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Friday, 25 September 2015

The New Marrakesh

Ramsgate, is the new Marrakesh .... well possibly not.

Taking the saying 'My enemies enemy is my friend' perhaps a little incorrectly, the Brazilian Indie band 'Urso Polar' who hail from the small tourist town of Gramado, were invited to visit the town recently after they penned the critically acclaimed tune called: 'It's Official, I Hate Ramsgate'.

Beautiful Ramsgate ....

One Ring To Curse Them All

When JRR Tolkien wrote 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings', he may well have been inspired by a real ring.  The gold ring concerned is inscribed in Latin, and is connected to a Roman curse tablet ..... and after it was found in a farmer's field in Silchester in 1785, it was largely forgotten about after it had been sold to the Chute family, who owned 'The Vyne'. Before it was eventually passed to the National Trust in the 1930's.

The Real Tolkien Ring

New British Model Army

Did you know that since June 2014, the U.S. military has been slowly stockpiling massive amounts of mechanised vehicles from its Afghanistan operations, that are winding down, in to a depot in Kuwait near the commercial port?

This is apparently in pretty open preparation for being shipped across across the border into Iraq, or Syria, ostensibly for an 'allied offensive' against the Islamic State group.

I certainly didn't, but while this is being reported in the US press, it has not gained much coverage in the UK ... but all you anti-war coalition supporters can breath a sigh of relief, because the 'allies' being referred to, are apparently a coalition that includes five predominantly Sunni Arab countries, but which is led by the U.S. who provide the weapons, support, vehicles and the strategic coverage ... and backbone troops.

For a minute there, it looked like no sooner have we withdrawn from the wars, than we were back in them ... oh wait we are, and in Nigeria as well ...

The First Cuts Are The Deepest - British Army Reduced To Defence Force.

Cash For Carnage

There's debts and then there's debts. Many people these days kind of assume that the wars of yesteryear are just that, wars of the distant past .... never realising that we and others are still impacted by events of 70, or even 100 years ago. I am not talking about memories of granddad, or great granddad, fighting or dying in wars so long ago.

No, I am talking about the financial debts that fighting these wars cost us then, and ever since. I guess that many people just assume that the wars were paid for at the time, or covered by taxation, but of course all the participants actually borrowed vast funds from either their own populations, or international investors (yes financiers will make money from carnage as a commodity), in the form of war bonds.

These bonds were not just for munitions, ships or tanks, but for post war reconstruction as well, and have to be paid off ..... eventually.

British War Bond Poster

Friday, 18 September 2015

A Dead Cert

In one of those strange semi irreverent tributes to our friends and families, that we Brits like so much, the friends and family of a horse racing fanatic, decided to place a bet on a few horses in a memory / tribute to his abiding passion.

So while on their way to the crematorium near Southend in Essex, they stopped the funeral procession, and then went inside his local bookies, and placed a £105 accumulator (each bet runs on to the next horse in the accumulator if it wins), with the horses picked purely by its name.

One Punter Won £1million With This 50p Horse Racing Bet.

Keeping It In The Family

The 'Kissin Cousins' post, and the comments posted, reminded me of something I had almost forgotten about .... which was that there was, when I thought on it, also the example from history of the 'Hapsburg lip', which we were taught about in school (back in the days when the UK taught British and European history).

This was apparently a medical condition, which accounted for all foreign wars in Europe since 1276 AD, or even longer, if memory of my teen understanding of the events serves me correctly!!

The Lips Have It ......

In reality it didn't, it just seemed that way after the teacher had finished talking about it. This was because the Hapsburgs featured in much of the empires and wars of Europe for several hundred years ..... And amongst the various Habsburg Dukes, Kings and Emperors, the most prominent case of jutting lips ( technically 'mandibular prognathism'), was Charles II of Spain, who had the prognathism in such a pronounced state that he could neither speak clearly, nor chew.

Charles II Of Spain - Last In Line

After 16 generations of inbreeding he was physically disabled, impotent, mentally retarded and disfigured .... he died senile and wracked by epileptic seizures. He had no children and no heirs (although married twice) and his line of the Hapsburg's ended with him. Needless to say another Hapsburg war ensued over the question of the 'Spanish Succession'.

Charles I of Spain and Leopold I of Austria

As discussed in the earlier posting, the more closely related a child’s parents are, the greater the odds that they will have bad genetic issues. This is becasue we inherit one copy of almost every gene from our father, and another complete set our mother. In each set, some will be defective, but chances are that a second working copy will be provided by the partner and compensate for this. But if parents are closely related, they may already share many of the same genes, and they risk of passing down an identical pair of faulty ones to their children .... this can then lead to serious genetic disorders or birth defects being passed to offspring.

This tight inbreeding in the Spanish Hapsburg's was confirmed by a researcher from the University of Santiago de Compostela, who confirmed that inbreeding caused the extinction of this dynasty. He traced the pedigree of the entire line back through 16 generations, including over 3,000 people.

This was as a direct result of generations of politically motivated inbreeding between the various houses houses of the family in Spain and Austria. Even by the limited idea of breeding and inheritance of the times, it was obvious that the Hapsburg's insistence on 'keeping it in the family' was very wrong, but such was their power, that no one dared say anything to them.

However my thoughts and sympathies lie entirely with the poor painters who had to somehow paint their portraits with enough accuracy for it to be recognisable, whilst somehow hiding the full horror of what they were looking at.

They were Ugly Sods and no mistake ......

Lets face it they were very ugly sods ..... and at least one painter just gave up trying to hide it.

The Price Of Success

Edinburgh is now officially the most expensive city in the UK to book a hotel room in. I can't say that I am surprised, as like many 'socialist' countries, the political elite really like to pamper themselves with all expenses paid trips.

