|Yet Another Earthquake Strikes Romiley?|
Memories of the Great Romiley Earthquakes of 1984 and 2002 flooded back over the bank holiday weekend when residents found one of the village's apparently eternal landmarks in disarray. Half of the advertising hoarding to the east of the railway bridge had collapsed across the pavement and become a hazard to navigation. Some rather heavy-duty equipment will be needed to shift it!
The wreckage was removed in the blink of an eye once the bank holiday was out of the way.
|JCB achieves new world land speed record for diesels|
The JCB Dieselmax, which has twin turbocharged engines, has broken the land speed record for diesel-powered vehicles. Wing-Commander Andy Green, an RAF Harrier pilot, averaged 328 mph over his 2 runs on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
The previous highest speed for a diesel-engined vehicle of 235 mph was set 30 years ago. W/C Green is currently the fastest man on land. He drove the jet-powered ThrustSSC faster than the speed of sound (at 763 mph) in 1997.
A day later, Dieselmax did 350 mph, and that wasn't flat out. The car has 6 gears but it needs to find a stronger set of tyres, which will let the driver/pilot get it out of 5th gear.
|Baggage cut down to size|
The world's airlines have become increasingly worried about the size of the items of 'hand luggage' which passengers lumber aboard with them. But all that has changed for the better, from the airlines' point of view. This month's security scare has allowed them to limit carry-on baggage at major British airports to a maximum size of 45 x 35 x 16 cm [17.8 x 13.8 x 6.3 inches], including pockets, wheels, etc.
Everything else must go in a suitcase in the hold and be weight and subject to excess baggage charges. Which is another way of sneaking the price of a journey up and up.
If you fly with BA, you'll be late
hree-quarters of all British Airways flights take off behind schedule and during the week ending July 23rd, the average flight was 17 minutes late on arrival. Virgin Atlantic did even worse. Its average flight was 20 minutes late.
Moscow gets the hump!
ussia's capital is trying to repair its battered image with an attack on the backpackers' guide Lonely Planet. While Moscow's impressive architecture and history are praised, the guide reckons that the people living in the city are a problem. Moscow is riddled with corruption, plagued by criminals, AIDS and bugs, and most of the vodka on sale is fake.
A GOOD thing about Moscow: A ride on the Metro trains costs only 35p.
A BAD thing about Moscow: Drive-by shootings are common in the city centre.
Do-it-yourself UFO give MoD a fright!
couple who had just moved into a new house in Seaham, County Durham, released some lanterns, which can fly like a hot-air balloon, at a house-warming party. The next thing they knew, their area was crawling with spooks from the Ministry of Defence, who were investigating calls to the police about mysterious lights in the sky.
"Give us the dosh!" say Chief Cons.
he police want a £1/head levy on passengers at airports to pay for their armed patrols. Chief constables everywhere are worried about the damage to their budgets while the outfits running airports are making a bomb.
He'll soon cheer you up!
Two airports have enjoyed morale-boosting visits by new labour's pantomime horse during this month's crisis. Not Heathrow or Ringway but Humberside and Robin Hood (Doncaster) airports were favoured by old Four Shags to avoid adding unduly to the chaos.
ne-sixth of Ireland's motorists aren't bothering with a driving test. The law allows them to keep renewing their provisional licence and spares them the bother of ever qualifying as a proper motorist.
Cops go free
ark Milton, the PC who did a night 'test drive' in a new squad car at 2-3 times the legal speed limit, has escaped a driving ban and a trip to gaol. He was convicted of dangerous driving at a retrial bu the district judge decided he had 'suffered quite enough' and let him off.
DO IT before it's too late!
f you want to have a holiday in the Mediterranean, get it out of the way before 2030. By then, climate change will have made British resorts the places to be and the Med much too hot for the taste of British tourists, and the area will be subject to droughts, violent storms and floods. Farther afield, the Maldives and the Seychelles will be under water, so they need to be visited in the near future.
|NASA in race against time to recover lost data|
Ever wondered why the film of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the Moon's surface in 1969 has such crap quality? It is so bad that it has led to people claiming that the Moon landings never happened. The answer is that the original NASA footage had to be converted into a format suitable for commercial broadcasting, which produced a severely degraded image quality.
The NASA film was copied to magnetic tape a year after the landings. 700 boxes were delivered to the Goddard Space Flight Centre at Greenbelt, Maryland. 36 years later, 698 of the boxes are missing. They may be lost somewhere in the system, or someone might just have strolled off with them! It is important to find them quickly because the data evaluation lab at Goddard, which contains the only equipment capable of playing the tapes, is due to close in October of this year.
Worse, the plastic film, which provides the supporting base for the magnetic layer of the tapes, is decaying and the tapes must be found before they become unplayable. It all sounds like another typically NASA, monumental blunder.
