Sunday, 29 May 2011

Voices From The Past

Sometimes the oddest things catch my imagination, in this case it was a sort of conversation from the past.

The first to catch my attention was the BBC replaying a 1939 recording, made with the two trumpets found in Tutankhamen's tomb by Howard Carter. They had got a British soldier, James Tappern, to play them, and the sound is a haunting echo of a music that has not been heard for over 3,000 years!

 James Tappern plays one of the Trumpets 

The trumpets will never be played again, the silver trumpet had shattered when played in front of King Farouk of Egypt during an earlier experiment, and had had to be repaired. The two trumpets were stolen during the recent 'revolution' in Egypt, but were recovered  ..... should never have given them back.

While I was mulling over my thoughts of this recording, I came across another file, this was a recording by an actor Orlando Mezzabotta, who has recorded the proclamation of Pharoah Kamose on one of his two Stele .... its recorded with a best guess of what the Egyptian pronunciation of the hieroglyphs would have sounded like (presumably based on Coptic liturgy, which is how they cracked the hieroglyphs in the first place) .... so its probably what would have been heard, as he dictated the Stele's content to a scribe in the year 1553 BC ...

Pharoah Kamose

Sometimes, the past still speaks to us with surprising clarity ..... 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Learning From Custer?

How do you know the Gaddafi's regime is doomed? Because we are sending in the Apaches!!

Just ask General Custer what happens next .... okay that was the Cheyenne, but 'an Injuns an Injun' as the saying goes .... the effects the same.

Oh hang on, they meant the other Apaches ....

.... Oh well, the effects still the same.

Broken Britain ... Another Tale

Sharon Shoesmith, head of social services at  Haringey Council when "Baby P" was killed, and the woman who was paid the big money to have the buck stop on her desk, has just won a court appeal against getting sacked .... the reasons? The court thought the sacking "procedurally unfair", not morally or ethically, just some i's not dotted, or t's crossed.

As a consequence of this court decision, Ms Shoesmith described herself as "thrilled" .... not ashamed, just "thrilled" ... of course it means that the taxpayers will be left to pay her huge amounts of 'compensation' (She has claimed that she is entitled to her full salary and pension from Haringey up to the present day .... £133,000 pa x 3.5 = £465,500.00), for her being sacked while in charge of a system that allowed a child, that should have been protected by her employees, to be brutally and systematically beaten to death (he had over 50 injuries when he died in 2007).

Haringey are set to appeal against this, but when you take into the account of the lawyers, legal aid, and court time already taken up by her endless round of appeals to tribunals, and you can see that already, her case has probably cost more than the back 'salary and pension' that she wants .... so what is the point of employment laws when it always ends up in court until the claimant 'wins' (as they always seem to do in the end).

You can see why most employers simply 'pay up' even when they are faced with these often frivolous fishing' claims ... its totally wrong, and there are figures which suggest that some 'employees' make repeated claims from every employer they are sacked from. The employment laws, which were meant well, has been subverted by frequent challenges by lawyers and now work against society, and not for it.

This story tells you everything that's wrong with a society, where the laws are set by and controlled by the same lawyers who always make money in these cases.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Only Justice Should Be Blind

The use of injunctions and super injunctions, to allow very rich footballers and celebrities to have a measure of legal protection not available to me or you is very wrong .... its a law being created on the fly by lawyers and judges, and without the say of the UK Parliament. It's actually trying to gag the right to 'Free Speech', in favour of the 'right to a private life'.

This whole ridiculous situation, all stems from the UK's judiciary and legal fraternity, interpreting a provision of the "Human Rights Act" in a perverse manner, one which has once again turned it into nothing more than a charter for terrorists, criminals, illegal immigrants, and now, very rich men who can't keep their trouser zippers up, but want to be able to get away with this infidelity by hiding it from their wives, partners and their children. However if you are caught having an affair, there is no particular protection against the consequences of your actions ... well not unless you have upwards of £50k to spend on lawyers who can 'make it so'. So instead of a storm in chip paper wrapper, we have a fundamental challenge to the UK's (and Europe's) commitment to free speech, which may have implications for everyone.

The current English Law prevents me from even mentioning the names of the two footballers (even though I know one for sure, and the other by speculation), who are currently trying to hide their infidelities behind its highly paid skirts ... but in Scotland, I could now do so, as they are in the public record ....there is also a very thinly disguised picture of one of the footballers on the front of the Sunday Herald newspaper, which anyone with even an once of web savvy could find on Google. He and one of the actors concerned in an earlier injunction, were effectively both outed a week or so ago in an English Newspaper comment article, which ostensibly commented on the actors latest facebook contents, and then referred to the footballer, as a model of the family life the actor should be following .... this farce has been played out across the press, with enough oblique or cryptic clues, for anyone with half an interest to be able to interpret.