So the rise of the Scottish Parliament in the city, has flooded the land poor city (its surrounded by hills, so new hotels are not easy to locate in the city itself), with hundreds of affluent champagne socialists, of both the Labour and SNP hue. All of whom can claim hotel stays as expenses .... end result, price hikes on the hotel rooms in the city centre.
 
Edinburgh - Worth A Little Extra?

Choosing The Wrong Side

An Argentine Pope holds up a sign supporting the Argentinian claim to the Falklands. He claimed afterwards to not know what he was holding up .... but as the Catholic Church has often had a close relationship with the military junta's in Argentina (and else where) .... well quelle surprise!

This Argentinian Pope Knows His Politics .....

Saturday, 12 September 2015

JC Cometh ....Jeremy Corbyn

Well they have gone and done it again ..... the political activists of a party have proved to me how out of touch they really are with the voting public.

JC Cometh .... No Not That 'JC' ... Jeremy Corbyn

This time it wasn't entirely unexpected, as the Labour Party membership voted overwhelmingly for the man who started as a 500-1 outsider .... Jeremy Corbyn. This just proves that at least 59% of the membership of the Labour Party are as self absorbed and out of touch with political reality as I have always suspected.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Scotland's Lost Football Tribes

I was looking at pictures of Scotland football fans gathered in Freedom Square, Tbilisi, Georgia, for a European Championship qualifier in 2016, when I think I spotted one of the famous lost tribes of Scotland fans ..... You know, those who never returned from the crusades to 'Win The World Cup' .... they usually noisily washed up on foreign shores, such as Spain 82, Germany 74 or Sweden 58, never to be heard from again .... I believe that this tribe I spotted, is the now infamous Argentina 78 lost tribe.

Scottish Lost Tribe ~ 78 Branch

The Time Of Dying

Recently I found out that my chances of dying in the next five years is predicted as about 3.2%, with an 80% accuracy of prediction rating. This means that, out of 100 men aged the same as me and with similar answers to the lifestyle questions, 97 will survive and 3 will die over the next 5 years.

Life Odds In My Favour

Convergent Evolution

Entering the 'aliens' and 'evolutionary imperative debate', is a new champion.

Cambridge Don, Simon Morris, has claimed recently that intelligent aliens almost certainly exist, and that they could very well look a lot like us. He bases this assertion on the idea that life on Earth has shown a remarkably strong adherence to "rigid rules", and is not some random set of mutations and developments.

These rules seem to suggest that different species, will develop similar features to tackle similar problems e.g. Eyes: The free-swimming single celled plankton algae called warnowiids have been found to have developed an eye structure, and are living evidence of convergent evolution in action. The purple spot on this predatory creature is what's called and ocelloid, which is a complex structure similar to an eye. it seems to have developed it in order to detect shifts in light as they pass through the transparent bodies of their prey.

The Warnowiid 'Eye' Is Evidence Of Convergent Evolution ....

Immigration or Invasion

As usual, there's no way to apparently avoid the fact that Islam is in the news again this week .... as it was last week, and the week before, and ad infinitum it seems.

This time its as a result of the sea of humanity from the failed Muslim states of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, who are pouring into Europe by the million or so, to claim 'Asylum'. So once again the bleeding hearts of the left are demanding that we open all the gates, and just accept that these people somehow have the right to settle here, or even that we are obliged to take them.

No one in Western Europe ever asks why all these Muslims majority states have fallen into chaos (again) .... or why in fact, so many Muslims flee to non-muslim states. If Islam is so f*cking superior, as the militant Islamists always clamour to tell us after each bloody bombing or massacre, then why do so many adherents of the religion of peace, try to get into non-muslim countries, instead of heading to Saudi Arabia or Malaya for example?

Migrants Not Always Welcome .... This Hungarian TV Reporter Shows That.

Friday, 4 September 2015

The Lady Of Mars

A shadow effect on the rocks of Mars appears (with a bit of imagination) to be that of a woman ..... or rather, a statue of a woman. Yes the www. world was in a ferment once again, as what appeared to be the likeness of a woman (if you squint a bit ... a lot), was 'spotted' by some nerds, on a video released by NASA from its 'Curiosity Rover' probe.

It Was A Little  Hard To Spot ...

A Good Man

When you read that a man named Leonard Robinson died in a traffic accident in Hagerstown, Maryland, USA, in August 2015, it probably made little impression on you, if you noticed it at all. However it was the death of a remarkable and kind hearted man.

His alter ego was as the "Route 29 Batman" .... who gained this name after the police stopped him for having invalid number plates on his pimped up sports car.
 
Even Batman Has To Have Valid Number Plates ....

Democracy's Future

The BBC have recently run a 'democracy day' series of posts .... I don't know whether this is coincidental to the recent events in Paris, where decidedly non-democratic voices have been heard post the jihadist attacks, or just coincidence, but the latest of these posts highlighted that Europe faces a "crisis of democracy", as a trust gap has emerged between political elite's, and the voters, this according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report commissioned by the broadcaster.

Democracy ~ The Best Of Some Bad Options.

The Bridgehead Into Europes Heartland

The idea that any European state would allow a jihadist training camp to be set up inside their borders would have been deemed impossible, laughable or shocking 25 years ago. But since the West decided to intervene in the Yugoslav civil wars, by stopping the partition of Bosnia-Hercegovina into its component parts, and then forcibly splitting Serbia up to create the bandit state known as Kosovo, all things have been made possible.

That Balkan crisis was the first time in three centuries, that 'jihad' had been fought against a Western, Christian enemy inside Europe itself, and the Western powers took the wrong side .... twice with results that we may all come to regret.

Bin Laden Style Compounds Are Going Up Across The Region

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