Stand by for Plutons!
A new definition of what constitutes a planet threatens to increase the size of the Solar System at a stroke. The definition would let Pluto, a candidate for the chop, retain the status as a planet which it has enjoyed since its discovery in 1930. It would become the founder member of a new planetary grouping called Plutons, which take more than 200 Earth years to circle the Sun and which have orbits at extreme angles to those of the planets nearer to the Sun. The new members of the family would be:
Ceres (diameter 700 km), the largest of the asteroids, which would be upgraded to planetary status because it orbits a star while not being a star itself, and its gravity is sufficient to give it a spherical shape;
Charon (diameter 1,200 km), the relatively massive moon of Pluto (diameter 2,300 km), which would be upgraded to Pluton status; and
2003 UB313, a.k.a. Xena (diameter 3,000 km ), a Kuiper Belt Object discovered in 2003, which is bigger than Pluto.
Also available for Pluton status are a dozen other large KBOs including: Varuna (diameter 900 km), Quaoar (diameter 1,300 km), Sedna (diameter 1,600 km) and Ixion (diameter 760 km).
Pluto demoted new labour dumbing down blamed
A conference of astronomers in Prague has reduced the status of the ninth planet to that of 'dwarf planet', ending 76 years of history. The reason behind shrinking the solar system down to 8 planets is believed to be related to new labour's attempts to shrink the scope of the astronomy A-level to make the exam easier to pass. The term 'pluton' was also binned as vulcanologists have a prior claim on it.
Atlantis Mission sunk by hurricane
urricane Ernesto's arrival off Florida has forced NASA to cancel plans to launch the space shuttle Atlantis this month. The shuttle has been rolled back to its hangar and the International Space Station will have to wait until October before it gets its next set of new bits.
|The price of a quiet life|
The government sent its head Dalek, ruth kelly, to croak at some community leaders and ask them what they want in exchange for giving up violent victimhood and starting to behave like decent citizens. Top of the list was their own Moslem bank holidays!
Anyone else get the impression that these characters aren't taking the trouble-makers in their ranks seriously? And not so much taking the piss as showering the rest of us with derision.
Price out of proportion
On the 21st of this month, the Royal Mail's Pricing in Proportion scam was introduced to rip off customers further. Size as well as weight now counts towards the cost of delivering something via the postal system. Items to be posting must now be passed through a hole in a measuring guide as well as placed on the scales, increasing waiting times, shortening customer tempers and placing stroppy staff in greater danger of physical violence.
All PR flash and no substance
he dolphin is to be adopted as the new new labour emblem to replace the red rose of Lancashire. These marine mammals have been shown to be less intelligent than a goldfish but they continue to bask in the warm glow of a positive PR image. This combination is also a perfect description of new labour in the minds of the party's spin doctors.
A great marketing ploy
n the light of the rush of sales of Günter Grass' autobiography following his admission that he was in the Waffen SS during World War Two, our present temporary prime minister is planning to use the same trick when his memoirs come out. Apparently, the rigours of office have left him looking old enough to have served in the German forces sixty years ago!
Saving the shareholders' dosh?
The price of 2nd class postage went up to 23p earlier in the year. But it looks like the Daily Mail has a special deal for postcards which lets them knock them out at a penny off!
One Man One Demo!
bunch of trouble-makers are hoping to take the piss out of new labour's ban on demonstrations within 1 kilometre of Parliament without permission. The idea is for people to hold a one-person demo on absolutely anything that floats their boat and to swamp the police with the sheer volume of their application forms. The police cannot refuse an application made at least 6 days in advance and the Met is in for a busy time it the plan takes off!
Essex coppers really narked!
Some comedian living near Colchester keeps putting home-made stickers on Speed Camera warning signs to tell motorists their real purpose. Motorists are quite amused by them but the Essex police don't see the joke and they are threatening to 'throw the book' at whoever is responsible for the 'acts of vandalism'. Which seems fairly typical of the modern approach to policing.
Burglars, drug dealers and umpteen other sorts of criminals are allowed to get away with it, but as soon as motoring and the enormous amounts of cash that can be milked from motorists comes into the picture, the police are ready to throw every available resource into action.
While the police are busy chasing the sign-tamperer, the Essex Safety Camera Partnership is more worried about the people who are making their protest by setting fire to speed camera.
Dome Cheeky Buggers!
The Anschutz Organization, which is bidding for a super casino for the former Millennium dome with the assistance of deputy prime minister Four Shags, is in trouble again. It included in its bid package, a faked letter apparently showing support for the casino from local religious groups, and grovelling apologies have been issued.
When challenged by BlackFlag News, a spokeswoman for the casino bidders pointed out that they had merely followed new labour's rules for compiling dossiers.
