Books



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  1. She seems to be getting on well with Ruby and Pippa, although she is still very timid.

  2. New Rat is now officially called Amy. She’s already trying to boss the two older rats around.

  3. Hmmm… Amy reminds me of someone…

  4. I’m so proud of you and your endless creativity. And you are a great parent too!

  5. This is why I think the real reason for cuts to the military are due to technological advances rather than a lack of funding available to support the armed forces. The government is investing more heavily in advanced weapons that don’t require as much manpower, so there is no longer a need for a large army, navy or air force.

  6. Well, that’s our road trip sorted.

  7. I wonder if the BNP still expect to fool people into thinking that they are a legitimate choice for our votes, now that they’ve revealed a little too much of their crazy by posting (even more) inflammatory shit on Twitter?

  8. It’s true. Housing Benefit does more to support unscrupulous landlords than it does to help people with genuine need. Housing Benefit is paid in such a way that (some) landlords set their rents at a level to get the maximum housing benefit possible. Not only does this divert government cash into the pockets of those who need it the least; it prices some tenants out of the rental market by artificially inflating rental prices.

  9. I’m interested in checking out this structure – do you know which viasduct it is? And how accessible is it?

  10. Huge industrial complexes have always fascinated me, but Soviet-era secret industrial facilities? Now we’re talking! It’s really amazing some of the structures that humans create, but even more amazing how much of the earth’s population is unaware of huge projects like this and their impact on the rest of the world. Living in the media-rich and educated West, I didn’t know about this, and I bet there are plenty more like it. Did you know that there’s an experimental solar power plant in Uzbekistan, one of only two of that type? Click on my name to follow the link to an article about it.

  11. But where do you see your work fitting in with the two genres above, if at all? And how does the marketing of books to the airport audience work? I suppose the departure lounge retailers have a deal with certain publishers, y/n? Could there be a market for e-books that meet this requirement?

  12. I’m not so much interested in the market as the tone- though loaded Kindles may be taking the place of airport novels anyway. I want to write brash, pulpy tales which will hopefully be popular, so I may be working in the broad brush area of airport novels and potboilers.

  13. This film is actually surprisingly good. I was expecting a wooden and uninspiring crap-fest; yet was somewhat disappointed by William Shatner’s suprisingly competent delivery. There’s films that are so bad they’re good, and I really expected this to be one of them. I actually ended up enjoying it for it’s own sake. Perhaps you should keep ordering these terrible films – every once in a while there’s a gem.

  14. Oh no, that’s really sad. And I wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t posted it on your blog (which, apparently, I read more often than the news!).

  15. Wow, that place looks awesome! I bet there are loads of places like that in Russia and Eastern Europe (not to mention some in the UK!). It would be to get the chance to visit some of these myself; I’m fascinated by the mystery of abandoned places like this.

  16. This was the best Xmas dinner I’ve ever had. It was original, and can be made to any size – for one, or for twenty people. I liked the juxtaposition of the savoury sausagemeat and stuffing with the layer of cranberry sauce. Cooking the pie with the cranberries already included meant that they caramelised slightly, which added another dimension to the flavour. You had better be making this again.

  17. I already knew that blanks were dangerous, but I didn’t fully understand the mechanism. The explanation used in the article is really interesting.

  18. I know that you might not have read through all of the reposted article from “Roads Were Not Built For Cars”, but with a name like that, the Reporting Bias Alarms should have been screaming.

    There are no laws preventing parking on the pavement apart from:

    Regulation 103 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and (causing or permitting a vehicle to stand on a road so as to cause an unnecessary obstruction)
    Section 22 RTA 1988 (leaving vehicles in a dangerous position)
    Local byelaws in many parts of the country including this example from Devon Council: http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/transport/roads/road_maintenance/pavement/parking_on_pavements.htm
    Law GL(GP)A sect 15 – which forbids parking on the pavement anywhere in London

    In addition to this, sections 239 to 247 of the Highway Code give guidance on parking. While the Highway Code itself is not a piece of legislation, it references all of the laws that it uses to give its advice, in each clause. For simplicity of reading, when the Highway Code says YOU MUST or YOU MUST NOT, it is describing something that is potentially illegal. Where is says DO NOT, it’s usually over something that isn’t technically illegal, but is to do with good road etiquette and could be something that you could be proven to be negligent over. Here is the relevant excerpt from the Highway Code:

