Monday, May 31, 2010

Viral ?

I wouldn't normally let the likes of McDonalds on the blog, but this made me smile.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Decision Time

If you think the world is going to hell in a hurry, that society is cracked, fractured and doomed, I have to tell you that you can have your faith in human nature restored by interviewing a few young people. We are taking on two black and whites to complement our existing team this summer, and the teenagers I have been talking to this week have all been bright, polite, intelligent and charming.

That said, with no obvious muppets that can be weeded out, my short list from the interviews now runs to everyone that came to the interviews, but I only have one more job to fill. There is some hard thinking to be done this morning.

Later today, I shall have a new victim staff member, but who ?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yorkshiresoul - Friend Of The Stars

I was chatting to Leeds United (or possibly by this evening, ex-Leeds United) goalkeeper Casper Ankergren the other night, well you know how I like to hobnob with the rich and famous, and I'll never forget what he told me. Casper suddenly leaned in close and said "Can you get me some horseradish sauce for my roast ham ?." So I did ! Oh, the wild times we've had together.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Be Kind To A Geek Day

You may notice geeks out and about today, away from their natural habitat in front of their computer screens. They will probably look rather pale, blinking in the daylight, they may appear nervous and distracted, twitchy and ill at ease in the company of other people. Please be kind to them, for the rest of the year these people are the captains of mighty battleships capable of wreaking incredible violence upon their enemies, they fly mining hulks capable of reducing moons to dust, they command empires and lead armies.

But today is the annual Eve update day, the game is down for a whole day, and these poor people are lost and bewildered in the real world. Please be kind to them, buy them a coffee, invite them in to watch a few episodes of Star Trek, lend them an old Brian Aldiss paperback. It doesn't take much to help a geek, and it would mean so much to them. Please don't take the mickey out of these sad individuals though, bear in mind that most of them have the capability to wire the contents of your bank account to Somalia and replace your Facebook profile with that of an infamous convicted child killer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walking Yorkshire - Arncliffe Monk's Road to Malham

If you live in an ugly part of the world (Buffalo, Croyden, Lancashire etc) then I'm sorry but this is Yorkshire at its worst. The start of the Priest's Road is half path/half bubbling beck with views of West Moor to the right and Blue Scar to the left. After three punishing weeks of 7 day double shifts in the kitchen I felt my heart lift and the weariness drop away from me as this lovely view presented itself.

Looking up Littondale from the Monk's Road. As I havn't done any walking for a month since completing Scafell Pike, I was expecting to struggle a little, but being on your feet all day at work seems to have its compensations and despite the heat the walking was easy.

Looking back down into Arncliffe.

The steep slope down to Cowside Beck. Now sometimes I set off walking with a definite aim in mind, a point to strike out for and achieve, and on other days I'm a bit more "Ooh what's that ? I'll walk over and have a look." Today was the latter sort, I left the path shortly after this shot and went for a wander over the top of Clowder, negotiating dumb and clumsy white cattle and barbed wire fences along the way.

On Great Clowder following the sheep tracks and tumbledown walls. The tallest part of the hill here is named, with typical Yorkshire bluntness, Height.

The view from the ridge at the delightfully named Scab Hill with Middle House Farm and Malham Tarn behind it. Time for lunch, I was roasting/boiling in the heat now, the abandoned buildings at Middle House itself looked an inviting place to stop so I scrambled down Scab Hill and made for the shade of the trees.

Middle House. I stopped here for a break in the shade, it was a little piece of pastoral heaven with nothing to disturb me but the mild buzzing of bees and the soft exhalations of cattle from the next field. The only things exhibiting any energy were the swallows and martins swooping and wheeling in search of food.

I made good time on the walk back to Arncliffe, and I'd half had it in mind to climb Hawkswick Moor to see the view over the ridge into Kettlewell, but...

A pint of beer perchance. It would appear from the barman's demeanor that I have intruded upon his otherwise peaceful day, I glance around the tiny bar and can't see any pump heads, what's going on here then. I ask for a pint of bitter, the barman nods curtly and bobs down behind the bar where two casks rest on a gantry, he opens the tap and beer flows into a ceramic jug, he then pours the beer from a height into a glass to give it a head, how quaint.