This feature might have to be cancelled this month as new labour's bungling has meant that prisons are running out of spare cells. When the cells are full, new labour is planning to lay off all police officers until it's worth the country's while employing them again.
A blanket ban, under anti-terrorism legislation, will also be imposed on all news organs to prevent the news getting out, as the government wishes to avoid panic by the law-abiding population and a crime-bonanza for the scumbag tendency.
There's no 'arm in it!
The going rate for amputating an Indian beggar's arm used to be 10,000 rupees (£125). Then the authorities busted a racket involving 3 doctors and a gang, which was kidnapping beggars and forcing them to be truncated to increase their sympathy potential.
elgian drivers can duck out of a parking fine by going to the right website and paying about €7 for a used ticket to prove their innocence.
hree Aussie prisoners, who escaped from a gaol in New South Wales, managed to travel 125 miles before making a major blunder. They tried to thumb a lift from an unmarked police car.
Desperation rules in Lincolnshire
Burglaries and other crimes are so out of control in Lincolnshire that the county's Christian Police Association thinks the only way forward is to get victims of unsolved crimes to go to church and pray to the Lord for an arrest.
Inspector McManus, head of the LCPA, reckons that winter road casualties went down after the Bishop of Lincoln started blessing gritting lorries. The citizens of the country, meanwhile, are praying for a police force which will take its job seriously and stop letting vandals off with a caution.
Statistic: 89% of burglars get away with it in Lincolnshire compared to 83% nationally.
Wapping Buggers Busted
he 'royal editor' of the News of the Screws and several accomplices have been raked in by anti-terrorist police for being a party to hacking into the lines of communication of Prince Chuck, MPs and several similar public figures. Calls on mobile phones and voicemails were the targets for the spy-ring.
Northumberland a great place for crime
f you want to nick a caravan, Northumberland is a great place to do it. The pilot of a microlight, who was giving a flying lesson, saw criminals rip down a security fence and make off with a neighbour's caravan. So the pilot phoned the owner and the police, and joined in the pursuit.
But when the thieves were cornered, they insisted they'd bought the caravan and produced a dodgy bill of sale. The dozy coppers felt they could do nothing more than let them off with a caution. No charge of 'grand theft caravan', no criminal damage charge over the fence.
The police call themselves a 'service' these days, but if this is their idea of a service, then residents of Northumberland are entitled to invoke the Trade Descriptions Act!
IRA firebugs on rampage again
our major retail stores have been destroyed by IRA incendiary devices left inside them. Republican gangs operating protection rackets are the prime suspects. No arrests are expected.
Neat idea, sloppy execution
A bloke who was caught by a speed camera in Hyde (near Romiley) thought he had the ideal solution to avoiding a fine. He returned to the camera with some thermit and reduced it to smoking slag. Unfortunately for him, the camera's data was stored on a disk drive in the base of the camera's mounting, and it survived his assault. The last image taken by the camera was of the bloke's van and its registration number.
Craig Moore will be sentenced next month. Instead of a fine of £60, he faces up to 10 years in gaol or 10 minutes' community service, depending on how desperate the judge is to make an example of him.
Forget slapping, the French go in for 'happy crashing' in Spain
our Froggies in holiday in Benidorm have been winding up motorists at roundabouts. They had their adventures in the early hours of the morning, after a night of energetic drinking. One of them lurched out into the road, causing motorists to swerve, while the others filmed the chaos that he caused with their phone cameras and posted it on the internet. Nobody was hurt before the 4 perps were busted.
Another popular activity in Spain this summer is starting forest fires and filming the blaze.
This activity is also popular in northern Greece this summer holiday season.
Police make new demands
hief constables are seeking radical new powers to tackle crime & nuisance in towns and cities. They are seeking the rights to:
- Inflict summary execution on yobs.
- Force low-level trouble-makers to 'get out of town' for 3 months or until they learn how to behave decently.
- Crush vehicles dangerously parked and vehicles belonging to yob drivers.
- Stop & search anyone who looks like he/she might be carrying a knife, regardless of ethnic type or religion.
- Extort on-the-spot payments from anyone who looks like he/she has a few bob.
Coppers in the dock
trathclyde Police are to be charged with bringing the police service into disrepute for handing out an official caution to Glasgow Celtic's Polish goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, who had the temerity to cross himself before an 'Auld Firm' match with Rangers.
MBE 4 Me
ometime police auxiliary worker Michael Eke thought he was worth an award for his tireless devotion to community work. So he nominated himself for an MBE. And he got one! But his bubble burst when he was busted for stealing goods from his workplace and cash from charity events. The 14 charges which he faced included forging letters of recommendation for his gong.
