.
We see CamEton dragged off his holiday sunlounger to discuss it. We hear President Osama calling it the greatest threat. We see American reporters beheaded by it and US warplanes attacking it. Radical Islam, of course. Now what if The West had ignored Putin's spoiling tactics and gone into Syria two years ago? Would ISIS or IS, whatever, still be killing all non-muslims? What is it that gets into the heads of radicals, is it just that they've only been educated in religon and by biggots? Or is it decades of dictatorship repression forcing religion underground where, beyond reach of the moderate old school, it began to mutate? Educate every single person and make science compulsory, that's one suggestion. Ban religion in public, including schools, that's another. If I was God, I'd scrap religion altogether.
How Robots Age
The Singapore Circle... (ominous background music.)- Ed.
Nutcase - by aerospace correspondent Vera Boareng
Kim Bang Bong
The 'Ghastly Spectre' of 2015 - by Jane Sbond
U krain't believe it. (Putin Things In Perspective 6.)
Chew It Over
"Now Here's De Word Of De Lord."
Sex At Seven - NG-2
What If? Near East Earache. - Ed.
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Maggie May Not - by Morgan O'Phosphate, Infinity Junction's field biology correspondent.
Scientists at Exeter seem to have pixellated priorities. Save the world from global warming, predict earthquakes, grow more food on less land, make water in the desert? Boring! Research there shows that magpies, far from loving shiny things like the Cardinal's Ring, are actually nervous of them. Well that's one favourite overture wrecked. And the next world-informing project, hum, how about are orange smarties tastier than red. (Smarties are no more, Ed.)
A new fibre developed by very hot cooking hemp, aka canabis- the stems, not leaves or flowers- claims to be even stronger than graphene. Sell that idea to those Amsterdam cafés: who knows what sort of hashcakes you'd get, stronger than concrete?
Wat Da Welsh Do - by our opera and booze correspondent, EM in Llanfairfechan.
You can't get a decent public service job in most of Wales if you don't speak Welsh, despite 95% of the population speaking English as first language. This results in some strange appointments, (see previous NuGgets and blogjob). Welsh TV background announcement: "And over on radio three, a prom concert from the Royal Albert Hall with music by Si-bell-us." Too busy being taught Welsh at school to bother with great classical composers.
Two bad decisions about or resulting from national polls appear in the news on the same day. First we hear that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the new president of Turkey, vowing to take power away from parliament. As a near dictator with Muslim inclinations this is bad news for the advancement of Turkey. They won't get into the EU with him grabbing power. Second we hear that Nouri al-Maliki, that weak and divisive Shia Muslim Prime Minister that USA wants out, has got the high court in Iraq to force the President to get him to form a new government. Islamic State must be chortling happily to themselves. EXTRA - Just a couple of hours after this went up, it seems Iraq's president has overruled the court and asked Maliki's deputy to form a unity government; something Maliki is judged incapable of doing. Hmm, watch that space.
Ten Billion Miles - Ed.
A billion miles a year, that's what Rosetta has covered trying to study that most catchy of titled comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerashenko. A few years ago I went on a real wild goose chase in Iceland. A whole day in freezing cold resulted in one dead goose, whose body was never found. I hope this isn't the same.
War Likely, Juncker Bombed
"Election" of J-C Juncker (Federalist, more power for the commission,) as of head of European commission has bombed in Britain. As most newspaper headlines put it- Britain Closer To Exit, (of the EU.) Britain wants power back from Europe to reduce its meddling in our affairs. What does that mean then? Well IF, only IF, the Conservatives win the next election, then CamEton has promised an in-out vote in the UK. At present it really does look "Out." However nobody knows who will win the election as it's too far ahead yet. If the Lib-Dems get a lever on power, as they have now in coalition with the Conservatives, then they will block it. So where does that leave Britain and Europe? Politically speaking At War. As CamEton said, "it's a bad day for Europe." There's another quote springs to mind: "Another fine mess you've gotten me into."
