thoughtsofanurru: (urUtt)
The Conservatives won and there has already been a plague of frogs on the M42, locusts have destroyed the crop of cider apples in Herefordshire and it's raining blood in Yorkshire. So we can expect a bumper crop of black puddings this year.

From my perspective, to be honest, it's less of a world shattering tragedy and more a pain in the arse. I'm not one of nature's Conservatives, I'm a wishy-washy, happy-clappy, tree hugging hippy type (except that I wear a tie, have neatly trimmed hair and shower because standards dammit!!), liberal/Green voter. Life is generally disappointing when it comes to elections and has been for the past 20+ years of voting.

I've seen Conservative governments at their worsed. Living through a decade of Thatcherism where you could almost see the ghost of Gordon Gecko floating above London and all the bankers and brokers chanting "Greed is Good. Greed is Good." as some form of capitalist mantra. The electricy board and British Telecom were sold off to fund tax cuts and privatisation ran rampant through the UK.

This was followed by the Blairite Labour Government who could have just been dropped out of cloning vats from the previous government and given red rosettes to wear because they'd run out of the blue ones. They dragged us into a couple of unnecessary wars and things still got privatised in spite of Labour being created for exactly the opposite reason.

But, the thing is, we're still here. The British people are still grumbling about the weather, sweating the small stuff and doling out as much as they can to charity. Governments come and go, but Britain still poddles on.

The election was seen by many as either a disaster or a complete dog's breakfast. But I don't think things are as bad as people believe. The fact is that most Conservative MPs are actually human. They may seem like grotesquely fat lords of the manor, shovelling cake into their faces and skewering peasants on spits, but they're not (with one or two exceptions). Most of them are like you and me, they worry about their kids, forget to buy milk, lose their keys and genuinely want to help their constituents.

If we want to change government policy, we actually can do it. The current government has the tiniest majority in the House of Commons. All it takes is a few backbenchers to disagree and policy decisions suddenly come to a resounding stop.

A petition is a good way to get the government to notice an issue, but the way to sway a vote is to contact your local MP. Not by email or by protest, but using one of the most powerful tools we have - the letter. A letter has to be opened and read. It has weight and authority. It represents a voter for that particular MP and the response may sway the vote of not only the writer, but their family and friends. So, MPs tend to give these more credence than other forms of communication. I'd go as far as to say that a dozen letters to an MP is worth a thousand signatures on a petition.

There's a very good website with advice on how to write to an MP. I've included the link below.

https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/Letter_writing

The vote on the fox hunting bill is a prime candidate for this. It's going to be a free vote. That is, the party whip won't be applied, so an MP can vote how they like without any pressure to follow party line.

An old fashioned letter writing campaign may be just the way to sway things towards having the ban held in place (or even strengthened).

It's got to be worth a try. It worked for the original series of Star Trek and without that campaign we wouldn't have episodes such as Spock's Brain!

Ian
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)

When I was very young, I think about seven or eight, back in the seventies, we had a little book shop at school. It was set-up temporarily on one of the stair landings each lunch hour. Just a couple of sets of book shelves and you could buy books there. There was one book that fascinated me and I kept looking at it over and over again. It had an astronaut on the front cover floating in zero-gravity. He was hanging in front of an irregular hole that had been punched in the side of something and it looked out into space. The astronaut wasn’t one of those silly SF figures with a tin foil suit and a gold fish bowl helmet. He was dressed like the astronauts I’d seen on tv. Bulky suit, dark, mirror-like visor, heavy pack on his chest. And on the chest was clearly marked a red cross. The book was called ‘Spaceship Medic’ by Harry Harrison.

Eventually I saved my pocket money or convinced my parents to give my the forty pence – I honestly can’t remember which - and bought it. Then I was introduced to another world. The story was about an accident in space. A passenger ship was struck by a meteor and only two of the officers survived – the chief engineer and the ships doctor. The engineer was stuck with nursing the engines, so the doctor had to deal with all of the other problems.

The book used real science. I learned about conservation of momentum, how water can block radiation, how to extract oxygen from water and tt was all tied up in a tense, exciting drama.

I’ve loved science fiction ever since and every now and then, just once in a while, I’ll go back and read Spaceship Medic again. After 36 years, its still great.