    239
    Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible. If you have to stop on the roadside

    do not park facing against the traffic flow
    stop as close as you can to the side
    do not stop too close to a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge: remember, the occupant may need more room to get in or out
    you MUST switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights
    you MUST apply the handbrake before leaving the vehicle
    you MUST ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic
    it is safer for your passengers (especially children) to get out of the vehicle on the side next to the kerb
    put all valuables out of sight and make sure your vehicle is secure
    lock your vehicle.
    Laws CUR reg 98, 105 & 107, RVLR reg 27 & RTA 1988 sect 42

    240
    You MUST NOT stop or park on

    the carriageway or the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency (see Rule 270)
    a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines (see Rule 191)
    a clearway (download ‘Traffic signs’ (PDF, 486KB))
    taxi bays as indicated by upright signs and markings
    an Urban Clearway within its hours of operation, except to pick up or set down passengers (download ‘Traffic signs’ (PDF, 486KB))
    a road marked with double white lines, even when a broken white line is on your side of the road, except to pick up or set down passengers, or to load or unload goods
    a tram or cycle lane during its period of operation
    a cycle track
    red lines, in the case of specially designated ‘red routes’, unless otherwise indicated by signs. Any vehicle may enter a bus lane to stop, load or unload where this is not prohibited (see Rule 140).
    Laws MT(E&W)R regs 7 & 9, MT(S)R regs 6 & 8, ZPPPCRGD regs 18 & 20, RTRA sects 5, 6 & 8, TSRGD regs 10, 26 & 27, RTA 1988 sects 21(1) & 36

    241
    You MUST NOT park in parking spaces reserved for specific users, such as Blue Badge holders, residents or motorcycles, unless entitled to do so.
    Laws CSDPA sect 21 & RTRA sects 5 & 8

    242
    You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.
    Laws RTA 1988, sect 22 & CUR reg 103

    243
    DO NOT stop or park

    near a school entrance
    anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
    at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
    on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
    opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
    near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
    opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
    where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
    where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
    in front of an entrance to a property
    on a bend
    where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.

    244
    You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.
    Law GL(GP)A sect 15

    245
    Controlled Parking Zones. The zone entry signs indicate the times when the waiting restrictions within the zone are in force. Parking may be allowed in some places at other times. Otherwise parking will be within separately signed and marked bays.

    246
    Goods vehicles. Vehicles with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes (including any trailer) MUST NOT be parked on a verge, pavement or any land situated between carriageways, without police permission. The only exception is when parking is essential for loading and unloading, in which case the vehicle MUST NOT be left unattended.
    Law RTA 1988 sect 19

    247
    Loading and unloading. Do not load or unload where there are yellow markings on the kerb and upright signs advise restrictions are in place (see pages 115-116). This may be permitted where parking is otherwise restricted. On red routes, specially marked and signed bays indicate where and when loading and unloading is permitted.
    Law RTRA sects 5 & 8

    If you are found guilty of causing danger to other road users, the penalty is discretionary, and unlikely to be of this magnitude, but:
    “the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 22A(1)(a) states that causing danger to other road-users could result in a fine up to £5,000, and/or a maximum of seven years imprisonment”. (redhillandreigatelife.co.uk)

    I think the issue that causes so much conflict between drivers and cyclists is the lack of enforcement of existing laws, rather than whether or not the laws exist. Many road users choose to flout the law, rather than being unaware of it. And if you’re doing something questionable on public roads, then that fact alone should make you stop and think about why you are behaving this way in the first place. As well as obeying the law, it’s your duty as a good citizen to be considerate of your fellow human.

    The writer of the article seems to think it’s ok to break the law because “everyone else is doing it”. Well, I hope they never have to use that argument in court, because they are going to get laughed at. The Highway Code and all of the legisation governing vehicles and road use applies to ALL ROAD USERS. Not just drivers, not just cyclists, not just pedestrians. Everyone.

