Saturday, August 27, 2011
Glasgow's traditional Hogmanay party in George Square has been scrapped after the city council decided it was no longer delivering value for money...
This year's event will finish at 22:00 and feature music, ceilidh dancing and curling on the George Square ice rink.
The council said with services under pressure it was "imperative that we get the best bang for every Glasgow buck".
Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "At the moment we are being asked to justify spending £34 of public money per head on an event which just isn't delivering value and indeed received a fair amount of negative feedback last year"... "This is on top of the £19 ticket price we are asking the public to pay....
Glasgow's traditional Hogmanay celebrations attracts 4,500 to George Square but the council said this was only "a fraction of those out and about in the city"...
"By promoting Glasgow as a destination we can encourage locals and visitors to use the wide range of top-class facilities, enjoy themselves during their stay and to visit again."
Dear Glasgow Council,I see that you have decided to cancel the official George Square Hogmanay celebrations because, on a mere ticket price of £19 per head it has been possible for Glasgow Council to run it at less than a further cost of £34 per head.
I would be interested to know if the opportunity to run this was put out to tender and what the results were. Please treat this as an FoI inquiry.
It strikes me that it would be quite surprising if no commercial organisation thought it possible to run a profitable show at Hogmanay, in the centre of Glasgow, at a venue that doesn't have to be hired when it had already been proven people were willing to pay £19 each.
Or did the Council simply decide that if they, with their well known commercial ability, couldn't make a go of it, it would be embarrassing if some capitalist entrepreneur could and thus decided not to run the risk.
Friday, August 26, 2011
UK Space port
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Full disclosure of all government documents relating to 1989 Hillsborough disaster View 132,408 09/08/2012
Petition to retain the ban on Capital Punishment View 25,350 04/02/2012
Keep Formula 1 Free To Air in the UK View 21,969 04/08/2012
Increase policing DONT CUT IT View 10,667 09/02/2012
all rioters convicted should lose their benefits, and if not a british citizen, be deported View 9,522 10/02/2012
Petition In Support of Public Libraries View 7,136 05/02/2012
Teach evolution, not creationism View 6,224 12/08/2012
Put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK View 6,000 10/11/2011
Cashless Scrap Metal Trade - Amendment to Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 View 5,924 08/08/2012
Thameslink Protest View 5,123 04/08/2012
The Government should ban the EDL View 5,100 08/11/2011
Remove the ban on gay blood donation View 4,922 04/08/2012
Absolute right to self-defence within ones home View 4,850 04/02/2012
petition against EU Anti-tampering proposed legislation for motorcycles View 4,691 08/11/2011
Hold a referendum on withdrawing from the EU View 4,443 04/08/2012
Restore a rolling 30 year-old exemption to VED, for classic vehicles View 4,177 05/08/2012
Ban the introduction of Sharia Law in the United Kingdom View 4,032 04/02/2012
Bring back the death penalty View 3,714 04/11/2011
Do NOT remove all the benefits of convicted London rioters. View 3,507 09/02/2012
Don't let disabled children pay the price for welfare reform: reverse unfair plans to cut support by up to £27 per week for 100,000 disabled children View 3,218 05/08/2012
Return of Hanging for Serious Crimes View 2,884 04/08/2012
Re Nationalise Railways View 2,855 04/08/2012
Stop HS2 View 2,746 04/08/2012
Creation of an English Parliament View 2,657 04/08/2012
Support an Independent Kurdish State View 2,365 04/08/2012
Stop giving aid to India View 2,123 05/08/2012
Proscribe the English Defence League (EDL) View 2,122 09/08/2012
Leave the European Union View 2,087 05/08/2012
Save OUR Maternity Services at Fairfield General Hospital, Bury View 1,995 10/11/2011
Legalise Gay Marriage View 1,973 05/08/2012
Recruit 5000 more NHS midwives in England View 1,927 22/08/2012
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Psychoses of a Sick Society
- That any sort of change to the planet is bad. I don't mean objecting to pollution but that any change in temperature/the number of polar bears/butterflies/CO2 levels/snail darter fish/plant DNA etc etc is inherently awful.
- That any level of actual sort of pollution is utterly unacceptable, no matter what the ancillary benefits. An example would be Paul Ehrlich using an expected rise in sulphur dioxide emissions in China as "proof" that things were getting worse irrespective of the massive rise in Chinese living standards, or indeed reduction of pollution of indoor wood smoke or or feces.
- Health and safety - from the assumption that humans should not go into space in case anybody dies, even though far fewer have done so than in polar exploration - to people being prevented from moving their desks in offices or change a light bulb.