I now further antagonise the barman by asking him what sort of beer it is, he rolls his eyes and thumps his hand down on the bar towels, oh right, it's Tim Taylor's then is it. Arncliffe continues to demonstrate its welcoming nature to strangers outside, where Bob the village xenophobe is telling a nice American couple what a nasty and dangerous country they live in. I try to move the conversation along by telling them that I think their hometown (San Francisco) is a wonderful city, Tim the xenophobe now becomes Bob the homophobe and launches into a diatribe against the gay boys that want to touch him (seriously mate, take a look in the mirror, no gay man in the world desires a twenty stone, sweaty, unshaven bigot for a partner).

Left with the choice of murdering Bob or leaving, I leave. I'm really sorry for the American couple, we're not all like that around here. I went to the village church for a while, then drove slowly back home, stopping to marvel at the nutters climbing Kilnsey Crag. It was a good day out, I don't know how long it will be until another day off, so it's good not to have wasted this one day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Dubstep Innit ?

Or something, Fred is trying to get me to appreciate the musical genre known as dubstep, whilst at early listening this appears to be the art of taking good original songs and mixing them into a load of drum and bass driven bollocks, I did find this track that I liked...

The River Skirfare at Arncliffe. Lovely day, walked to Malham Tarn on the Priest's Road, had a jug poured pint at The Falcon, went to church, all good.
Cricket USA

So, the next big thing on the cricket agenda, after getting China involved, is to get the Americans to love the game. The main problem of course is that cricket games are five days long, the very concept of which will cause the average Yank head to explode, so obviously 20-20 is the way to go.

The 'masterstroke' by the cricketing authorities was to to set up a short series between New Zealand and Sri Lanks, which for most fans of cricket would be a good game to watch, the game itself though was desperate. When I tell you that Sri Lanka's winning score was 86, yes not 186 but 86, I think that tells you just how exciting a match it was.

"That's one of the subtleties of cricket, that a low-scoring game can be exciting if you analyse it properly," Sangakkara said. There is the rub though, new fans are not there to analyse the game properly, they want thrills and excitement and batsman banging big sixes into the crowd.

Why should we even want or need the USA to take up an interest in the finest sport in the world ? Part of it, a large part of it, is the desire to shift the financial imbalance in the game away from the money pots of India, and some small part is just the desire to expand the game.

People often say that cricket won't appeal to Americans because of their supposed short attention span, but I've been to a live American football match and I can tell you, it drags on for hours and bloody hours. 20-20 is much more exciting than American football, so is the one day game, and at least at test cricket there is something to watch all the time as opposed to the endless team changes and standing around whilst the adverts are on tv which makes up the majority of the time at their version of football.

Cricket's problem in breaking the USA is that it is trying to enter into a market already saturated with Football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball, and a culture which because it has not grown up with the sport, simply isn't interested in it. Look at the failed attempt to set up an American Football league in Europe which was populated almost entirely by USA players not good enough to make it into a squad on home turf. Any cricket league in the USA is likely to be the same thing, second rate and just past retirement age players from around the world playing a game that nobody would be really interested in.

Rather than trying to foist our game on an indifferent audience, why not spend more time, and money, on encouraging those nations who are interested in taking part. The likes of Kenya, Afghanistan, Netherlands and Ireland want to play but are suffocated by the lack of time and interest from the major test playing nations. Taking the game to the USA is all about the money, and nothing to do with skill, determination or the love of the game.
Book Review : Orbus - Neal Asher 9*

Mr. Asher, I have a complaint, a serious complaint. There is a page early on in your novel, page number fifty-six I believe, in which nobody dies by accelerated railgun fire, is mutilated by giant armoured crab beasts or finds themselves growing new and worrying body parts after being infected by the Spatterjay virus, this lets down an otherwise fine book.

Seriously though, Orbus picks up some of Asher's characters from previous novels (Old Captain Orbus, Sniper and 13 the drones, Vrell the Prador) and throws them together in a maelstrom of heavy weapons fire and non stop action.

Orbus contains all the elements required for a really great space opera, big space ships (wow, that ship is five miles across, that's huge, no wait, look at that one, it's fifty miles across !) lots of mayhem causing weapons, a fast moving plot underpinned by constant excitement/explosions/gruesome deaths, giant armoured crab creatures with laser cannons, it's brilliant.