  19. Pingback:Give me liberty, but not libertarians | Spinneyhead

  20. I’m sure that there must be some Libertarians who do actually think about the premises behind their belief system, and aren’t anything like the extremist idiots that seem to be the most vocal. However, they are probably too embarrassed by this sort of outpouring of nonsense to admit that they are Libertarians.

    Also, what is the deal with the most recent “debates” on Radio 4? They seem to consist of finding the two most polarised and uninformed spokesmen on an issue that is only made contentious by one or more of their guests really dying to have a fight. They might as well start hosting it from The Kings Arms.

  21. Well, it’s good news for Ennerdale, and undoubtedly bad news for somewhere else. Nobody wants a nuclear waste dump in their back yard, but it has to go somewhere. They’ve spent public funds on assessing the suitability of this area, and now they will need to spend money assessing other areas. And then they will have to pay for lawyers to get them through the inevitable next round of legal challenges to whatever decision is made. It is a tough decision, but it is a decision that must be made. The waste is currently in above-ground storage at Sellafield and other sites, and that is where it will stay until someone has the political balls to deal with this thorny problem.

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  23. T-Shirts! We demand t-shirts!

  24. Couldn’t have put it better, sir. Aneurin Bevan had the Tories’ number way back when: lower than vermin.

    As for the LibDems… I think they’ll be lucky if they hang on to what they had pre-coalition. Hard to imagine anyone voting for them now. The gloomy prospect is of who those of us of a progressive bent vote for. Gawd save us from UKIP…

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  26. that is one rather out of date map ….

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  29. It seems odd at first that a St. George’s day parade is full of men in kilts in pipe bands, belly dancers and stuff like this, but I guess England has always been about bringing in other cultures and then claiming bits and pieces from them as our own.

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  32. It’s “alliterate”, not “illiterate” 😉

  33. Avatar Ian Pattinson
    Ian Pattinson says:

    I’ll blame predictive text. Or just accept that I am.

    (also- now updated, because that was an embarrassing fail.)

  34. Avatar Tom Harris
    Tom Harris says:

    The thrill is gone. Sad.

  35. Avatar Greg Ellison
    Greg Ellison says:

    The chopper is my fault.
    I wanted to be Peter Fonda, but I don’t have a motorbike license.
    It’s made out of a chopped-up mountain bike, re-welded back together using 2mm thick steel tubing, so it does weigh a fair bit.
    Peddling it up-hill is tiring and you’re right, steering takes practice. The rear wheel is just a hoop of 1mm steel with three standard 26″ bike rims bolted to it where the spoke holes are to keep them and it in place. The two tires either side are a little deflated to it can lean into corners.

    Thanks for posting this on your blog, I’m quite chuffed you think it’s cool. It’s probably the only thing it can do well!

    Greg.

  36. The creation of the NHS / Welfare State were wartime coalition policies agreed across the main parties.

    The 1945 Labour government was elected on the ticket of nationalising industry, not a particularly radical / left-wing position after government direction and control during the war.

    Ernie Bevin negotiated major loans from the USA and the UK was the largest recipient of aid under the Marshall Plan.

    • Avatar Ian Pattinson
      Ian Pattinson says:

      It may have been popularly received during the war, but it would be naive to think a Churchill government would have implemented the Beveridge Report. Some watered down version might have happened, but they’d have made their excuses against going all the way.

      One of the excuses would have been the straitened finances caused by the USA abruptly stopping wartime Lease/Lend. Which was the main reason the big loan was required. The US didn’t want the money spent on the sort of ‘Socialism’ proposed by an Attlee government. A government that wasn’t dedicated to the project would have folded.

      I reckon the 1945 Labour victory was about more than nationalisation. The promise of a welfare state more than likely played a part.

  37. Nice cafe in Buile Hill normally on weekdays

  38. Avatar joan Foster
    joan Foster says:

    Make use of this beautiful building

  39. I saw the collection and I believe that they are creating a Metallica sex toy range next… exciting

  40. I love video from the camera on the bike!
    Great video.
      Thank you

  41. Great read, another one you should check out is From Bacteria to Bach and Back, it gets into the progression of how we as human’s develop the capability of imaginations, conception, thought, and so on. As a martial artist I enjoy learning about our spirit, consciousness, and finding zen.

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