- Scare of all sorts which depend on numerical illiteracy.
- Attempts to legislate, for health, reductions in the level of "contaminants" to where they run into laws requiring the presence, for health, of such levels "trace elements"
- The Linear No Threshold anti-nuclear theory, which has certainly reduced humanity's standard of living, on its own, by over 50%
- People who don't want to go into space and cause "ecological damage" there until we have totally "cleaned up" the Earth.
- The criminalisation of any judgement of anybody about anything based on information about them of their race, gender, ethnicity, age etc. Prejudice is literally pre-judgement and everybody has to do it to some extent all the time. When you put salt on your food without a chemical analysis you are prejudging that it is virtually certain to contain salt rather than cyanide.
- Not being willing to execute murderers even when it is known it will, net, save lives
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The “legal” justification for our war was that we were thereby stopping the capture of Libya’s 2nd city which would have inevitably entailed substantial civilian casualties. Regime change was no part of the official remit because attacking countries to change their regimes is, rather obviously, aggression and hence a crime under international law.We are now assisting in the capture of Libya’s 1st city with inevitable substantial civilian casualties and openly committed to regime change, which remains a crime under international law.
The NATO funded “International Criminal Court” intends to “try” Gaddafi on insubstantial charges amounting to putting down rebellion, which is acknowledged as a prime duty of any government. The US constitution refers to defending against enemies “domestic and foreign” which sums up this war.
While it is clear that the NATO leaders have thus made themselves war criminals the ICC will only be swearing out warrants against them if it has some slightest wish to appear as a real court enforcing law impartially. That seems unlikely. Instead we have proven that the NATO powers are an aggressive threat to peace and that there are no circumstances under which their word can ever be trusted.
This was also the lesson in Kosovo whose current nominal “President” has been accused by the Council of Europe of crimes hundreds of times more obscene than anything Gaddafi is accused of – while under the direct command authority of NATO leaders as our policeman. In which case the NATO leaders are also criminal.
* the justification was only not actually legal because the UN Charter specifically says they do not have any right to interfere in such internal matters.
the organiser so the hypocrisy of our government in blaming Gaddafi but not Koussa is blatant. In any case the worst you can accuse Gaddafi of is of not being remotely as murderous as not only the "President" we installed in Kosovo but every one of the racist, genocidal, organlegging Nazi NATO leaders, from Clinton and Blair down to the Norwegian murderers.
Monday, August 22, 2011
In the early 1840s the brilliant young mathematician Urbain Le Verrier (1811-71) spent months carrying out painstaking calculations (by hand with ink and paper), analysing the position of Uranus to pinpoint where the hypothetical planet’s effect on Uranus began. (At the same time as he was investigating the anomalous motion of Uranus in the distant outer darkness, he was also studying the innermost Solar System which had a mystery of its own.)
By 1846, Le Verrier completed his calculations, which showed that the planet ought to lie between Aquarius and Capricorn, and posted them to the Berlin Observatory (no French observers were interested, such was the novelty of Le Verrier’s reasoning). Within a day of receiving Le Verrier’s missive German astronomers led by Johann Galle (1812-1910) used his calculations to discover the no longer theoretical planet on 23 September 1846. It was with 1° of the calculated position. The planet was duly named Neptune and Galle and Le Verrier were lauded as the planet’s co-discoverers...
Buoyed by this triumph, he further investigated the inner Solar System anomaly alluded to earlier. Sometimes Mercury wasn’t where it should be! The orbits of the planets could be predicted perfectly- apart from Mercury’s.Planetary orbits are not circles, but ellipses and Mercury’s orbit was the least circular (or most “eccentric”) known. Mercury varies from as close as 46 million km from the Sun (“perihelion”) before climbing as far as 70 million km from the Sun when it is at the opposite side of its orbit (“aphelion”). This was all in accordance with the laws of planetary motion discovered by Kepler and explained by Newton. The problem was that Mercury kept reaching the low point of its orbit early and the high point late. The discrepancy was tiny (so tiny as to invoke awe for the observational skills of the astronomers of the period who measured it) but disconcerting. Could Newton have been wrong?
Le Verrier said not, but after thoroughly studying observations of Mercury going back to the 1600s, he also proved that Mercury’s odd shifting orbit was not due to the gravitational pulls of Venus, Earth and Mars. Instead a previously unseen planet between Mercury and the Sun must be to blame.