Lion Quality Eggs has responded to regular requests for help by inventing a logo which shows when an egg is boiled to a specified degree soft, medium or hard. The indicator is invisible when printed on the shell and it turns black when the egg has received the right amount of heat.
Newspapers promptly rushed out features on the lost art of egg-boiling, quoting 'experts' going back to Mrs. Beaton. But they all ignored one vital point the age of the egg.
Fresh eggs take longer to boil than ones which have been kicking around for a while. And the new gadget doesn't address this problem.
Stand by for more foody highway robbery
his summer's heatwave will put 4p on the price of a loaf of bread, Rank Hovis and ADM Milling, the country's 2 biggest flour producers, have warned. Yields were down but costs are up this year, so the price will soar and it will prove impossible to import cheaper flour from aboard.
Curiously, farmers are being told that there is too much wheat around and that's why the big millers are having to pay them less for it this year compared to last year. Looks like the producers & consumers are getting screwed while the middle-men profiteer.
It's not just red veg which are good for you!
esearch at the University of Wisconsin has shown that eating peas, broccoli, squash and sweetcorn gives improved eye health in old age. The bad news for anyone who is already old is that it's too late to try the green & yellow food diet.
Junk food is good for something!
nfortunately, it's breeding giant rats! The brown rat is living longer and growing to 2 feet in length on a diet of fast-food discards. They are also breeding faster and in London, you are never more than 6 feet from a rat! [And it's even closer in Downing Street. Ed.]
Crisps with everything!
f food tastes soggy and unappetizing, crunching a crisp will perk it up. The waves of ultrasound created when teeth chomp down on crisps 'enhances the eating experience' in the same way as biting into a fresh apple or a solid biscuit. Apparently, the brain associates crispness with freshness, and sogginess with rot and decay.
|Any knowledge is a dangerous thing|
Lord Forkbender, sometime flatmate of our present temporary (on holiday) prime minister and former ringmaster of the Millennium Dome, thought the Freedom of Information Act was a great idea when it took effect.
But rotten sods have insisted on knowing so much that was embarrassing to corrupt new labour during the last 18 months that he wants to slow them down a bit.
His big idea is to change the rules to make it easier for the government to refuse to release information on cost grounds and, of course, the cost of assembling the information will be inflated artificially and vastly.
For 3 weeks starting from August 4th, corrupt new labour's pantomime horse is in charge of the country while our present temporary prime minister goes off on his freebie hols. The police investigation into Four Shags' antics with the Anschutz organization's Casinos Wing continues but he is unlikely to be busted while in charge of Britain.
Our present temporary prime minister has decided to postpone his holiday for a couple of days under the mistaken impression that will make a scrap of difference to Israel's war criminals in Lebanon.
What goes around comes around
alter Wolfgang, the pensioner who was assaulted by thugs and evicted from last year's corrupt new labour party conference for dissent, has been elected to the labour party's national executive. His reward will be regular meetings with our PTPM, whose minions laboured mightily but failed to prevent Mr. Wolfgang's elevation.
Thanks for all the fish, but no 'So long'!
he Environment Agency has been forced to send out officials in body armour, and armed with batons and handcuffs, to tackle predation by Eastern Europeans. British anglers return their catches to rivers and lakes. The foreigners are fishing for the table, and they can turn extremely violent when confronted. Carp, perch, roach, bream & pike are all becoming endangered species as a result of corrupt new labour's failures to restrict migration and maintain border controls.
Poles out after 130 years
t is a traditional image associated with fire stations the inmates sliding down a pole to the engine house when the alarm goes off. But all that has been hurled into the dustbin of history in Devon by health & safety fascists. They decided that a new fire station had to have stairs and no pole on the grounds that firemen might hurt themselves sliding down the pole.
The firemen have pointed out that using the pole takes 1½ seconds against 15-20 seconds for running down 2 flights of stairs. And people are 10-20 times more likely to have an accident on stairs than sliding down a pole.
Poles in fire stations have been disappearing since 2002, when Gloucester Fire Brigade banned their use in line with a dodgy interpretation of European Union safety directives.
he Department of Guesswork has estimated that 750,000 people living in areas of the South-East which are subject to drought orders and hosepipe bans are creeping out in the dead of night to water their gardens.
The vultures gather
ow that the government is thinking about issuing a free pardon to the World War I soldiers who were shot for cowardice, the legal profession is eager to seek compensation for any surviving relatives (and a fat fee for the lawyer).
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|Please come home to Wroclaw|
What used to be Poland's 4th largest city is losing its population, and its place in the league table, with distressing speed. The citizens are all sloping off to England for the good life. So Wroclaw has started an advertising campaign over here to tell its émigrés about the advantages of living and working back home, away from stroppy foreigners. The big problem is that English wages for skilled jobs can be up to 20 times what someone would make in Poland.
