Sir Norman Wisdom, actor, comedian, vocalist, lyricist, 95
He created a character on stage, who was eager to help, over-enthusiastic, naive and always disaster-bound, and made 32 films featuring this character, which enjoyed world-wide success. The best place to see them was Albania during the Hoxha regime, where they were staples of cinema and TV, and the only Western films allowed. Mr. Wisdom had a talent for re-inventing himself, and was successful in serious acting roles. He won 2 BAFTA awards and he received a knighthood in 2000, five years before his formal retirement.
Linda Norgrove, aid worker, 36
This Scottish lady put herself in danger by taking a job involving helping people in a country full of criminals with automatic weapons and explosives in abundance. She was abducted by a criminal gang and died as a result of injuries sustained when a member of a US Special Forces rescue squad tossed a fragmentation grenade into the room where she was being held.
Benoit Mandelbrot, mathematician, 85
The man who unleashed a wealth of cool computer-generated images on the world spent his working life at IBM and Yale University. Building on the work of Gaston Julia, he was able to translate mathematical formula into visual images, using the power of computers, to create the now familiar fractals. These self-similar structures provide a systematic way of describing the complex and irregular shapes which appear in Nature, such as the shape of a tree, a cloud or a coastline. He found that very simple formula can yield extreme complexity, as explained in the 1995 Channel 4 documentary The Colours of Infinity, which spawned a book of the same name with a DVD of the TV programme included (with Arthur Clarke's name plastered all over it).
Stephen J. Cannell, writer and TV producer, 69
The man who gave us The A Team has gone to his reward. He began his working life in a family furniture store and sent TV scripts and ideas to local TV companies. When he sold a couple of Ironside scripts to NBC in 1970, he was away. He formed his own production company while writing over 1,000 episodes of various TV series, his credits included The Rockford Files and a whole host of cop shows, and he also found time to write 16 crime novels.
The politically motivated strike of BBC staff, which was aimed at putting the Tory party's annual conference off TV screens, has been called off for political reasons so that the trade unions concerned can pretend that they are not politically motivated.
s it right that a married man on £44K with a wife who stays at home to look after the kids should lose his child benefit while a couple earning £87K between them keeps theirs?
Yes, because the working couple spends all of the wife's salary on child minders. [Which only proves you can provide a reasonable answer to any question going in the desired direction. Ed.]
ock Religions can be Official!
Jedi Knights are up in arms following the Charity Commission's official recognition of Druidism, a largely Victorian invention, as a religion eligible for tax concessions. They are reported to be gathering a fighting fund to go all the way to the European Courts of Human Rights and Appeal if they are not recognized as a religion of at least equal value, which has more members world-wide than the Druids.
ammy Olive complains that people don't understand him
Well, maybe his favourite celebrity cookista should learn to speak more clearly. [Or is it that people don't understand why he's such a twit? Ed.]
hat Big Society?
If D. Cameron is really serious about putting the people in charge, he should let every family keep control of the £500 per year which the government showers on their behalf into the bank accounts of corrupt dictators among the usual overseas aid clients, and let each family decide how much it wants to give to India (to fund its space and nuclear programmes) and hand to China, which now has most of the money in the world.
he police 'service' New Labour wished on us
Why did the Metropolitan police 'service' need 59 firearms officers to lay siege to one drunk and crazy bloke in Chelsea and why did they need 100 guns to his one shotgun? Apparently, 7 of these 'marksmen' shot at the guy but only 5 of them hit him. So does that mean that the 2 who missed will get the sack? [No chance! Ed.]
nother New Labour bargain
'Blunkett Bobby' PCSOs cost the nation £7.8 million per year and they clear up a total of 50 crimes per year and issue 122 fines. So that's £156,000 per crime and £64,000 per penalty ticket.
Terrorist car bomb in Londonderry, no one killed, no arrests expected.
xtortion not a crime in W. Midlands!
