“Historic” or “Historical”… which is it, Mr Guardian?

April 11, 2014
Tory MP Nigel Evans.  Not a rapist, historic or historical...

Tory MP Nigel Evans. Not a rapist, historic or historical…

I’m a tad confused by the way the media is using the terms “historic” and “historical”. If we turn to wise Google and ask it to define:historic, it tells us:

famous or important in history, or potentially so.
“the area’s numerous historic sites”
synonyms: famous, famed, important, significant, notable, celebrated, renowned, momentous, consequential, outstanding, extraordinary, memorable, unforgettable, remarkable, landmark, groundbreaking, epoch-making, red-letter, of importance, of significance, of consequence, earth-shaking, earth-shattering

whereas define:historical produces:

a. Of or relating to the character of history. b. Based on or concerned with events in history. c. Used in the past: historical costumes

So something like the Potsdam conference, for instance, would be called historic, whereas the false rape allegations against Tory MP Nigel Evans would be historical. Right?

Well, I thought it was pretty simple. But then we see in the Guardian that the Evans rape allegations are called “historic allegations”. WTF? Google just told me…

So, what is it? Historic or historical? Some folk might think me mad using the Grauniad to argue such a point. But it ain’t just them: historic and historical seem to have become interchangeable terms so far as the papers are concerned. At least, that’s how it appoears to me…

Please, if anyone can explain wtf is going on, tell us in Comments. Serious and ridiculous explanations are equally welcome. Someone must know what’s going on in the editors’ heads, right? Right?

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Racial profiling is alive and well, goddammit… and that’s with the public, never mind the police!

April 10, 2014

Do you think police profiling works?  You think racial profiling works?  You think racism is a good way to spot criminals?  Check this out, then tell me in Comments what you think.

 
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Parliament still stinks of corruption and probably will forever

April 5, 2014

The way culture minister Maria Miller has been let off charges of fiddling her expenses and threatening the parliamentary standards commissioner in an attempt to stop her investigation shows that the British Parliament is as corrupt as ever.  And the corruption goes right to the top: the prime minister is supporting Miller despite the evidence of her foulness.

When Kathryn Hudson, the standards commissioner, was investigating the complaint against Miller, the culture minister told her that her investigation was illegal, saying she was acting in a way that was “unwarranted, unfair and contrary to all standards of due process and legality”, and Miller threatened to report Hudson to a House of Commons committee that would punish her.  Miller’s threats didn’t stop Hudson from doing her job, and the commissioner reported that Miller had fraudulently claimed £45,000 expenses as well as threatening the commissioner and doing everything she could to pervert the course of the investigation.  But the House of Commons standards committee ruled that Miller should repay just £5,800 – the committee was going to order an even lower amount of money, and it was Miller herself who suggested the sum of £5,800! ; It also said Miller should apologize to the parliamentary standards commissioner for her conduct – an “apology” that Miller made in a Commons statement that took 30 seconds to read and which she clearly didn’t mean.

Labour MP John Mann, whose complaint caused the inquiry into Miller, said on Friday night that politicians should no longer act in judgement over themselves.  But that’s not going to happen, is it?  The prime minister David Cameron has repeatedly supported Miller, and it has emerged that he lied during the investigation, stating that independent members of the Commons standards committee had the “casting vote” in deciding whether to censure Miller.  The committee consists of three lay members and 10 MPs.  The prime minister’s office is now saying that Cameron “made a mistake”; they’re hardly going to admit that he lied  to parliament!

Thomas Docherty, the Dunfermline and West Fife MP, has written to the Metropolitan police calling for an investigation into Miller’s expenses. Docherty wrote: “Given the widely differing conclusions of the commission and the committee regarding the serious allegations made about Mrs Miller and the fact that both the commission and committee feel that Mrs Miller did not co-operate with the inquiry, I believe this matter warrants further investigation and I believe the Metropolitan police are the appropriate body to carry out such an investigation.”  So will the police investigate Miller?  Hah!  Of course they won’t.  The Metropolitan Police Commissioner wants the government to give him water cannons, and he won’t get them if he investigates Cameron’s new girlfriend will he?

Even if the growing pressure does force Cameron to sack her, Miller won’t face any more disciplinary action.  It’s disgusting how these politicians are able to set themselves above the law.  And just as disgusting how they feel entitled to claim such large amounts of expenses while simultaneously cutting benefits, forcing disabled people to work when their doctors say they shouldn’t, and imposing a bedroom tax that has driven people to suicide.  Governments are often greedy and cruel, Conservative governments especially: but the current government is openly evil.  And the system that allows it to be evil will never change as it is the evil ones who run the system!  Unless, of course, we change the system for them.  Not that I would ever advocate violent revolution!  ;)

 
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Gwen’s Grave

March 29, 2014
Gwen's grave, St Nicholas' parish church, Warndon

Gwen’s grave, St Nicholas’ parish church, Warndon

 

No headstone yet.  But some pretty flowers.  Someone cared about Gwen.