British troops die in Iraq & Afghanistan while smug bugger schmoozes America
Having sent our troops to fight George Bush's foreign wars, which smug bugger admits are being bungled on the political front, the man himself has dashed off to the States. When he's not knocking back margaritas by the bucketful, he's job-hunting and hoping to ingratiate himself with the bosses of companies which have made a bundle under the Bush regime.
In the meantime, the British people have to put up with smug bugger's assurance that. according to his inner vision, everything will turn out okay.
Back-door ban for foreign colas
ndia has used its Supreme Court to tackle the problem of the invasion of sugar-loaded foreign drinks. The Centre for Science & Environment decided that Coca-Cola & Pepsi both contain high levels of pesticides, so the court ruled that the manufacturers have to reveal their secret formulas or have their products banned in India. As the exact formula for both drinks is a commercial secret, and their parent companies contribute billions of dollars to the US tax economy, the likely outcome of the confrontation is the threat of a trade war with the United States until India pulls in its horns.
"Vote any way you like, but vote for me!"
resident Vlad 'The Horrible' Putin has come up with an interesting solution to the failing fortunes of United Russia, his own party. He has set up an 'opposition party', which is also controlled by his Kremlin stooges. The plan is to stage a beauty contest, knowing that whichever party the voters go for, he will be in charge of it. And if the voters decide they don't like either choice, there's a third party lurking in the wings. And guess what? It's run by a guy who's loyal to Vlad. Sweet!
Bombing without responsibility
ccording to a poll on the Fox News website, the good citizens of the United States (95% of them) don't think they should pay to have Lebanon put back together even though they gave Israel all the bombs & missiles used to wreck Beirut, Tyre, etc. in the first place. Not to mention the 140 km oil slick created in the Med by Israeli terror bombing. Whatever happened to common decency, guys?
Dracula Park set to rise from its grave?
Romania's then tourism minister put plans to build a tacky Dracula theme park on hold when Prince Charles rubbished the idea during a state visit. Four years on, a new tourism minister has decided it's not a bad idea, after all.
The old plan foundered because there were too many speculators hoping to make a quick buck and they were all pulling in different directions. Something like what happened to the Millennium Dome, in fact.
A Man with a Plan: Stop the Rot and DO IT NOW!
resident Ahmadin Egad! of Iran would like the British people to overthrow our present temporary prime minister on the grounds that he is doing lasting damage to the UK.
resident Ahmadin Egad! of Iran reckons the best way to bring peace to the Middle East would be to destroy Israel. Hmmm . . .
I should like to point out that, with Israel out of the way, that would let the Shi'ites concentrate on killing Sunni Moslems, and vice versa, and let both lots attack the Christians and other minority religions.
Plus, you'd have the place over-run by Jewish foreign fighters the way Iraq is full of Iranians, Pakistanis, Afghans, British Jihadistas, etc.
How can Israel afford to pay compensation for 1,000 Lebanese citizens dead, thousands more injured, a million refugees, most of them made homeless and infrastructure damage which will cost BILLIONS to put right?
Looks like the only practical solution to the Middle East's problems is to set of enough neutron bombs to wipe out the natives while preserving the archaeology.
Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has shown that truly obese people, in terms of their Body Mass Index, have a greater risk of dying from a heart-related illness than those with a 'normal' BMI. No surprise there, but the research also shows that, compared to 'normals', overweight people live longer and really skinny people die sooner.
The BMI is defined as height (in metres) squared divided by weight (in kilogrammes). The BMI for a heavy but longer life is 25 to 29.9. Under 18.5 or over 30 is bad.
p.s. 20% of the child models on the books of advertising agencies are now fatties.
Recipe for further disaster
ending counsellors to offer immediate 'help' to the survivors of a disaster, and the witnesses, makes them more likely to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the future, a team from Amsterdam's medical school has found.
f you want to live forever, drink four cups of tea a day. This is the advice of Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a public health nutritionista. Drinking the right amount of tea prevents heart attacks, cancer and tooth decay, ensures proper hydration of the body, builds healthy bones, helps concentration, improves the tea-drinker's mood and provides antioxidants to kill off free radicals.
o-called 'healthy' orange drinks, and other acidic ones, are eating away the nation's teeth, the British Dental Association has warned. Tea, on the other hand, is good for them.
ider is being pushed as a rival for tea in the universal panacea stakes. English cider apples are supposed to contain phenolic antioxidants, which prevent strokes, heart disease and cancer.
No, it's nothing to do with James Bond. Relatives of the service personnel killed in corrupt new labour's foreign wars have formed a new political party, which intends to fight by-elections and put up to 70 candidates into the field at the next general election. The members of Spectre feel that they have been lied to, ignored and insulted by corrupt new labour. Their ambition is to make cnl's ministers 'pay with their seats'.
