Charles Stross on the Abdelbaset Al Megrahi release and the incomprehensible attitude of some Americans to healthcare reform. No doubt I’ll weigh in on the healthcare thing again, but on Megrahi can I just say that the people who’ve displayed weakness in this whole affair haven’t been the Scottish authorities but those who have wailed that the scots are somehow weak for following their own laws and not bowing to outside pressure. The circus that greeted Megrahi on return to Libya wasn’t Kenny MacAskill’s doing and should serve as a warning to all those, here and abroad, who want to trade with Gaddafy- many in his counry hate us and we shouldn’t get complacent about that.
Having said all that, I can’t help but think that there’s a dark thriller waiting in compassionate release. Supposedly reformed gangster with only a few weeks to live is released, only to set out to avenge the death of his wife and child/ get the people who set him up/ clear the ground for his heir/ all of the above. Give it all a granite grey tone, violence in front of Edinburgh’s or Glasgow’s grander buildings and have a Highland finale with the heather turning the colour of blood as the sun sets on the fallen bodies.
I’ve uploaded a few photos from my last two trips to Edinburgh. Check out the whole set.
A few interesting looking upcoming films-
Journey to Saturn. A Danish cgi film. If it’s as silly and funny as the trailer it’ll be great.
Doomsday. 28 Days Later meets Mad Max in Scotland.
Charleston & Vendetta. Lush and strange Serbian fantasy.
Resiklo. Filipino giant robot/alien invasion action movie.
Flick. Welsh Rock ‘n Roll undead revenge movie.
Son of Rambow.
First off, I should state for the record that I didn’t do any collecting. I helped in the count room and wandered around taking photos. Every time I thought I should go out and shake a bucket for the first time in several years I’d look out the window and it would still be pissing down. However, thanks to the hardier souls who did venture out we collected £1,666, a number we felt Andy would have appreciated.
Highlights of the weekend-
On the way up the A74(M) was blocked because of a big accident. We ventured down an A road, only to be detoured off it. Then detoured off the detour. We ended up on single track that reminded me of the roads around home, then got narrower.
When we finally got to Glasgow our quest for a drink was foiled by bad communication and witnessing a hit and run. Well, it was more of a sideswipe and run. As the lights changed and a couple of cars decided to race each other a drunk women chose to run across the road. She got far enough to avoid the first then ran straight into the side of the other and was spun around and knocked off her feet. Dan called the ambulance and Malky had the wherewithal to note the car’s licence.
We finally found booze in a bar called Stavka, which had very jovial door staff and didn’t charge entry.
Glasgow’s a rather nice city. It would have been nicer if they hadn’t had a month’s rain in one day.
Tebay services has a farmers’ shop. The produce turned snacking on the way up into an awfully civilised picnic.
1. any payment extorted by intimidation, as by threats of injurious revelations or accusations.
2. the extortion of such payment: He confessed rather than suffer the dishonor of blackmail.
3. a tribute formerly exacted in the north of England and in Scotland by freebooting chiefs for protection from pillage.
–verb (used with object)
4. to extort money from (a person) by the use of threats.
5. to force or coerce into a particular action, statement, etc.: The strikers claimed they were blackmailed into signing the new contract.
Cycling in Bristol, Liverpool and Edinburgh.
Cycling in Brighton, Cardiff and Leeds.
Molecular engines that could power nanomachines have been built at Edinburgh University.
It must be repeated continually until people pay attention- Bush’s half-arsed nod to Climate Change is not as big a step as he pretends and his plans are still useless.
Children are to be taught about climate change in geography. Soon 13 year olds will understand the problem better than the "leader" of the free world.
Penguin is to produce a "wiki-novel". Spinneyhead has a wiki lying around somewhere, I just haven’t got round to doing anything with it yet.
The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative are setting up a store in Manchester, at the North end of Rusholme. My only reservation is that it’s a bit close to the excellent Bicycle Doctor, another co-operative bike shop located on Dickenson Road at the other end of the Curry Mile.
I’ll try to shop from each equally, but I’m also giving serious thought to building my next few bikes. I currently have a frame from EBay and won a pair of rigid forks yesterday. These are going to be equipped with the kit from my old full-suspension mountain bike (I never really got on with it, too many things to adjust, I can be a bit of a Luddite sometimes) when I find a work space for the project. After that I’d like to build or rebuild at least one bike a year.