Monthly archives: August 2011

Daily Blog 08/30/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Pride Parade 2011 2

So I started the day at a cycle jumble at the Velodrome.

Riders practising in the Velodrome

And had to photograph a levitating Formula 1 car before leaving town at the end of the day.

Flying Mclaren

But in between, and luckily between rain showers, was this year’s Pride parade. The photoset is on Flickr. But let’s share a few here.

Manchester Pride Parade 2011

I don’t know who this is- apparently she’s the country’s favourite “trolley dolly”- but she headed the parade. I know it’s disrespectful, but when you’ve had Sir Ian McKellen at the front this is a bit of a climb down.

Manchester Pride Parade 2011


Manchester Pride Parade 2011

Don’t argue with the homosexuals, they have tanks.

Manchester Pride Parade 2011

Scary transgender Spice wants you. Baby transgender Spice looks like she doesn’t know where she is.

Manchester Pride Parade 2011

Oh pirate girl I love your look. If only I were your type.

Manchester Pride Parade 2011

The hairy arm of the law. The bears are always good for a cheeky float.

Daily Blog 08/25/2011

  • Now, for the first time, a startling new report, Licensed to Skill, has broken down what happens in those mysterious “lost” moments leading to road accidents, analysing who is to blame, what sex or age they tend to be – and what they did wrong. Using data gathered by police and spanning 700,000 accidents from 2005-2009, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has analysed, in breathtaking detail, the anatomy of a road accident.

    tags: accidents roadsafety

  • Picture the scene: You’re on your favourite blog or news source and it’s business as usual — most content remains free and freely available for your perusal. But every article now includes “Kindle” button that lets you send it to your Kindle reading list and automatically uploads it to whichever device you choose. So far, so Instapaper. But, some articles may be just snippets or synopses, as you often see on sites with paywalls. In these cases, the button shows a price, requiring you to link to your Kindle (Amazon) account the first time and providing “one-click” options for future purchases.

    tags: kindle web

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 08/22/2011

  • tags: tv television humor

  • A report commissioned by British Cycling and Sky has found that cycling generates nearly £3bn a year for the UK economy. Produced by the London School of Economics, the report quantifies for the first time the full economic success story of the UK’s cycling sector which generates £2.9 billion for the British economy – that’s £230 for every biking Briton in the country.

    This ‘gross cycling contribution’ takes into account factors like bike manufacturing, cycle and accessory retail and cycle-related employment.

    tags: cycling economy

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 08/21/2011

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Daily Blog 08/19/2011

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Daily Blog 08/17/2011

  • These are bold claims, amounting to a thesis that Britain has been wrecked and transformed from a familiar, law-abiding spot to an alien hell hole in just three or four decades. But here is an odd thing, surely: go back precisely three decades and you get to the summer of 1981, scene of some of the nastiest riots in modern British history, when racially charged violence saw tracts of Brixton in south London and Toxteth in Liverpool burn for days.

    Seeking guidance, Bagehot decided to go off-line and read some books. From the shelves of the London Library, a gem: “Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears” a calm and witty history of moral panics that have gripped England over the ages, published in 1982, and written by a Bradford University academic, Geoffrey Pearson (later at Goldsmiths). The book is out of print, so I trust I will be forgiven (not least by Professor Pearson) for quoting from it at length: it is a brilliant survey.

    Just what happens if we take a time machine back three decades, to the time before the revolutionary transformation identified by Melanie Phillips?

    tags: britain riots

  • IS THE west falling out of love with the car? For environmentalists it seems an impossible dream, but it is happening. While baby boomers and those with young families may stick with four wheels, a combination of our ageing societies and a new zeitgeist among the young seems to be breaking our 20th-century car addiction. Somewhere along the road, we reached “peak car” and are now cruising down the other side.

    tags: transport car

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

So So Gay!

A quick tip of the hat to So So Gay, who have used one of my pictures from last year’s Manchester Pride parade to headline their preview of this year’s events. To celebrate its 21st year, Pride’s starting this Friday and going on to Bank Holiday Monday. I should be photographing the parade, but finances mean that this year I’ll be missing most of the stuff going on in the village. Shame.