Compiled in 1086, it is finally available to all in 2006. No, it's not another corrupt new labour computer project, which has run well past its completion date and come in a ten-times its budget. But it has the feel of one!
Each page downloaded has to be paid for by credit card beforehand at a wallet-boggling £3.50 a pop. Which means that anyone interested in more than the odd page out of curiosity would be well advised to trawl the second-hand bookshops for one of the many 900th anniversary editions, which were published in 1986.
Failing that, BlackFlag News is considering offering photocopies of our office edition of the Domesday Book at 75p/page plus postage.
The founder of the seminal 1960s band Love has died at 61. His band was the first signed to the folk-rock Elektra label and the 3rd release, Forever Changes (Feb. 1968) achieved 'classic album' status, although it failed to make much money. Arthur Lee celebrated the darker side of flower power with his lyrical arrangements and sinister messages. He spent the next 30-odd years rebuilding his band in various forms. He was stuck in gaol from 1996 to 2001 for firing a gun outside his apartment. His early release from a 12-year sentence put him back in circulation with an audience for his back catalogue and full of inspiration, which leukemia snuffed out.
The American physicist who discovered the radiation belts around the Earth, which now bear his name, has died at 91. He designed scientific instruments for research flights ranging for miniature instruments for small rockets and balloons to the instruments added to space probes which travelled to other planets in the solar system, and beyond. Instruments which he built for Explorer 1, the first ever U.S. satellite, discovered the Van Allen Belts radiation belts and spawned an entirely new field of research; magnetospheric physics. Van Allen designed the first instruments taken to another planet the 1962 Mariner 2 mission to Venus and his later projects studied radiation belts around Jupiter and Saturn. He taught at the University of Iowa until his retirement in 1985 but he continued to write, supervise research and monitor data gathered by satellites "as long as he was able".
The artist who painted the Green Lady, the best-selling commercial print of all time, has died at 93. He considered his 1950 portrait of a San Francisco restaurant owner's daughter to be his personal Mona Lisa but the image, which features a blue-skinned woman in a bright yellow dress, earned him the title The King of Kitsch.
Mr. Tretchikoff's work in oils, watercolours, ink, charcoal and pencil gave him immense popularity in Britain, especially in the 1960s and 70s. A resident of Cape Town from 1946 on, he became South Africa's most prominent living artist. But he work was never hung in the National Gallery in Cape Town because he was born in Siberia, not South Africa.
French fries (skinny apologies for chips) and French toast (a.k.a. eggbread) are back on the menu at the cafeteria in the US Congress after an absence of 3 years. They were renamed 'freedom fries' and 'freedom toast' respectively after the French (a.k.a. cheese-eating surrender monkeys) opposed President Bush's invasion of Iraq. Apparently, nobody cares any more.
Only £30 million over budget. Only 3 years late. So it's a typical corrupt new labour Millennium Project.
The spa at Bath remains a source of great annoyance to the Council Tax payers who were ripped off by it and a source of deep embarrassment to the politicians who promised them something great and failed spectacularly to deliver. The 3 Tenors were invited to the opening, which soon turned into a closing when someone noticed that the 'waterproof paint' was peeling off everywhere.
The revitalized spa struggled open this month but at £20 for a 2-hour session, not many of the locals will be enjoying its services.
Two years ago, a couple of armed men just strolled into the Munch Museum in Oslo and strolled off with one of 4 versions of Edvard Munch's The Scream and another painting called The Madonna. They were recovered with only minor damage this month.
A couple of Munch masterpieces
The paintings are too famous to sell and the motive for the theft was probably a hare-brained ransom attempt which didn't work out.
Two accomplices were gaoled earlier this year but the gunmen are still at large despite numerous arrests by the Norwegian police and the offer of a reward of 2 million kroner (£170,000). The embarrassed museum had to spend £4.3 million on a security upgrade after the thefts.
Fair do's for all the freebies!
Having enjoyed freebie holidays at Sir Cliff Richards' villa in Barbados, our PTPM is supporting Sir Cliff's campaign to extend the copyright period on his early work from 50 years to 70 years. The 50-year rule is eroding income from performers, who thought that their early work would provide a nice pension in their declining years. Sir Cliff will start to lose bits of his personal pension from 2008 onwards. Lots of other artists are affected but some, like the Rolling Stones, probably aren't too worried as they can always go out on tour again and make a packet.
In confusion lies extra profit
aking a leaf out of scotch gordon broon's playbook, the Royal Mail will introduce a new set of complicated postal charges at the end of the month. Instead of a simple weight scale, size also comes into the equation. And not just length and breadth thickness as well.
Anything smaller than 240 x 165 mm and 5 mm thick, and weighing less than 100 grammes can be posted as a letter for the basic charge of 23p 2nd class or 32p 1st class.