There is a simple but fundamental solution ... we must enshrine as absolute, the 'Right To Free Speech' in the UK, in the same manner as in the US ... Nothing else will stop the lawyers from trying to gag first the press, then the Internet, and eventually all of us, to the favour only of 'politicians, celebs, and sportsmen', but to the permanent detriment of an 'open government and society'. We don't need lip service paid to free speech, we need a robust and positive defence .... David Cameron can be the Prime Minister to free us from the threat of the tyranny of the gag, or be the Prime Minister who stands by and sees this 'freedom' extinguished.

In the UK, only justice should be blind .... we the British public shouldn't be.

Post Script: A few hours after I posted this, a Liberal Member of Parliament publicly named one of the footballers - only a few million people knew this name, but, it was about time that the issue was brought into the public sphere so that we can talk about the 'privacy laws' that have been brought in by the back door in the UK. NB:  In more of a joke, The 'Super Injunction' remains in place.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Photo Editing .....

I have been reading XPD by thriller writer Len Deighton as my train book .... the premise is that in June 1940, Hitler and Churchill met up near the Belgium border to discuss British surrender terms .... the Nazi papers which described the meeting are on the loose, and the British, Soviets, CIA and a German group are all after them for different reasons. The key dates in the Book are 11th June when Churchill flew to Briare with a 12 Hurricane cover, but didn't have any such escort to return the next day .... The official excuse was bad weather, but other RAF operations in that area had no bad weather issues and bombed the Albert canal in Belgium, to say nothing of a long range attack on Turin from England on the same day.

In the book, a Staffel of Messerschmidt's escorted Churchill to the meeting with Hitler, which is why he had no escort flight booked for the 12th June. I have no idea if these dates really matched RAF and Luftwaffe flights etc in real life, but the book is reasonably well written, and passes a train commute .... The reason why I am mentioning this at all, is that in this particular print (2009), the cover featured a spoof photo of Hitler meeting Churchill and an aide, and as I have been using photo shop to repair old pictures, I was interested in this skill.

I then realised that in some of the pictures I have 'repaired':

(a) It would have been very easy to alter them significantly, and
(b) If I had printed them on photo paper, it might be difficult to easily say where the alterations had been made.

Bad photo fixing, usually ignores things like shadow lines, sight lines (where the eyes are looking), or ridiculously attempts to stick faces on to false bodies (for some reason, porn sites feature this particular type), and just looks daft. Good ones are far more subtle, and can often be very hard to spot, even with a computer.

I did a jokey one on The Thirteen MP's posting - it was not intended to fool anyone, but just illustrate the story.

However the same techniques could be used to make all sort of historical photos look real ..... using Hitler Meets Churchill as my template ...... I produced this. On the right blurry photo-paper and suitably battered it could look real enough.

then aged a bit ......

But the web also has many 'the Nazi's had Alien technology' theories, which are often backed up by pictures such as this ....

Then there are the Obama and the aliens ...

And even proof positive, about what many believed to be the truth on Ross Perot.

Ross Perot and Alien

Of course its easy to find pictures that look fake but are real ..... yes, Hitler really did bow his head in deference to another 'Giant' German (literally, he looks huge in this picture) .... in this case Hindenburg, who he feared while he was alive.

But this photo faking has been practised since the camera was invented ..... first you see him.

Then you don't  ....

..... and not a computer or photoshop in sight ..... just the will of Stalin.

There is Nothing is New under the Sun .......

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Inseminator

Actor and Politician Arnold Schwarzenegger's fame rose on the back of his performances as "The Terminator"

The Terminator
He then reinvented himself as the Governor of California .....

The Governator
Now Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver have separated, after she apparently learned he had fathered a child with a member of their household staff 10 years ago ..... the maid, Mildred Patricia Baena no less. He will no doubt be looking for one final tag ....

The Inseminator
At least the steroids didn't do any lasting damage then ...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mission Impossible Achieved

There are some rivalries that are not just sporting rivalries, but are much deeper than that. They go to the very DNA of the supporters, the fabric of the competing clubs, cities or participants. Such is the rivalry between two of the football clubs in Liverpool and Manchester.

Some say that the rivalry started between the two cities when Manchester traders felt that goods passing through Liverpool docks were somewhat lighter by the time they left ..... and so they formed a company and built the Manchester ship canal between 1887 and 1894, at a cost of about £15 million (£1.27 billion as of 2011), so that ships were never unloaded in Liverpool again. The Liverpool dockers, deprived of what were colloquially known as 'dockers perks', never forgot this effrontery, and that this rivalry found form in the ethos of the football clubs. However this tale doesn't explain why Manchester City and Everton do not embody the struggle in anything like the manner that Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC do.

