After a 6-month journey, the Deep Impact spacecraft successfully parked its copper Impactor probe in the path of comet Tempel 1 at a distance of 83 million miles from Earth. Impactor was duly splatted when the comet overtook it at a closing speed of 23,000 mph, and Deep Impact stood off and took pictures of the collision.
NASA bogs it up again
July the 13th turned out to be another unlucky day for NASA's beleaguered space shuttle programme. First of all, the weather was dreadful but the storm eventually blew away from Cape Canaveral. Then, at T minus 140 minutes, a check picked up a faulty sensor in the system which reports on the level of hydrogen fuel in the main tank.
NASA finally gets it up! (But still makes a bog of it.)
The space shuttle Discovery headed into space at 15:39 BST on July 26th after a lot of fun and games with a fuel sensor, which caused the last launch attempt to be cancelled but which started working again 3 hours after the scheduled lift-off time and kept on working perfectly.
The ten shilling note was abolished on 1970/11/20 while Ted Heath was prime minister, and the pound note became one with history on 1988/03/11 while Margaret Thatcher, Heath's successor as Conservative party leader, was enjoying her final term as prime minister.
The author who wrote the 87th Precinct stories under the name Ed McBain has died at 78. He used a variety of names, including Evan Hunter, to establish a reputation as a 'serious' novelist. Then he hit on the idea of making police procedures as important a part of a crime novel as the dastardly deed(s) and the characters of cops and criminals. From Cop Hater (1956), the collection grew to some 55 volumes, the last of which is published this year. He also enjoyed success with his series of books featuring lawyer Matthew Hope.
The man who took Britain into the European Common Market has died at 89. He was the first Tory from a working class background to reach the top job in politics and he served as prime minister from 1970 to 1974, when he lost a general election during an ass-kicking contest with the trade unions. After being replaced as Tory leader in 1975 by Margaret Thatcher (who sorted the unions out a decade later), he went into 'the longest sulk in history' on the back benches of the Commons until 2001.
The Canadian actor who played the allegedly Scottish 'Scotty' in Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) had died at 85. He began his career in radio and he won the part that would define the rest of his life when he was in his mid-forties. 5 years after the series was cancelled, his dentist is reported to have told Mr. Doohan to accept that he was typecast and that he should just get on with being Scotty. So he spent the rest of his working life on the lecture circuit and attending Star Trek conventions, and he also found time to star in 5 of the films featuring the original crew of the starship Enterprise.
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The humble potato contains kukoamines, which help to reduce blood pressure, which is officially a good thing. The bad news, however, is that the gadgets used for measuring blood pressure in hospitals and clinics are so wildly inaccurate that millions of healthy people have been diagnosed as having hypertension and people with sky-high blood pressure have been given the all-clear. So the 'potato effect' is unlikely to show up until someone sorts out the measurement situation.
If you don't eat red meat (including corned beef), you won't get Crohn's disease. Avoiding Mr. Crohn is another good strategy.
BBC promises 'No more repeats'
Somehow, we knew this would happen!
Eating lots of chocolate is good for you!
Supermarket chains are endorsing New Labour's 24-hour drinking culture. All the big ones are applying for licences to sell alcohol all day and all night, too.
You may have read about the Russian spiv, who is trying to sue NASA for hurt feelings after they crashed a probe the size of a washing machine into 9 km by 6 km Comet Tempel 1. Her case is that the impact changed the course of the comet enough to affect her horrorscope. She's also trying to kid us into believing that the impact knocked out mobile phone transmissions and that the comet might just have been put on a collision course with the Earth!
Here's the good bit!
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They tried to tell us the 3rd millennium started at the year 2000, they gave us Trafalgar + 200 in June instead of October and this month, we got the end of World War 2 plus 60 years on what was neither VE Day + 60 nor VJ Day + 60.
Ignore Live8. What Africa needs is decent government and fair trade deals. But caught between their corrupt politicians and ours, Africa is unlikely to get either.
Who's to blame for the London suicide bombings?
Excuse me, you extremists . . .
What's up with this bloody country?
The IRA surrender, but what are they up to really?
All eyes should be focussed on the court where small shareholders in Railtrack are bringing an action against the government and 'Liar' Byers, who was Transport Sec. when the company went into liquidation. The shareholders are saying that Byers conspired to make Railtrack insolvent and he defrauded them out of their investment. They stand to collect £160 million in damages if they win.
"Byers didn't react to Railtrack's insolvency;
But what should concern the rest of us is that if the Labour government is convicted of fraud, the big institutional investors in Railtrack will be back for another bite. They settled for peanuts as their compensation packages but a fraud conviction will nullify any deals that they made. And they'll be back for BILLIONS from the taxpayer as the criminal; this New Labour government; has no cash of its own.
Narrow boat owners hit by parking fines
WARNING: Don't buy Spanish lettuce!
What a difference a day makes
Which? magazine reckons that HSBC, LloydsTSB, RBS-NatWest, Barclays and Halifax-Bank of Scotland are ripping off the punters to the tune of £400 per customer per year through overcharging on loans, credit card interest rates and small-print stealth fees.
The latest fashionable social disease is Mobile Phone Elbow, which is nerve damage caused by bending the elbow for long periods of time while yakking on a mobile.
The police now have the power to seize vehicles belonging to drivers with no insurance. Flogging off used car bargains is reckoned to be the next big growth area for police forces when speeding fines max out.
London's hotels were quick to cash in on the transport freeze after the bombs went off, raising their prices by up to 400% for the benefit of stranded travellers.
Thames Water has missed its leak-reduction target for the third year in a row. They were losing 915,000,000 litres per day at the end of March of this year. Their target is a mere 905,000,000 litres/day. The loss is the equivalent of 100 litres per customer per day, or 3 times the daily amount used by an average customer.
