Friday, 31 October 2008

Pardon British Witches

Straw urged to pardon witches,
A PETITION calling for a posthumous pardon for women and men who were executed as British witches will be presented to Jack Straw today. Campaigners hope evidence of eight grave “miscarriages of justice” will persuade the Justice Secretary to take action. A copy of the petition will also be sent to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. More than 400 people were put to death in England for alleged witchcraft, and more than 2,000 executed in Scotland, before the 1735 Witchcraft Act put an end to the trials, they said. Their bid to get justice for the victims follows an official pardon granted earlier this year by the Swiss government to Anna Goeldi, beheaded in 1782 and regarded as the last person executed as a witch in Europe.

US debt clock runs out of digits

Can we have some more zeroes please?
clock before the quick fix,
The US government's debts have ballooned so badly the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of digits to record the spiralling figure. The digital counter marks the national debt level, but when that passed the $10 trillion point last month, the sign could not display the full amount. The board was erected to highlight the $2.7 trillion level of debt in 1989. The clock's owners say two more zeros will be added, allowing the clock to record a quadrillion dollars of debt. Douglas Durst, son of the late Seymour Durst - the clock's inventor - hopes to replace the Manhattan clock with its lengthier replacement early next year. For the time being, the Times Square counter's electronic dollar sign has been replaced with the extra digit required. For its part, the digital dollar symbol has been supplanted by a cheaper version - perhaps a sign of the times for the American economy. Some economists believe the $700bn bail-out plan for ailing US financial institutions could send the national debt level to $11 trillion.

clock after the quick fix, notice the $ sign has a 1 in it.

Enid Blyton dolls race storm

I knew my earlier Golly post would come back to haunt me! A RACE row has erupted in a picture-postcard Dorset village after an Enid Blyton shop started selling golliwogs. The owner of the Ginger Pop shop – a shrine to the children's author who lived nearby – has received complaints branding her a racist and urging her to stop selling the rag dolls. Viv Endecott insists the golliwogs are harmless soft toys synonymous with Enid Blyton who regularly featured them in her famous books, including Noddy. In recent years the golliwogs have been "cleansed" from the novels as many people began to see them as a crude racial stereotype. But Miss Endecott claims there is demand for the toys in the Dorset village of Corfe Castle – immortalised in the Famous Five books. She said she has sold more than 500 in the last six months to customers of varying ages and ethnic backgrounds. The 47-year-old said despite the complaints she will continue to sell the dolls alongside the Blyton books, teddy bears and bottles of ginger beer. Miss Endecott said: "The note had been pushed under the door one night. I felt annoyed, mainly because whoever wrote it didn't put their name to it. "I thought the best way to gauge people's reaction to it was to place the note in the window alongside some golliwogs and the general reaction has been 'is that for real?' "Around here it is accepted that a golliwog is a soft toy associated with Enid Blyton. I genuinely think most people don't associate them with black people. "No offence has ever been intended by me and therefore none should be taken. "My customers aren't members of the BNP or the National Front. They don't cuddle golliwogs and turn into racist bigots, who we all detest." Miss Endecott, who is of Indian origin and suffered racism as a child, added: "There is plenty of real racism to get worked up about than to argue over the merits of a soft toy. "I suffered real racism at school so I don't need any lessons on it." The golliwog first appeared in a children's story by the writer Florence Kate Upton and was popularised in Britain when jam manufacturer Robertsons adopted it as a symbol for its products in 1910.

Halloween at Sisterz

First stop Make up! at this stage Diana thought I was joking when I said I had to have make up for Halloween,
so it was into one of the beauty parlours behind Champions,
first the foundation,
then the special effects,
and now the finished result,
just as I was finished Jeff called,
Grieg the manager at Sisterz,
scary dairy!
outside Sisterz,
close up,
I wanted a yellow hooded coat, but they were only available in blue,
Grieg did a great job of carving pumpkins, the first one took him over 3 hours to do,
they look even better with the candles lite,
really scary!
then home for a night cap,
my "best side"
oh dear full face! another great night out made all the better by Tom's efforts at Sisterz, the shows were different and most enjoyable, I think we should have a Halloween every year just like Christmas.