Anything smaller than 353 x 250 mm and 25 mm thick, and weighing less than 750 grammes, is a large letter which costs from 44p/37p up to 131p/109p to post.
Anything bigger than a large letter is a packet, which will cost anything from a quid to an arm & a leg to post.
The Royal Mail has added its dimension of complexity in the hope of leaving its customers with no idea how much they have to pay so that they can be charged what the Royal Mail thinks it can get away with. Something like mobile phone charges and the cost of replacement windows.
The Royal Mail is also hoping that people who don't want to stand for ages in a Post Office queue will put on too many stamps 'just to be on the safe side', knowing that the recipient will be hit with a monstrous excess fee if the postage is too little. Something like the arbitrary penalties which banks stick to their customers.
That scotch gordon has a lot to answer for.
Extortion, Extortion, Extortion!
Revenue & Customs has started sending out threatening letters to company directors. No direct charges are laid but the letters are full of insinuations that company directors are always making 'mistakes' in their tax returns, if not outright false claims. The intention is to make people drop expenses claims, just in case, and pay extra tax for scotch gordon broon/new labour to waste.
The campaign also includes threats that HMR&C will think of a number and send out a tax demand based on their imaginary number, leaving the customer with all the hassle of making an appeal to prove his/her innocence. [Note: This is not something new, the Revenue has been doing it for years. Ed.]
Some directors are striking back by listing HMR&C's many failings, such as getting one-third of all tax assessments wrong, and asking what guarantees the Revenue can offer that it knows what it is doing. They are also threatening to post copies of correspondence on the world wide web to expose the tax inspectors involved in this racket to public contempt.
Amputating the hand that feeds him?
postman who distributed leaflets telling his customers how to avoid Royal Mail-distributed junk mail has become a national hero following his suspension on full pay. As the Royal Mail makes a bomb out of delivering junk mail cash which helps to pay our hero's wages maybe the Royal Mail should suggest, as an alternative to sacking him, that the hero takes a pay cut to salve his principles.
Royal Mail shoots itself in the foot
ntil postman Roger Annies was suspended for telling people how to opt out of the Royal Mail's junk mail deliveries, few people knew that it is possible. But the publicity has led to a flood of interest in opting out and a TON of bad publicity for the Royal Mail. Why? Because people wanting to opt our are told that they will also be opting out of receiving official government and local council publications containing information on things like changes to Council Tax and refuse collection dates.
But this is a black and deliberate lie which the Royal Mail is spreading as a scare tactic.
|Desperation over the Middle East situation|
Bush: "Yo, Blair. We need to get Lebanon off of the TV news. There's too goddam much of it."
Blair: "I don't know what you guys have talked about but I could do something on the security alert front."
Bush: "Yeah, sounds good."
Blair: "In fact, something to do with air travel with the anniversary of the 9/11 thingie coming up."
Bush: "Yeah, yeah, sweet . . .."
Blair: "A major security alert with armed police at all the airports and some usual suspects arrested, and like that."
Bush: "I just want some movement . . ."
Blair: "And if we don't tell the guys at the airports what's happening, we'll have thousands of passengers milling around with nothing better to do than moan at TV crews."
Bush: "Yeah, works for me."
Blair: "And it should put the kybosh on recalling Parliament."
Bush: "Yeah, that, too. So what's the weather like in London?"
Blair: "Actually, I'm on holiday again. And it looks while I'll be able to stay on holiday if this works out right."
|Young Button wins his 113th Grand Prix outing|
Congrats to Jenson Button for his first Formula One win in soggy Hungary. He came out on top in the only race of this season that's been worth watching. Button qualified in 4th place but an engine change dropped him 10 places and he started one place ahead of the current champion, Fernando Alonso, who had been dropped to 15th for dangerous driving during qualifying.
As his rivals spun off the wet track, Button stormed through the field and he was set to overtake Alonso when one of the champ's wheels fell off on lap 52 due to a broken rear axle. Then it was just a matter of keeping his nerve, and staying on the track & out of trouble, until he took the chequered flag.
Historical note: The last time our national anthem was played for a British driver was 65 races ago after David Coulthard won in Australia in 2003.
|A Wembley Cup Final? Forget it!|
The new Wembley stadium has a pitch and goal posts, but only as a PR exercise. The stadium won't be open for at least another year, and they have to play a series of trial matches to get its safety certification sorted out. So anyone who wants to see next year's Cup Final live will have to do it in Cardiff for the 7th year running.
Building work started on the new stadium in 2002 after 2 years of messing about after the contract signing in 2000. The stadium was supposed to be finished in 2005 but the real completion date is 2007 [or later].