Until the 1970's the two clubs were very much on a par at seven titles a piece, and in fact the most successful championship team in 1970/71 were Arsenal FC with eight titles, with Aston Villa on six, Sunderland on Five and even Newcastle FC on four. So in reality, the league title was fairly even split between all the clubs. But the abolition of fixed salaries at football clubs, was slowly having a pernicious effect on this equality of power across the football landscape. The clubs that had the largest revenues (i.e. gate money in those pre-plc days), were slowly attracting the better players by offering higher wages.

The first to combine this fact with a manager, well a series of managers, who could bring title success were Liverpool. They went on a run of title wins from 1972/73 which took their grand total to a record eighteen by season 1989/90 .... none of the other teams could even remotely match this. Arsenal were only on ten titles, Everton had moved to nine, and Manchester United? Well they had not successfully replaced Sir Matt Busby, their manager of the 1950's and 1960's, and the titles had stopped with his retirement ... they were still on seven. 

In fact such was the pressure on every succeeding manager to reverse this apparently terminal stall, that some were broken by the job, others flattered to deceive, with good teams that just were not consistent enough to win that next elusive title (there were just two second places in all this period) .... then along came Alex Ferguson  in November 1986, when Manchester United were once again without a manager and (second from bottom) of the league. He was chosen because he had consistently broken the 'Old Firm' grip on Scottish football with Aberdeen FC and taken them to three Scottish Titles, four Cups and two European trophies. It was hoped that at the very least, he would win at least a couple of titles, but catch Liverpool's 'English record' of Eighteen? That seemed too tall an order.

Sir Alex Ferguson : The Dominant Manager Of His Era.
When he arrived at Old Trafford, the myth is that announced that his mission was to "knock Liverpool from their perch" .... he didn't say that, but is probably happy that this legend has grown, because in an incredible run of title wins, that may never be surpassed by any one manager, he has won twelve titles, starting with the 1992/3 title and culminating (so far) with the 2010/11 season, and in the process moved Manchester United's number of titles to an new English record of Nineteen League Titles.

In that same period Liverpool have remained on eighteen, Arsenal have moved to twelve, and the rest are either as they were, or like Chelsea on three, or Manchester City on two, and effectively nowhere. Only Arsenal and Chelsea have in anyway challenged this run of wins, and the fact that this latest EPL title is Uniteds fourth in the last five seasons, shows how dominant he has made the club.

Mission impossible achieved.

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day .... but apparently many Romans this week thought it could be knocked down in one.

In an odd story, it appears that the urban grapevine had created a legend, which was that the late seismologist Raffaele Bendand (who died in 1979), had predicted that the city would be devastated by an earth quake on 11 May 2011. Consequently, and despite special programmes having been run on state TV calling for calm, reports suggested that as many as an additional 18% of city employees planned to stay away from work to avoid the city on that date.

Bendandi, who was knighted by Mussolini in 1927 for his prophetic meteorological skills, after he apparently used his theory that the movement of the planets caused seismic activity, to accurately predict a 1923 quake that killed 1,000 people. He was also banned from making public predictions, on pain of exile .... and he never actually made any further predictions about the future. Paola Lagorio the President of the the foundation that honours Bendandi said "I can say with absolute certainty that in the papers of Raffaele Bendandi there is no provision for an earthquake in Rome on the 11 May 2011". Needless to say, Rome wasn't even ruffled by a tiny tremor on the day .... but oddly, in one of those coincidence that fuel these urban myths, the town of Lorca in Spain was hit by a large earthquake on the day.

So, be prepared for more such stories next year, as the same urban myth suggested two more such catastrophic events in May 2012.

A Rose By Any Other Name?

'Slut Walk' marches are a series of protests by girls in the US and Canada after a Canadian police officer opined the advice that women students should "avoid dressing like sluts" to keep out of trouble ..... the walks are intended to highlight a culture in which the victim rather than rapist or abuser is blamed when they are attacked.

Now while we at PC Towers totally agree with the sentiments of the girls, we can't help feeling a vague suspicion that the officer had something of a point, no matter how ill advised he was to voice it.  There is no doubting that in the last forty years or so, western girls mores in sexual matters has loosened, and modes of behaviour of males towards girls in the same context has worsened in line with this change.

To whose gain its easy to see, in social life, girls in some communities are less respected than ever, this is despite the PC sisters of the Left, who use the hammer of the law, to try and impose social remedies for the evils that their social meddling often unthinkingly unleashed in the first place ....

Oddly, once again the attack is primarily aimed at white males, while the generic description of women as 'Ho's and Bitches' by males of another colour, is hardly commented up on (presumably, this is simply classed as 'cultural'?) ..... so being told that some modes of  dress are 'slutty' is worthy of protest marches, but being described as a 'Whore', 'Ho' or a 'Bitch' in songs and street isn't?