October's weird weather

hailstorm swamps one small town in 6ft drifts,
These astonishing scenes are the aftermath of a deluge of hailstones that buried a town in a river of ice. Ottery St Mary, in Devon, was plunged into chaos by the storm in the early hours yesterday. First, the area was battered by an astonishing 12in of hail in just two hours. This blocked drains, which led to widespread flooding as the rain began to fall. More than 100 people had to be evacuated from their homes and 25 were airlifted to safety or rescued by firefighters. After a day of heavy rain on Wednesday more than three inches of rain and hail fell between 6pm and 8am yesterday morning. The Met Office said the 'hugely localised' weather system was less than 4 miles across and seemed ' to be centred on Ottery St Mary'. The most severe weather hit just after midnight on Thursday but by 5am the entire town was cut off and coastguards scrambled helicopters to airlift residents. Emergency services were inundated with calls from terrified home owners who watched helplessly as flood water rose to 5ft high in some places, and there were fears that hundreds of animals may have been killed in the floods. Residents in Ottery St Mary said the town was unrecognisable after the hail storm.. Sarah Galliford said: 'I was woken up by the sound of hailstones thundering down on the roof. I thought it was the end of the world. I looked outside at about 1am and there was a river of ice coming down the street. It was a total freak of nature. It wasn't even on the weather forecast. They said there would be rain but nothing like this. It was absolutely crazy.' Clara Pedmore added: 'There is 2ft 6ins of water on the road. I can't get out of the house.One farm nearby has lost about 500 sheep which were out in fields which are now completely underwater.' Emergency crews also sent in jeeps and fire appliances and boats to take residents to an evacuation centre at the local hospital.

map shows the location of Ottery St Mary, near Exeter in Devon.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Credit crunched:

The £100,000 Ferrari wrapped around a telegraph pole. It seems unbelievable, but the only thing seriously injured in this crash was the driver's ego. The young man behind the wheel of this £100,000 Ferrari lost control as he sped through the streets of Adelaide, Australia, and smashed into an electricity pole. The prang left the engine and bonnet wrapped around the structure. Incredibly, the driver and his male passenger, who have not been named, received only minor injuries. The five-year-old black Ferrari 360 Modena crashed a few minutes after residents saw it go past their houses at high speed. One householder said: 'I was outside my house talking when we heard something fly up towards us and it was this black Ferrari. 'It sounded just like 'zing-zing' as it roared past. I have never seen anything travel as fast as that in my life. 'Those men were lucky to be alive because the pole split the car in two and it's ended up where the gearstick should be.'
The un-named driver and his passenger were taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment, but their injuries were said to be not serious. Pictures of the crashed vehicle resulted in one internet blogger commenting: 'I wonder what action the police will take with an idiot driving a Ferrari.' Another commentator said: 'We're making a few assumptions here, but when a young guy is driving a Ferrari worth a quarter of a million bucks, and then splits it almost in two, someone's going to be grounded for life.'

Speeding Muppet!

Speeding puppet at wheel of British car makes Muppet's of the German police,
German police are appealing for help in finding a British driver making Muppet's out of them. Which I find a bit strange as at some time I remember the German Police refusing to hand over German driver details when visiting German nationals commit a offense in the UK. Speed cameras in the state of Bavaria have captured an Audi car breaking the speed limit several times with a Muppet Show character appearing to be at the wheel. Only after examining speed camera photos more closely did they realise it was a right-hand drive car with UK plates.
Only a blur was captured in the driving seat, because the speed cameras are focused for left-hand drive cars. The puppet in question is Animal, the Muppet Show’s crazed drummer in the band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. German police have logged the details of the car with its central registration bureau for fines but, as the car is not listed in Germany, they are powerless to pursue the matter unless they snag the driver in a routine stop. 'We do, however, ask the public to help us identify the driver as he or she has been speeding through several cameras recently,' said a spokesman. In the latest incident the Audi was travelling on the A9 autobahn near Bayreuth at 20 mph over the 75mph limit.

Hallowen is getting nearer!

Man ordered to take down his Halloween decorations because they are too scary. A man has been ordered to take down the Halloween decorations on his house because they are too scary. Graham Walls, 28, was told by his landlords to remove the array of life-size spooky creatures adorning the outside of his home after passing mums complained the display was terrifying their kids. Lighting technician Graham spent £600 on the ghostly get-up - which includes skeletons, zombies, witches and a tombstone - hung on the front walls of his home in Hove, East Sussex. Letting agents this week wrote to Graham to tell him that if he didn't remove the decorations they would take them down themselves and send him the bill - on top of a fine. The letter claimed Graham had "defaced" the building and sparked complaints from other tenants whose kids were scared of the array of monsters and ghouls. But Graham, who shares the flat with nurse girlfriend Debbie Harris, said: "Neighbours wanted to start a campaign to keep them. Everyone's been asking why I've taken them down because they were so popular. "Last year I put them up for the first time and had no complaints but that was a different property management company." He added: "It's just a bit of fun. I thought with all the horror shows that kids are exposed to these days there wouldn't be a problem with these decorations. "It's sad to have to take them down as so many people thought they were great."

Neighbour Alicia Lane, a 29-year-old youth worker, is among those backing Graham. She said: "People put up far more at Christmas and it was done for community spirit, to make the kids smile." But mum Sally Hollis, 41, who lives nearby, said: "My kids had the life scared out of them when they saw the zombies hanging on the wall outside the flat. "They kept asking if they would come alive at night and come and get them. I must admit I was a little scared of them too - they were very lifelike and realistic," Letting agents Estate and Property Management, based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, said: "It is against the terms of the lease to put anything on the communal parts of the building and, as such, we had no alternative but to request they come down."