Thank you Harry Harrison, you gave me a universe to dream in.

Ian

thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
For anyone whose interested, Brian Fround will be at Forbidden Planet in London signing his new book on the 26th March from 4-5pm.
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
but I've booked up to see the Mediaeval Baebes in Birmingham Cathedral on December 18th. Reason being that the tickets don't half go fast and I'm sick of being stuck right at the back or like last year, peering around an inconvenient pillar.

Anyway, if anyone feels like coming along link is here... http://www.mediaevalbaebes.com/live.html

Ian
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
CERIDWEN!!!

Have a lovely day! :-D
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)

Anyone out there good at bird identification?

Wandering into work this morning I was watching a thrush who was hopping along a little in front of me when something else shot passed and landed in a tree. I thought it was a great tit with a black face and yellowish belly, but the wings were more brown and it had a small red dot just above its beak.

Any ideas?
 


thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
What do you call those black rosettes that you see on the hats of Napoleonic officers???
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
Another one of those, 'is it just me' moments...

I thought Cadburys looked like it might be fairly safe. Then disaster happened. Robert Peston started talking about it. His ability to destroy banks and even the entire planet's economy set him above most Bond villains.

I just knew that was it. We'd be bidding a fond farewell to Cadburys in the UK, jobs in Birmingham and locally sourced Double-Deckers.
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
I do a bit of Health & Safety work to help out here. Its a frustrating job, but also a lot more satisfying than my main work. The main cause of frustration is all the criticism of either doing too much or not enough. This sort of thing doesn't help...

Conkers culprit confesses 22/12/2009

 
 

The headteacher who made pupils wear goggles while playing conkers has admitted to starting the myth.

In an article published in The Guardian on 9 December, Shaun Halfpenny said that a child had originally asked if they could wear goggles.

He said his decision to alert the media to the story was “tongue in cheek”, and that it was largely during the 1980s and 90s Tory administrations that the health and safety culture was brought to bear in schools.

The Guardian later published a letter from IOSH in reaction to Halfpenny’s admission, in which president John Holden said: “The great danger of trivialising our health and safety is, of course, that we fail to protect ourselves when it really is needed.

"So Mr Halfpenny had his bit of fun. IOSH did its best to deal with it but the myth got stronger, and now a potential new government is talking about cutting health and safety legislation!”


thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
Where do you buy computers nowadays? I've looked in various places but Play or Amazon just lists out hundreds of machines with different specs. Dell seems expensive and I've heard complaints. Everybody complains about PC world. Where do you buy a computer nowadays?!!!
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
Just about to shut-down and head home. Everyone have a great Yule! :-)

Ian

WOW!

Dec. 17th, 2009 02:00 pm
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
Just looking out of the window. It was bright and sunny, but the wind was picking up a bit and the clouds looked a little funny. Then about two minutes later it went black and a heavy blizzard slammed straight in!
thoughtsofanurru: (Krosp)
Just picked up on a Steampunk art exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. Here's a link if anyone is interested in going to take a look...

http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/

Cake

Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:17 pm
thoughtsofanurru: (Paddington)
Got a cake day at work on Friday. The only problem is that I'm away that day.

So, if I baked some muffins tonight, (chocolate muffins, chocolate buttercream icing and M&M or chopped up choccy bar on top) would they be okay for Friday?

I
thoughtsofanurru: (Paddington)
Hi,

had a random question asked at work and it would probably be handy if I could come up with an answer! Help!

They need a way of sharing data on the internet through a database. It only needs to hold very simple forecasting data for each European, upload and download onto spreadsheets, overwrite if the data is already present and have a basic password system.

I think that's probably well beyond the capabilities of Access. Does anyone have any ideas for a simple and preferably cheap solution?

I

Time!

Sep. 9th, 2009 09:04 am
thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
According to the clock its 9 minutes past 9am on the 9th September 2009 or 9:09 9/9/9!
thoughtsofanurru: (Lockheed)
Sweet merciful Lord! This is so cheesey its like a cheddar and brie sandwich, except you've used more cheese instead of bread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urNyg1ftMIU

Anybody who's seen Dr Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog will recognise Felicia Day who played Penny. Joss Wheddon directed this for her.

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thoughtsofanurru: (Default)
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