A 24-year-old man stole a designer dog and tried to extort £500 from the owner, who lives in Birmingham. Six detectives were involved in an ambush when the extortionist arrived. But after a token period of questioning, the criminal was sent on his way with just a police caution. How very New Labour!
rison governors up in arms
He might have been okay as a chancellor but K. Clarke is a flop as justice minister, says the National Association of Prison Governors. Why? Because Clarkie's efforts to keep criminals out of gaol (and in the community where they can continue to persecute decent people) will result in 6 main prisons closing for lack of inmates if they are allowed to continue.
In addition to dotty old judges, we now have a sub-stratum of dotty 'modern' judges, who see nothing wrong with bending the bail conditions of a prisoner on trial so he use his ticket for a TV show transmission.
hundred strikes and you're out? Not even close.
The combination of 13 years of New Labour and a few months of K. Clarke as justice minister has been great for criminals. Some of them have collected over 100 convictions but done ZERO gaol time. Which explains why the British public now holds the courts, as well as the police, in such contempt.
o as much evil as you like and lie about it?
Google has taken about 6 months to come up with an explanation for why its spy cars collected by stealth, passwords, login details and other confidential information from unpassworded wireless networks. Rogue code in the system's operating software is the official excuse. You'd think they'd be able to come up with something half-decent after all that time.
hich planet are they on?
The BBC's politicized journalists are worried that strikes during the Tory party conference will make the public think there's an anti-Tory bias at the Beeb. As if demonstrating their bias every day of the week hasn't provided conclusive proof of leftie leaning.
ome people reckoned 10/10/10 would be a lucky day
So I put £10 bets on 10 horses with the number 10 in their races. And they call came in tenth. Lucky for bookies!
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illions to trillions
Britain's Brown Debt has now reached £1 TRILLION and it costs the same as the Defence budget to service the interest.
r. Kettle upset with Mr. Pot
Britain's discarded prime monster, G. Broon is supposed to be blazing mad because the replacement Labour leader, E. Milipede, slagged him off for ruining the economy. It is not clear what Broon is upset about whether it's because Milipede didn't buy the Broon fantasy that he's a financial genius or it's because Milipede was looking over Broon's shoulder at the Treasury while the wrecking was going on and he's not taking his share of the blame.
ore Brown Economics
Man Utd., one of the world's richest football clubs, has racked up a record loss of £83.6 million because it has a serious MONSTER debt loaded on to the club by its American owners.
Lots of usual suspects are wailing that the cuts needed to do something about the Brown Hole in the economy will hit only poor people. But how many of them are genuinely concerned for the poor? [0%. Ed.] And how many of them are the very people who profitted from Labour's profligacy with the taxpayer's cash, contributed to the Brown Slump and are now pretending that it's nothing to do with Labour? [100%. Ed.]
The Senate foreign relations committee in the USA is working hard to lay the blame for the release on medical grounds of Lockerbie bomber A. M'Grahi where it belongs. Probably on Pres. O'Bummer's orders, the committee is eager for evidence that lobbying by BP was responsible. And once this link has been established, the committee will go on to 'prove' that BP caused Hurricane Katrina, which took out New Orleans in 2005, and then the BP incited the 11th September terror attacks in 2001.
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The president of Ecuador, which is broker than post-Brown Britain (if that's possible), had to be rescued by his bodyguards from rioting police, who tried to kidnap him as a protest against pay cuts. It's a safe bet that the pay of the bodyguards is safe!
Half a world away, the Icelandic government, which presides over another Browned & broken economy, had to flee en mass from a mob which arrived at the state opening of the Icelandic parliament armed with eggs and shoes.
Why doesn't the French government raise the retirement age from 60 to 75 and give its gangs of lazy moaners something real to moan about?
It's a great pity, but you can be certain that any cuts in the British science budget won't be aimed at the rash of totally stupid and useless 'studies' of trivialities like the 3-year study by DEFRA under New Labour, costing £300,000, which 'proved' that ducks like rain.