Loud and Illegal!
Channel 5 has been convicted by the Advertising Standards Authority of doing what all TV companies do but deny: turning up the volume of the adverts. There is actually a broadcasting rule that states that adverts cannot be 'excessively loud' compared to the programme in which they are embedded. Anyone who has ever watched Sky will know how bad loud adverts can be.
Among the new laws to be enacted in the wake of the London bombs will be the offence of 'cultural treason'. The legislation will give fellow citizens who hear the word 'multiculturalism' an absolute right to hang, draw and quarter the offender on the spot.
A sin postponed is still a sin
Livingstone to be deported
This month's Number One criminal offence
Terrorist suspect gunned down in London
BBC adopts New Labour policy on the truth
Blind and stupid?
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The government is sitting on evidence of Saddam Hussein's crimes in case handing it over to the Iraqi authorities violates his human rights. Other governments have successfully applied for a special exemption from the Human Rights Convention but the Foreign Office under Jack 'Waste of Space' Straw is collectively too dim to know this.
Another Stealth Tax on the way
How appropriate it was that PM Antonio B. Liar appointed as his head advisor on anti-social behaviour a loutish woman who behaves like the Queen of the ASBOs. All he has to do is point at her and tell everyone to do the exact opposite.
The average petrol price in Britain is now over £4 per gallon and there is another increase on the way as world oil prices hit ridiculous levels. The Chancellor was shamed out of a planned tax rise in September; but he's going to get the cash anyway via VAT.
Jobs for just about anyone, no experience needed
The prime minister promised that he would eliminate the problem before the election. So it comes as no surprise to find that people still can't book an appointment with a doctor more than 48 hours in advance because doctors don't want to lose the bonus for fiddling their waiting lists to 'meet' this arbitrary New Labour target.
Unfit to run a bloody whelk stall!
Prime Minister denies link between illegal Iraq war and London terror bombs
Sharing the blame
Prime Minister Antonio B. Liar can expect to find himself in the dock if any senior army officers are prosecuted for war crime to further the government's political correctness agenda. As the man who took his country to war on the basis of manufactured evidence, the P.M. can he held as liable as the C.O. of a soldier who went too far in his enthusiasm to curb criminal behaviour in Iraq.
The government and the biotech companies which are its paymasters all insisted that genetically monstered crops are safe and definitely WILL NOT lead to the creation of herbicide-resistant superweeds through interbreeding with nearby plants.
Home Sec. admits he's about as much use as a chocolate teapot
Charlie Clark has rebranded himself as a semi-detached Home Sec. by taking his planned summer holiday during a policing crisis. Dave Monoblot, the Tsar of the Downing Street Press Office, said, "Charlie feels he can make no useful contribution to the hunt for the suicide bombers and it would be better for all concerned if he got out of the way. So he's going on holiday for a month or so. And he's prepared to stay away for longer if that would help."
Scotch Gordon's promises of debt cancellation for African nations have been shown to be just a hollow sham. The Make Poverty History group has accused him of passing off half-promises as commitments to 100% debt cancellation.
Former Transport Sec. Stephen 'Liar' Byers is reported to be living in fear of retribution from Chancellor Scotch Gordon. Byers admitted in court that he had lied to a Commons sub-committee about his knowledge of a plan to drive Railtrack into administration (to defraud the shareholders of their investment).
'Golden' Rule devalued to 'Tarnished Brass'
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"The people of Great Britain can know that the American people stand with them," said George W., who pretends to be president of the United States.
Double standards, anyone?
The drought spreads
Like the Spanish, the French are having a major water crisis. Their 'water police' are going round handing out €1,500 fines to farmers who are using more than their fair share of water to irrigate their crops. Of course, the farmers are just paying the fines as they stand to lose many thousands of euros if everything is allowed to desiccate in their fields.
Mr. B. Liar 'sweats for Britain' yet again
This month's EU ban on sales of many minerals, nutrients and vitamins used in food supplements received a massive helping hand from the British Prime Minister. He ordered his government to support the ban and he removed Labour MPs who opposed it from the Commons committee which scrutinized the EU Food Supplements Directive.
First ever EU fine for the French!
The European court of justice has fined the French regime €20 million for failing to observe EU fisheries conservation laws and there will be further fines of €57.8 million every 6 months until the French can demonstrate that they are using the right net sizes and they have stopped catching and selling undersize fish.
EU Parliament is coke-snorters' paradise
Radical approach to tackling corruption in Ukraine
Spanish mail fraudsters busted
A gang operating from Malaga was making around €100 million per year out of an international scam when the Spanish police rolled them up. They were offering a chance to share treasure troves like the stashed loot of Saddam Hussein's family; cash, gold and other valuables recovered by stealth from the ruins of the World Trade Centre; and a winning ticket in Spain's El Gordo monster lottery.
EU insists on applying its maritime rules to land-locked countries
Hungary and Slovakia have absolutely no coastline but the European Commission is threatening them with fines if they don't jump through one of its hoops. The crime of these two rogue states is failing to incorporate EU directives for passenger ships and prevention of pollution from ships into their national laws.
Irish insurgents to pack it in?
Congrats to Lance Armstrong on winning his 7th Tour de France in a row.
|2012 Olympics Update
We step into the bullet's path!
We get the second prize
Crazy Frog President warms up new career
Dead duck French president Jacques Chirac is planning a new career as an alternative comedian when he is eventually evicted from office.
Another crazy frog speaks out
Yet another crazy frog speaks out
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Crooks In Action
The European Union is promising to do something about the criminals who send out emails about bogus lottery wins and extract cash from the gullible as 'administration fees' (but don't hold your breath).
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