World Cup Winner
Four years ago Infinity Junction awarded Private Eye best joke of the World Cup for their Rourke's Drift thousands of vuvuzelas Zulu clip. Well they've done it again with their most appropriate front cover of the England team flying in and the pilot saying "Shall I keep the engines running?" Congratulations Private Eye, you now have an eviable two World Cup bests. England team however, pretty rubbish performance from the defence.
Another Record - Ed.
Mid June in deepest darkest north-west Cheshire, (Infinity Junction HQ,) during unusually high atmospheric pressure (dropping slowly,) saw at one point 28 separate and distinct vapour trails, (contrails US,) and traces of what could have been another five or six. Being under a very busy flight area, (north-west Europe / USA,) we are used to contrails, but usually only a handful at any time. The question I ask, as I look into what should be a pure blue sky, is how much sunlight is that lot cutting out?
Another Kicking? - (see below)
The cosying of Owner of Europe and UK PM CamEton seems to be ending. Mrs Merely's choice of ex Luxembourg PM Junkers as next president of Europe, a federalist, has not pleased the UK. A German magazine reports CamEton as saying it will destabilise his party and bring forward an in-out vote in the UK. Given that UKIP (see below) topped UK Euro-elections, it looks like UK would vote out. That would seriously dent the budgets and ambitions of those Brussels bureaucrats.
Given A Kicking - (this largely for our non-European readership)
England and France are unexpectedly united just now because both countries have seen established political parties hit very hard in elections. It is a protest against European 'business as usual' mentality. Now the European parliament has almost as many members wanting to break up the European Commission as support it; that's new. In England it's UKIP who've topped the pole, led by something of a buffoon, UK Independence Party will not do as well in national elections next year, that's for certain. Britain as a whole sees the European Parliament as irrelevant, so putting a bunch of anti-establishment clowns in there is something amusing to us. Our own government is a more serious affair. In France the protest has taken a more sinister turn with the far right making major gains. The really big question is- will the established euro-johnnies learn from it or will they try to ever expand the enormous bureaucracy they've built at the people's expense and largely against their wishes? Or will they finally reform and slim down? Britain is watching. What's more Britain might end up voting to kick Europe altogether.
Leicester University student union is trying something new to calm exam stress. They've ordered hundreds of metres of bubble wrap and have 'popping stations' here and there. It's cheaper than valium. The main questions: will exam grades go up, what happens to the polythene afterwards? (It'll go to a thene park... Ed.)
Conundrum - E.M.
If an oncologist treats cancer, does an oinkologist treat pigs?
Sticking His Neck Out
The new Indian Prime Minister comes from a Good Giraffe background. Subtitles yet again- work it out for yourself.
One of the current buzz-words in science is graphene, an ultra-thin, tough, flexible conductor, predicted to revolutionise electronics in the future. Strapped for cash, an Anglo-Irish project has managed to make it in a kitchen, using grahite powder, (pencil lead,) washing-up liquid and a blender. Let's whisk up a laptop for dinner, eh?
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Emulating Strong Leg Measurements...
"Russian sym thigh sizers" - another auto-text blunder. (Hear about the Ukraine police listening devices? Crime Ear. Ed)
The Taleban must be feeling pretty miffed with a 60% turnout for the first open Presidential elections in Afghanistan. We might just celebrate this on Tuesday by burning an effigy of the one year dead Wicked Witch. Ding Dong. (Thatcher, Ed.)
Taking The Pis
Auto subtitles to the Oscar Pistorius trial BBC1 news- "Oscar Pis Pus Pis."
Dietrich Wagner, a man who lost his sight due to a water cannon, appeared in subtitles as Beatrix Potter. Watch out Peter Rabbit, Mr McGregor's got his cannon! (Garden hose.)
In the same program a little later there was a hospital ward with no bets. It'll be empty by Grand National day though.