Michelle Bachmann is making Sounds of Soldiers relevant again

I started writing Sounds of Soldiers on November 1st 2008. It’s a near future travelogue satire on the presumptions and world view of technothrillers which takes place, mostly, after a big dumb war. Given when I started it, I always saw it as what could happen if “the wrong people” won the US elections.

Thankfully Obama won. His presidency may be turning out a huge disappointment, but just imagine how much worse it would have been if McCain/Palin had won. The simplified back story of Sounds of Soldiers was that McCain keeled over after a couple of years in one of the most stressful jobs in the world, Palin took over and the stupid just cascaded from there until the Americans were bombing their European allies and ordering their soldiers to run amok across the continent. This is mostly alluded to, but there is at least one mention of “the mad woman” taking over.

The mad woman was Palin, of course, but now Michelle Bachmann has come along as the Tea Party’s preferred Republican candidate and she may be even more scary. So Sounds of Soldiers is relevant again (well, Palin never went away, I guess Bachmann makes it more relevant).

Sounds of Soldiers is available from

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon DE
In print from Lulu

Daily Blog 08/16/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

All Hail Danny MacAskill 2

Dear Channel 4,

You commissioned this piece of awesome, kindly create a show about cycling where Danny MacAskill can be the cycling Stig, taking on a different set of obstacles every week and testing bikes to see how easy they are to bunny hop. There would have to be more sensible stuff as well, but you know this would be brilliant.

Daily Blog 08/15/2011

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Daily Blog 08/12/2011

  • A recent poll has revealed that 85 percent of drivers admit to running through amber lights to cut time off their journeys, according to Fleet News.

    Thrifty, a leading car and van rental firm, questioned 3,000 motorists about their attitude to amber lights. Almost four out of ten stated that they would rarely stop when faced with an amber light, with 16 percent confessing that they treat an amber light as if it was green.

    Crossing a traffic light while it is on amber, about to turn to red, is a moving traffic offence, unless the driver can show that it was unsafe to stop. Thirty-five percent of motorists, however, were unaware that this is illegal, and carries the threat of penalty points and a fine.

    Running an amber light can place road users in danger, with 13 percent of motorists being involved in an accident or near miss because of ‘amber gamblers’. Almost a quarter of respondents admitted to being sworn at or beeped by another driver and half said that a passenger had shouted at them.

    tags: driving roadsafety

  • The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

    It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington.

    tags: riots Politics

  • As you know it’s a tough life being a right-wing commentator when you have to deal with political correctness, complete political domination by liberal elites, and an oppressive media where literally nothing can be discussed unless first cleared by eco-feminazis and Diversity Officers.

    This fearless breed of truth-tellers are always at hand to explain how the left is to blame for the latest atrocity, from terriorist attacks in Norway to burning buses in London. Nothing will escape their sharp gaze.

    tags: riots right-wing

  • For the last year, Great Britain has embraced austerity to a degree that would make some American conservatives blush. The purpose of shrinking government was to reduce debt. But the effect has been to kill the economy. With the UK tottering on the razor’s edge of recession, consumer confidence is at a record low, unemployment is rising, and even the most optimistic economists predict one-percent expansion for the rest of the year.

    tags: austerity anarchy riots

  • The United States military loses contact with an unmanned plane designed to be able to reach any global target in one hour. The hypersonic Falcon HTV-2 was on a test flight.

    tags: US plane weapons

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 08/11/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

David Cameron gets it, sort of

David Cameron knows that if you want to keep a country from descending into anarchy and crime, if you want to give its citizens the best possible hope for their future and you want to create prosperity then you have to spend money providing support for the poorest citizens. He also knows that this is the best, and in the long term cheapest, investment to prevent criminality.

At least, he knows this as far as foreign aid is concerned. Speaking at the G8 summit in May he rightly defended the UK’s foreign aid budget, making the point that-

We should be in no doubt that if we get this wrong, if we fail to support these countries, we risk giving oxygen to the extremists who prey on the frustrations and aspirations of young people.

Now if only he could recognise this at home and have the balls to invest in our future even if it means tax rises for his rich friends.

(This is not a call to cut the foreign aid budget. I know that you’re intelligent enough to realise this, but some of the other people reading this post may not be.)