An Englishman's Castle <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Saturday, September 27

Bruno update

It is so rare that Britain produces a boxer who approaches world class status, and appears to be a nice guy as well, so the news that Frank Bruno has suffering from a breakdown has been concerning us all so I was pleased to see the following release:

A spokesperson for the mental home where Frank Bruno is staying said "He's
as good as gold, he's been absolutely no trouble, at least he was until
some idiot rung the dinner bell."

Friday, September 26

Fox hunting in the UK

Something I don't understand - a huge number of people are immensely pissed off with the likely forthcoming ban on fox hunting and destruction of the livelyhoods, lifestyles and liberty.
So where are the protest blogs? It is equivalent to the gun control argument in the States ( and there is no shortage of blogs that argue that point back and forth), or is it just that the UK is way behind the US in the art of blogging?

Living in the country I know the deep resentment that is building up and the fun and games that will happen when a ban is imposed - but I'm not knowledgable enough to write the stories.

Here's a good site from the US that is a starting place:
Animal-Rights: Foxhunting in Virginia

Thursday, September 25

The MR-D Doctrine applies. *

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Prodi rules out EU resignations: "European Commission President Romano Prodi has said there is no need for any senior members of his team to resign over alleged fraud at the European Union's statistical agency, Eurostat.
Mr Prodi was addressing a committee of European Parliament leaders at a closed-door hearing in Strasbourg.
'After careful thought and in full awareness of the issues, I consider there is no reason to ask any Commissioner to assume the political responsibility and resign,' said Mr Prodi "

- Snouts in trough the lot of them, we should invest in piano wire futures for the forthcoming revolution.

* Mandy Rice-Davis once famously said: "He would say that wouldn't he?"
A labour politician speaks sense - shock horror

I am growing to like Kim Howells - the man who called British contemporary art 'conceptual bullshit' when he was Minister for Culture. He yesterday told the truth about Railway financing as Minister for Transport - and in doing so he has upset the Trainspotters -
ic Wales - 'Trainspotter' jibe riles rail campaigners - I hope he takes over from the hapless Hoon as Minister of Defence next and starts telling the truth there!
Essential reading from Wiltshire

Numberwatch's September 2003 article is yet another fantastic demolition of the eco-nazi and scaremonger's scare stories.

Climate change, BSE / CJD, Cancer and Michael MEacher are all covered in depth and detail that the main stream press refuses to - and it is an easy and funny read. Sit down with a carceniogenic cup of coffee and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 24

The day I became a Libertarian - 19th January 1973

I remember clearly watching Top of the Pops and the first perfomance of The Sweet "Blockbuster". It starts with an air raid siren and embarrassingly I recall wondering, in that priggish way that the young have when they are trying to be grown up and serious, - "gosh, wouldn't people who have suffered from real air raids find that hurtful to their feelings - how was that allowed - surely it should be banned.."

And then I remember the next day thinking that was a stupid thing to think, trying hard to be offended on behalf of other people. And so I became a libertarian..

(And this story has not been improved or changed because of who I now know....)

Tuesday, September 23

Concrete them over

(Apologies for the formatting - blogger is crap and the preview isn't what it looks like in the real world - I have spent all evening trying to implement some cool stuff in the sidebar and have given up - so I done't have the energy going through removing the foreign accents that blogger has put in. - sorry - I have another blog on a proper system and when I'm rich and famous I will put this one on it as well.)

The M25 cost about £7.5m per mile - lets allow £10m a mile. The cost of just maintaining the UK rail network is estimates at about £30 BILLION - that is the equivalent to 3000 miles of new motorway. I'm not sure how many milof mainlineine track there are but I reckon 3000 would cover most of them. (I gather they claim 21,000 miles of track - but I'm not sure if a two line railway counts as two tracks and basically I can't be arsed - the figures are still horrendous either way)

Two points - one lets just concrete them over - buses, lorries,cars and taxis are far more efficient and allow individual freedom ( which is why the libdems hate them so much.

secondly if it really costs as much to maintain some iron rails on an existing network as it does to build a motorway from scratch there is something seriously wrong with the railway maintainers - probably no competition.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | £5bn Network Rail cuts delay track work: "Today's revised Network Rail business plan was expected to reveal that the not-for-profit company will spend £24.6bn over the next five years, rather than the £29.5bn announced in June.
The June figure had already been reduced by 20% from the original figure of £35bn, which was announced in March 2003. "

Sunday, September 21

Help - I think the cat has done for me (and the French)!

Long article in The Sunday Times today ( which you can't link to ) about how a parasite in cats alters the cats behavior, which I knew about, but it also seems that when the filthy moggies shit everywhere they also infect us and there may be an insidious behavioral change caused by them. To quote "

"He found the women infected with toxoplasma spent more money on clothes and were consistently rated as more attractive. We found they were more easy going, more warm hearted, had more friends and cared more about how they looked," he said. However, they were also less trustworthy and had more relationships with men. By contrast, the infected men appeared to suffer from the "alley cat" effect: becoming less well groomed, undesirable loners who were more willing to fight. They tended to be more suspicious and jealous. "They tended to dislike following rules," said Flegr."

(Hey that's me)

Berdoy said: "The fact that a single-celled parasite can have such an effect on the mammalian or even human brain is amazing."

One startling fact to emerge from research is the great differences in levels of infection. In France and Germany, for example, about 80%-90% of people are infected - nearly twice that in Britain or America.

"I am French and I have even wondered if there is an effect on national character," Berdoy said.

Dr Dominique Soldati, a researcher at Imperial College in London, is studying ways of blocking toxoplasma from getting into cells. "Once you are infected you cannot get rid of this parasite and the numbers of them slowly grow over the years, she said. "It's not a nice thought."

So that explains the French national behaviour.....

Times Online - Home