The penalty for being a nutter
he Horseracing Regulatory Authority has given jockey Paul O'Neill a one-day ban for head-butting his horse, City Affair, after it chucked him off before a race a race in Stratford last month. He gets his day off on the second Friday of this month.
The penalty for having too much testosterone
rovisional Tour de France winner Floyd Landis was found to have too high a ratio of 'artificial' to 'natural' testosterone in a sample taken after his miracle come-back win of Stage 17. Both 'A' and 'B' samples gave the same result, which meant that he faces losing his title and his team has already given him the hammer & tack.
3 weeks after the event, Floyd Landis still hasn't been stripped of his Tour de France title for failing drug tests, even though Spain's Oscar Pereiro is now calling himself the champ. Phonac, Landis's team, will be disbanded for lack of sponsorship at the end of the season. The way things are going, next year's tour could end up with everyone being disqualified and the Lanterne Rouge rider (the last in the field) copping for the big prize. [Only to be DQ'd in his turn a month later. Ed.]
Fourth Test match reduced by 20%
4th Test between England and Pakistan at the Oval made the record books by being the first one called off by the officials in 124 years. The Aussie & Windy umpires decided that the Pakistanis had been ball-tampering. The Pakistanis refused to take the field after the tea interval and the umpires awarded the match to England. Then the Pakistanis came out to play, only to find that the umpires didn't want to know.
|Fair play lost in the shuffle|
he umpires for the 4th Test against England, an Australian and a West Indian, award 5 runs against Pakistan for ball tampering. Instead of taking the rap and appealing later, the Pakistanis refused to come out to play after the tea interval, and the umpires have no choice but to award the match to England.
The Pakistanis declare jihad against Darrell Hair, the Aussie umpire. They played the race card and threaten to pull out of a series of one-day matches against England at the risk of costing their cricketing authorities millions of pounds and leaving them out in the cricketing cold.
A couple of days later, Mr. Hair offered the international cricketing authorities a pragmatic way to defuse the situation. He offered to resign, in exchange for a confidential payment of $500,000 to cover lost earnings over the next several years, and let the International Cricket Council smooth things over.
The chief executive of the ICC decided to compound the problem by putting Mr. Hair's offer in the public domain. The Pakistanis decided that this proved them innocent of ball-tampering. And that they could become even more innocent if they got Mr. Hair banned from umpiring ever again.
Such is justice in their eyes.
Any Israeli claim involving the words 'precision' and 'Lebanon'.
"What the Middle East needs is democracy," was offered by a.l. blair, the bloke who has more or less abolished it in Britain.
The claim from the Home Office that corrupt new labour's failure to get a grip on migration won't put up Council Tax.
Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur moaning about the police targeting Moslems while the coppers who were actually doing some work were planning to round up a gang of plane-bomber wannabe Jihadistas.
Mary Fitzpatrick, the BBC's diversity kommissar, who thinks ethnic appearance is more important than a reporter's journalistic talents.
Home Sec. john reid's reputation: he looks and sounds like a Soviet apparatchik, he talks tough but acts soft, he's part of a government which has lied and lied again on security issues, and no one believes he didn't exaggerate wildly, this month's 'terror threat' for impure political reasons.
Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, the champion of Asian victim culture.
Stephen Nelson, ceo of the British Airports Authority, who turned a blind eye to cancellations and chaos to claim that his gang had 'coped magnificently' during the security panic.
The Bush administration's handling of the Middle East situation, which is 'crap' according to that expert on crap policies, johnny Four Shags prescott.
The claim from sir ian blair (no relation) that burglary rates are so low that people feel happy about going out and leaving all their doors open.
British Gas call centres. They say they've done things for you but they haven't. They tell you they'll sent out written confirmation but they don't. And they have the cheek to try to sell you services you don't want while you're paying for the call.
The Sentence Advisory Panel of the Home Office would like to keep shoplifters out of gaol no matter how bad their record. In effect, the Panel would like to hand them a licence to steal.
Multiculturalism, which has now been replaced by Integration.
new labour's new and honest debate on multiculturalism. [Which, presumably, replaces the old and dishonest debate new labour's been having. Ed.]
The notion that the Royal Navy, not the RAF, won the Battle of Britain against Mr. Goering's Luftwaffe.
The reason why GCSE candidates get letters instead of marks has become abundantly clear. Someone who scored 48% in the maths O-Level in 1960 would have had it rounded up to 50% a bare pass. Someone scoring 48% in the maths GCSE in 2006 gets an A-grade. Dumbing down, or what!!!
Thames Water, still owned by a bunch of Jairmans, is cutting 6,000 staff over the next 3 years. This is the company's answer to having the leakiest pipes in the country.
|Every edition of BlackFlag News is compiled in accordance with official 10 Downing Street guidelines on accuracy and veracity.|
| ||Created for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.|
Sole © RAL, August 2006.