Vulcan was discovered transiting the Sun in March 1859 by a physician and amateur astronomer named Edmond Modeste Lescarbault (1814 -94)....Le Verrier formally announced Vulcan’s discovery in March 1860. In France Le Verrier and Lescarbault were hailed as heroes
Lagrangian points, lie along a planet's orbit — one ahead of the planet and one behind it. Drawing straight lines between the Earth, the sun and a Lagrangian point produces a triangle whose sides are equal in length. An asteroid there would hover in the sky at a 60-degree angle from the sun.Any object that close to the sun would be difficult to see from Earth because it would be overhead mostly during broad daylight, as invisible as the stars.
But Martin Connors, a space scientist at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, had an idea. Maybe NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, which aims its lens 90 degrees away from the sun, would be able to pick up an oddball Trojan with an eccentric orbit.
Indeed it did. Connors found one candidate whose strange path over six days in late 2010 seemed to match the unevenly elongated orbit typical of Trojans. His team confirmed the Trojan's identity by spotting it a few months later with another telescope in Hawaii.
"This is pretty cool," said Amy Mainzer, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who wasn't involved in the study, which was published online Wednesday (ie 27th July 2011) by the journal Nature. "It's a new class of near-Earth object that's been hypothesized to exist."And if more Trojan asteroids can be found, researchers said, they could be ideal for astronaut visits and the mining of precious resources. (This particular asteroid is too tilted with respect to the solar system to make a good candidate, Mainzer said.)
Sunday, August 21, 2011
---------In the communist era we lived in a system where politics dominated the economy, which had well-known – extremely detrimental – consequences. What we wanted when communism collapsed was to create an autonomous economic system where politics will have only a marginal role in the economy. We did succeed in changing the economic system fundamentally, central planning and state ownership were dismantled in a very short period of time, the first years were very promising, at least in our country, but politics influences the economy now much more than some of us wanted and expected.We wanted a free market system but got the very European “soziale Marktwirtschaft”, the social market economy, which is characterized by massive redistribution, paternalism, absence of motivation, excessive regulation, government intervention in all fields, irrational support of suddenly promising but economically not viable ideas and projects, counter-productive labour market rigidities, fiscal deficits, and sluggish economic growth. Moreover, the continuously, almost linearly growing living standards come to be considered a justified claim (or entitlement), almost a human right there.
When there is a “good weather” (in the economic sense), such a system somehow functions. It produces positive rates of economic growth (although much slower than in BRIC countries) and weak, but for some period sustainable fiscal positions of individual countries. When bad weather – due to any endogenous or exogenous negative shock – comes, the rates of growth become negative and fiscal positions unsustainable. This is true regardless of how one or another economic crisis started and who or what was responsible for it.
The problem is aggravated by attempts to fight the crisis by means of huge fiscal injections into the economy to – allegedly – avoid an even greater crisis. We know that this is a mistaken ambition.
That same night on July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.
In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.
This ‘information’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitants
The southern border of the Sahara has been retreating since the early 1980s, making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa. There has been a spectacular regeneration of vegetation in northern Burkina Faso, which was devastated by drought and advancing deserts 20 years ago. It is now growing so much greener that families who fled to wetter coastal regions are starting to come back. There are now more trees, more grassland for livestock and a 70% increase in yields of local cereals
With a long, gurgling groan, Lakhmar fell awkwardly to his knees in the roasting hot sand outside the town of TimbuktuFor the past six years he has been making the same gruelling trek across the Sahara desert to the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali.
But each journey is becoming more of a struggle.
Lakhmar, a 10-year-old male camel with a metal ring in his flaring right nostril, left it to his owner, Boujima Handak, to explain their predicament.
Whenever I see a lorry take the salt I am very upset
"It's getting more difficult because the rains aren't coming, the oases are drying up and the camels get tired and thirsty and can't continue
Noting that "seawater pH records that exceed a single decade are not yet available which [time period] is too short to distinguish anthropogenic and natural external forcing and fully understand natural variability of the ocean pH," Liu et al. analyzed the boron isotopic composition (δ11B) of fossil corals in an effort to reconstruct a Holocene history of sea surface pH variations for the South China Sea.
As shown in the accompanying figure, the δ11B-derived pH values for the South China Sea fluctuated between a pH of 7.91 and 8.29 during the past seven thousand years, revealing a large natural fluctuation in this parameter that is nearly four times the 0.1 pH unit decline the acidification alarmists predict should have occurred since pre-industrial times.
Every household is paying £500 more than they should in green taxes,
Only 18 teachers have been fired in the UK for incompetence. Thatb is over the last 40 years
I found this googling "cameron "hug a hoodie". Does he not look scared stiff of being in the presence of such a powerful and intimidating personality