 


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Bloody mobile broadband dongles! I hate them!

March 27, 2014

I’ve been using mobile broadband for some time. I live in the UK. First of all I used Vodafone’s network, but soon got rid of that as Vodafone charged £10 per GB of data transferred (note: that’s per GB transferred, not per GB downloaded)… it worked out as very expensive. Eventually I switched to 3 (another UK mobile phone/mobile broadband service provider) that charged £15 per GB transferred. Still pricey, but a lot cheaper than Vodafone.

Problem with the dongles is, they are plastic sticks that stick some 7cm out the side of your laptop, and are held in place by the vulnerable USB plug. Laptops are portable devices, often moved around etc, and if the dongle hits something that vulnerable USB plug can easily break. A while ago I suggested to 3′s Twitter account (@ThreeUKSupport) that they should use a different design; eg. a “L” shaped dongle that wouldn’t involve 7cm of plastic sticking out the side of a device putting undue stress on the USB plug (after all the USB plug is designed as a plug, not a strong physical connection). But 3 weren’t at all helpful on this, stating that they had no plans to use a redesigned dongle. Of course, 3 aren’t the only culprits – as far as I can tell all the mobile broadband providers use the stupid vulnerable design. But does that make it right? Of course not! (There are less vulnerable devices available, such as the MiFi routers, but they are not so mainstream and are more expensive than the dongles.)

Anyway, my 3 dongle got damaged – it hit something, the weak USB plug got bent, and now the dongle doesn’t work. I have prepaid credit on the dongle which I can’t use! What to do? I’ve got in touch with 3 on Twitter again, and am still waiting for a response. And what are they going to do? I hate to think. It’d be nice if they gave me a new dongle, maybe with extra credit to make up for my trouble (after all I did warn them about this possibility). But what do you think? Will @ThreeUKSupport be nice? Or will it be a case of TSB (Tough Sh*t Baby)? I hope for the best but expect the worst.

So, what should you do if you need mobile broadband? One solution is to wirelessly tether a smartphone (or tether by wire a 3G “dumbphone”, something I did for a while when I owned a 3G dumbphone). But to tether a smartphone you have to jail-break it. Which voids warranties. Or buy a MiFi router… not as affordable as a dongle. You could creep about with your laptop, taking extra care not to knock the dongle into anything… but is that paranoia how you want to live? No, me neither.  And now they’re rolling out 4G mobile internet devices, they have to take care of their customers better.

We all need to contact our service providers, demanding redesigned, possibly L-shaped dongles (I did that, but my lone voice had no effect… maybe if we all hassled them, maybe they would do something). 3′s Twitter account for customer services is @ThreeUKSupport. Get onto them! We need redesigned dongles or more affordable MiFis. Come on, let’s tell ‘em what we think! Surely I’m not the only user to have accidentally trashed his dongle. Am I?

UPDATE 18:37 UST: Well whaddaya know! I was right to expect the worst!  Customer goodwill is worthless as far as 3 are concerned.  I broke their idiotically-designed dongle, with £15 credit on it.  Their answer? “Tough Sh*t Baby”.  They want me to buy a new one!  Bastards…

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Unintentional prank emailing

March 26, 2014

stoned-agin

 

After a lifetime of sex and drugs and rock n roll, I have learned a few things (despite my brain atrophying to the size of a garden pea). Admittedly a lot of this learning is due to people sending me emails or texts that say “wtf you on about last night?” and “omg I didn’t know you love me!  Let’s get married!  A June wedding would be so wonderful!!”   When you end up marrying some bird you don’t even like, that is your inner self begging for you to get your dumb ass in order.  Drugs = good times = fun is all very good.  But when your actions under the influence bring to the mind the phrase “drugsarebadmmkay?” it’s time to ease back a little, take some time to smell the coffee/roses, and generally STOP BEING SUCH A COCK!

Sending declarations of everlasting love to ex-partners is not good.  Especially when those exes dumped you years ago and are now happily married with 2 kids.  Telling your ex-boss that he is a dumbass for sacking your ass can be good.  But not via email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook… you think that’s gonna  look good on your CV?  FFS Foolish child!

When you plan to get pissed and/or stoned, first of all cut your arms off so you can’t do any of the above.  Legs too, it’s possible to type with toes and even elbows.  Keep your feelings under control until you’re sober.  Then you’ll see how ABSOLUTELY STUPID your it-seemed-perfectly-fine-at-the-time plan actually is.  Drugs + internet = Noooo!  Bear this in mind, you mindless fools!

 

 

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Pretty bluebells

March 14, 2014
Pretty bluebells

Pretty bluebells

If you like flowers, these are for you. If you don’t like flowers, they’re still for you. You don’t have to take them with you. But they’re nice, whatever you think.

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