We are a very strange society  

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Rainbow Dream Corrupted

Each passing month seems to show that the state of South Africa is slowly becoming as corrupt as all the other Black African states .... the latest sign of this is the news that a South African gold mining company has been breaking the labour laws and asset stripping the company while stealing off the workers.

In a story of corruption as blatant as any from the rest of the continent, a holding company, 'Aurora Empowerment Systems', took control of two gold mines just outside of Johannesburg around 18 months ago ... they made extravagant claims of a better future for the workers and shareholders alike.  But now, 18 months later the South African mining unions claim the company owes its workers more than 12m rand (£1.1m; $1.8m) in unpaid salaries AND that that the company has asset stripped the mine hardware, as well as committing multiple legal and regulatory infringements, but has escaped any kind of sanction because of the significant political connections of its senior management.

Aurora Mine,Orkney South Africa
And the owners, employees and principal shareholders of  Aurora Empowerment Systems? 
  • The managing director of Aurora is Zondwa Gadaffi Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela.
  • The chairman is Khulubuse Zuma, nephew of President Jacob Zuma.
  • A board member, Michael Hulley, is the personal legal advisor to President Jacob Zuma.
The Rainbow Dream is well and truly dead   ......Nothing more needs to be said.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Labours Love Child Comes Of Age

Remember when the New Labour party under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and their strategist Mandelson introduced 'devolution' in to Scotland and Wales, and swore blind that it wouldn't ever lead to 'Scottish Independence' ..... in fact they privately laughed, and said the mixed election method they had introduced would ensure that the Scottish National Party, could never get an overall majority. Of course the whole scheme was intended to deliver a 'Socialist', New Labour, Scotland, and be the springboard for endless national election victories, by depriving the Conservatives of any MP's from Scotland.

My how we are all laughing now .... mainly at New / Old Labour, who today got a kicking and a half in their "Labour" heartland of Scotland, and surprise surprise, the SNP is now an overall  majority government in Scotland.  The final votes resulted in the SNP with 69 seats, Labour 37, the Conservatives 15, the Lib Dems five, and the others totalled three.

The First Leader Of An Independent Scotland?
There will be referendum called on complete Independence in Scotland sometime in the next five years, probably in about two years ... of course they may not say that they want to be the 'new' Ireland, Greece, Iceland or Portugal .... the New Holland anyone?

On a side note, if Scotland does take the plunge, then the English will get their own "Devolution" and finally stop paying the subsidies for Scottish socialism .... and Labour have only ever won one "English" Parliamentary election majority (in 1945) i.e could have formed a UK Government without Scottish and Welsh Labour MP's...... just a thought.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Henry Cooper - Legend.

A sad story, 'The Legend' that was Henry Cooper died yesterday aged 76. He was 'a lovely fella' (as he used to say about others) .... and although he wasn't quite top draw, he was put down by Floyd Patterson as well as Ali, but for his weak eyebrow tissue, he could have been the 'Great White Hope' heavyweight champion, in an era when there were no other good white heavy weight boxers, and plenty of good black ones.

He famously put the 'Louisville Lip', on his hip, with a blow from 'Enry's 'Ammer'  ..... his mighty Left Hook.

Ali later said on British television that
Cooper "hit me so hard that my ancestors
 in Africa felt it".
Muhammad Ali said last night that he was "at a loss for words" over the death of his friend. "Henry always had a smile for me; a warm and embracing smile", he said. "It was always a pleasure being in Henry's company. I will miss my old friend. He was a great fighter and a gentleman."

Can't follow that ... so I won't. So here's a bit of 'Left Hook' mayhem .....

Hell Has Another Resident ..... Osama Bin Laden Dead

This morning came the news that Osama Bin Laden, leader and mentor of the Al Qaeda terrorist ideology was killed by US Special forces yesterday. No doubt Islamists the world over will be mourning 'another martyr', and in Mosques 'sermons' will praise him, which just shows how sick Islamists are .... he was a mass murderer who preached an ideology that stated that 'civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of Jihad'.

The interesting thing was that he was found, living not in a cave as his propaganda photos always suggested, but rather in a multi million dollar 'compound', inside the elite Pakistani Abbottabad's military cantonment (a protected area called 'Tanda Choha', where the families of the military and political elite live), and just 800 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy (Pakistan's Sandhurst or West Point), and not far from the golf course ........ Pakistani troops arrived at the scene after the attack was over and the US forces had left.

The Bin Laden Compound On The Edge of Town  
Now call me a cynic, but surely this points once again to the fact that elements of the Pakistani Military and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), are aiding the Islamic Terrorists with safe houses, logistics, or by turning a blind eye to their activities?

Time for the US and West to declare Pakistan a terror state until it cleans up its own house and breaks up the ISI.


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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....