Don't look down!

Climbers explore the murky abyss of 3,100ft deep underground shaft in China, I must admit I really do not like the thought of going deep underground, but I guess some ones got to do it! This rocky chasm in China is one of the world's deepest underground shafts. It stretches down for an astonishing 3,100ft, or 1,026 metres. An international team of cave explorers who discovered the cave, near the village of Tian Xing, are seen descending into the abyss.
Though unimaginably deep, the Chinese caves are actually dwarfed by others across the globe. The world's deepest cave is Krubera in Georgia, which is 6,822ft deep (2,080 metres), followed by Lamprechtsofen in Austria (5,354ft or 1,631 metres) and Gouffre Mirolda in France (5,335ft or 1,626 metres). As an interesting comparison, the world's tallest peak, Mount Everest, is 29,029ft (8,848 metres) high.
Photographer Robert Shone spent two months documenting the team's underground discoveries,

and this is at the bottom,

A walk in the town.

The new lights outside The Blues Factory,
are taking shape,
I do not know when they are being switched on or who is paying for them, I wonder if they will be coloured or plain white?
I have just read in last weeks Pattaya Mail that Pattaya received a bronze medal for being wheelchair friendly, I can only assume the people giving out the medals did not see theses perspex barriers at the Coyote end of Soi Blues Factory,
or theses ones at the Walking Street end of Soi Blues Factory, they were bit of a tight squeeze for me to get through so wheelchairs and prams are a real no-no,
we took a stroll with Juu from Champions down to see Tom in Sisterz,
then stopped off at Maureen's for a drink with her and Nick, next into Champions for a nightcap and then home to bed,
when we got home there was a really nice smell in the front yard, every few months or so this bush flowers at night and gives off a really nice fragrance, a pleasant home coming.

A Fifth Creepy Urban Legend (That Happen to be True)

The Funhouse Mummy, The Myth: A prop at a carnival was discovered not to be made of the usual combination of papier mache and carni spit, but human skin and bone. All the little kiddies at the haunted house had been poking and giggling at a real, mummified dead body. The Truth: Apparently the smell wasn’t just coming from the convict manning the corndog stand. Back in 1976, a camera crew filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man began to set up in the haunted house at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, Calif. As they were moving aside a "hanging man" prop, they accidentally knocked off its arm and discovered human bones inside. Bionic, this poor sap wasn’t. The story gets stranger. The body was actually that of criminal mastermind Elmer McCurdy, who was killed in a shootout after robbing a train in 1911. The princely sum old Elmer got killed for? $46 (and two jugs of whiskey). McCurdy was embalmed by the local undertaker, and apparently the guy was so darn pleased with his work that he propped up the corpse in the funeral home as evidence of his skills. People were charged 5 cents to see the corpse, which they paid by dropping a nickel in the cadaver’s mouth. Remember that little bit of history the next time somebody turns their nose up at you for liking Hostel 2. Think it can’t get any stranger? After several years of raking in the nickels (how exactly these coins were retrieved after being dropped into the corpse’s mouth is something probably best left to the imagination) Our enterprising undertaker’s scheme was ruined when McCurdy's brothers showed up to claim him. Of course, these guys weren’t his brothers at all, but wily carnival promoters. From that point on, McCurdy’s mummy went on a morbid mystery tour all around America, popping up at carnivals all over the country before finally coming to rest in Long Beach.
McCurdy is now buried in Oklahoma. Because McCurdy apparently had the most entertaining corpse in history, they prevented anyone else from taking him on tour by dumping concrete on top of the casket. 2 cubic yards of it!

A great day out.

A big "Thank you" to Mr. Tony, Mr. Tony has more than a few friends, well one of them invited him, Tom and us for a drink at the Sattahip navel base, so it was a convoy to go there, once we had passed security and got our passes the first stop was, yes you guessed it, the bar,
view from the bar looking towards the far islands,
looking back towards Pattaya in the far distance on the left of the picture,

the tide is now in!

a bit more of Pattaya,

after a few drinks on the terrace it was then down to the restaurant on the beach a short drive away,
smiling face at the counter,
waiting for the food,
mussels with cheese,
plain mussels, prawn and broccoli, grilled and boiled fish,
prawns and mixed vegetables then arrived,
then egg covered prawns and sweet and sour chicken, there was so much food we needed 2 tables to put it all on, the bill for us was 1,400 baht including more that a few beers,
path back to the cars,
past the water sports supplies,
looking down to the bar,
the far islands,
and the restaurant and beach we were just on, a really great day out, far from the maddening crowd!