links for 2010-11-29


  • As part of a tuning package for the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Russian tuner Dartz (they of the whale penis interior) replaced the storied "Spirit of Ecstasy" hood ornament with a couple engaged in sexual relations. It's dubbed the "Spirit of Xtasy."
    (tags: silly russia)
  • A set of papers belonging to Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing were put up for auction today but failed to reach their reserve price.

    Campaigners had launched an appeal fund to buy the papers and keep them in the UK amid fears they would be snapped up by a foreign buyer.

    The campaign fund was boosted by a $100,000 donation from Google but the total fund reached only £73k – well short of the expected price of £300,000 to £500,000.

  • A neglected Edwardian bathhouse has undergone a stunning £9m transformation.

    Bathers once flocked to enjoy the waters at Harpurhey Baths. But the Grade II-listed pool has suffered years of decay and has been boarded up for the last decade.

    It has now been given new life as a classroom and drama hall for students at the neighbouring Manchester College

  • A killer has claimed he became a gun-for-hire because he couldn’t ‘make a living’. Simeon Henderson has admitted the murder of Nasar Hussain, a 30-year-old shopworker killed with a sub-machine gun at Brookhouse Wines, Eccles, in July last year.

    The shooting was one of three Henderson claims he was asked to carry out by businessmen with links to crime. He alleges that a number of other men were involved in the murder.

    Four of them – Mohammed Hafiz, Ryan Manning, Arfan Rafiq and Akmal Afzal – deny all charges against them in a Manchester Crown Court trial.

  • If only western Christians could rediscover Augustine, and see that our whole sexual ethics is based on a man who was more scared of his plonker than he was of talking like one, and who wished he could work it like a finger puppet. Maybe we could clear away some of these obsessive regulations and get back to basics.
  • Two men wearing wetsuits have been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling offences after being pulled out of a river in Essex.

    Police said the pair were reported to be in the River Stour, off Parkestone Quay, Harwich, near to the ferry Stena Britannica at about 0600 GMT.

    The two were pulled out on the Felixstowe side of the quay and taken to hospital for checks.

    Three other men found nearby in a vehicle were later arrested.

    All five have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences.

    (tags: crime)
  • Howard Flight and Lord Young have joined a long list of people who have realised that there are some things you can't say. So when and why is an utterance likely to get you in trouble?

    We have come to learn as either public or private individuals that there are certain situations that mean careful self-censorship is required.

    For all the talk of freedom of speech in liberal democracies, poorly chosen comments can end careers, lead to arrest, or just cause offence and embarrassment. So what are the unwritten rules and regulations of speech?

  • The police are seeking powers to shut down websites deemed to be engaged in "criminal" activity.

    The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has tabled a plan for Nominet, which oversees .uk web addresses, to be given the domain closing power.

    Nominet said the idea was only a proposal and invited people to join the debate on the form of the final policy.

    IT lawyers said the proposal would be "worrying" if it led to websites going offline without judicial oversight.

  • This year is heading to be the hottest or second hottest on record, according to the Met Office.

    It says the past 12 months are the warmest recorded by Nasa, and are second in the UK data set, HadCRUT3.

    The Met Office says it is very confident that man-made global warming is forcing up temperatures.

    Until now, the hottest year on record has been 1998, when temperatures were pushed up by a strong El Nino – a warming event in the Pacific.