This is a matter of record, not poking fun or pointing fingers, Wednesday 12 Feb 2014 saw record wind here at Infinity Junction. For well over two hours in late afternoon we were at solid force ten, (whole gale as our navy would have it, storm as channel 4 TV claims,) with regular force eleven gusts and quite a few over force twelve, (hurricane.) Remember Michael Fish those years ago, 'Don't worry, we're not going to have a hurricane.' He said that because England doesn't get hurricanes, not inland anyway. We just did. It's a first for us in deepest, darkest north-west Cheshire.
Fact- The day after this was first posted, we learned that less than forty miles away it had reached 112 knots!
Somerset Levels in England have been underwater, increasingly so, virtually all year. Unfortunately for 'Zummerrzet,' residents are often seen by Londoners and Home Counties types as country bumpkins, and as such not worth bothering about. This perception was greatly reinforced when the Thames overflowed, (in the Home Counties,) almost as soon as you could say flood, the army was in there and ministers in government were calling for emergency aid funds etc. Only then, with public comment about the difference in reaction, did senior politicians belatedly agree to see what's going on in Somerset. It's not how much danger you're in, it's which way do most of you vote which counts!
That arch upper-class twit, Michael Gove, UK minister for morons, miscreants, oiks and other school types, continues with his teacher bashing, much to the amusement of his fellow Old Etonians, (who dominate in cabinet.) Now he wants longer teaching hours, more compulsory sport and Common Entrance exams at 13 introduced into state schools. The question is; who is going to pay for it? State school teachers in England are some of the worst paid in Western Europe and already do dozens, sometimes hundreds of unpaid hours every year. (There is no such thing as overtime payments.) He's hardly going to persuade them to do 8, 9 or even 10 hour days on current wages. The question also needs to be answered, is he serious, or just plain potty?
I've Seen That Movie Forty-Four Times... This Second
BT and Alcatel-Lucient recently announced they had broken the record for long range data transfer rates, clocking 1.4 Terabits per second between London and Ipswich! That's equivalent to 44 HD films... every second. You'd have to have damned quick eyes for that.
"Those Who Can, Get Proper Jobs- Those Who Can't, Join The Military" - old saying.
Ex US war secretary Robert Gates warns UK's abiltiy to be a world player will be reduced by planned cuts to the military. Yes, well, Bob, you see that's the whole point, isn't it. UK isn't a world player: we're only 60 million people and the money is better spent at home.
Specifically Silly Specification
New Scientist pointed out a specification for a torch with ± (plus or minus) 7 years life expectancy. Since the actual expected life was about five-point-seven years... think about it, it could have already been dead for one-point-three years when new.
Pathetic Parole 2 - see article two slots down from here
New evidence shows that the way prisoners are assessed for safety and re-offending risk before release is completely inneffective. In half of cases the assessment proves wrong! Time for a re-think, we think.
Tribute to L. E. M. G.
One of Infinity Junction's longest established panel reader/commenters and occasional review writer passed away shortly before Christmas. An avid and fast reader, architectural heritage campaigner, technical writer, mother of two, friend of many, Lesley E.M. Guthrie died far too young of menigitis, not realising the illness she had was as bad as it was. Larger than life, loud and irrepressible at times, ever cheerful, ever active and seemingly capable of taking on anything, she will be very sadly missed by all who knew her. Read In Peace, Lesley.
Another case of the English parole board's stupidity comes to light. Victor Nealon, a one time postman, convicted of sexual assault and jailed 17 years ago has finally been released from Wakefield prison. He should have been let out years ago but he kept on protesting his innocence, because he was innocent. Prosecutors at the time and since have refused to use DNA evidence for no clear reason. In the end privately paid for DNA testing proved his innocence. NuGgets column at Infinity Junction has critcised the policy adopted by the parole board before and we do so here again. It is completely illogical to expect someone to admit to a serious offence if they haven't done it, but the parole board believe they are the arbiters of truth, well they patently are not. We also say the policy of no regrets, no release is wrong. The infamous case of Tony Martin, which we featured some years ago is an example; he shot an intruder into his remote farmhouse after it had been repeatedly attacked and said he'd do it again in the same circumstances. The parole board kept him locked up after he'd served his time simply because he was stating his intention to protect himself. They should all be locked up. (The parole board that is.)
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