The Prador, previously accepted as the most dangerous, fearless and downright nasty creatures in the known universe, suddenly find themselves usurped half way through the book. Other authors might have used this tactic to reflect on the nature of mental versus physical strength and the folly of empire building, Neal Asher uses it as an excuse to think up bigger weapons, laser borne information viruses and even bigger explosions ("what was that big flash ?" "I think the planet just blew up").

Sci-fi, sometimes it's great because it makes you examine your own humanity, and then sometimes it's great because it has nautilus war drones with tac nukes. Now that Avatar has set the standard for filmed sci-fi, would someone please make a movie of one of Asher's books ?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"In August 2007, Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death, simply for dressing differently. Two years on, and in tribute to the outgoing, bubbly girl who was denied the chance to live life her way, cult new British make-up brand Illamasqua has commissioned a short film by award-winning French director, Fursy Teyssier.

Produced by creative agency Propaganda, in association with iconic British band, Portishead, Dark Angel is a beautifully haunting rendition of Sophies story.

The aim of the film is to raise awareness of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and generate £500,000 to help educate young people about tolerance. Since Sophies death, weve been working with behavioural experts Huthwaite International, to put together an interactive youth workshop that does just that.

But this essential education programme can only be delivered with your help.

Please, please show your support watch the film and make a donation."

Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buddhist Fundamentalist Day

I have decided to convert from Christianity to Buddhism, to militant fundamentalist Buddhism in fact, and so shall be following these tenets...

Relax, or we will kill you

You will be made to reach Nirvana, even if it's under torture

All Buddhist suicide bombers to be reborn as Bill Gates

The middle way or the highway

Through meditation let us annihilate our enemies

Enlightenment at the barrel of a gun*

Go with the flow, or die, infidel

Unless everyone chills out immediately, we slaughter them

(Taken from 'This Book Will Change Your Life' from Benrik)

*This one does rather sound like US foreign policy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

South Australia - Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends

On This Day...

In 1944, Allied troops finally succeeded in driving Axis soldiers from the ruins of Monte Cassino Abbey and the defensive lines (the Gustav Line) in the hills and mountains around it. The German and Italian defenders had repulsed a series of attacks that had begun four months earlier. The Allies suffered terrible losses as they struggled to attack and resupply along the exposed slopes and ridges.

The musician and comedian Spike Milligan was with the Royal Artillery at Monte Cassino where he was wounded and suffered from shell shock. There are over 20,000 names listed in the German cemetery at Monte Cassino, and it is estimated that around 54,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives in the battles around the Monastery.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eve - Tyrannis

Mr. Ploppy Bumchops

He was the Film Studies teacher at Ilkley Grammar School.

You don't remember him ? Well he's listed on Rate My so it must be true.

In fact, I think if you thought about it, you'd remember that Ploppy Bumchops taught at your school as well, then you could log on to the security free Rate My and add him.

Oh, the perils of ill thought out websites and the fun you can have with them, Ploppy would be so proud.

Cricket helmet on the ground at Silsden.
That's A Moray ?

When you're kicked off your farm
by veteran's with firearms
That's Zimbabwe.

If you've got a Hitler moustache
and your citizens starve
You're Mugabe.

(By Tom O'Bedlam)
New Look Charts

I ditched my listening stats on Scrobbler yesterday, after 4 years they were just getting too dull and nothing changed anymore, so a new week 1, and here's my all time top 10 !

1 Yum!Yum!ORANGE 21 - Girly J-ska
2 Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends 19 - rugged men in sweaters singing shanties
3 The Priests 17 - Holy men with nice voices
4 Heaven & Hell 11 - R.I.P. RJD
5 Skunk Anansie 8 - black, political, angry
6 GrÄsuggorna 7 - As if The Exploited came from Sweden
6 Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip 7 - nice revolutionery rap
8 Ha Ha Tonka 6 - modern country with great harmonies
8 The Skatalites 6 - The original ska
8 Sex Slaves 6 - NYC gutter punks
England Are The "It's Not The World Cup" Champions

England beat Australia by 7 wickets with 3 overs remaining, just bloody perfect really.

England won every match that was not rain interrupted, beating the big guns of New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka on their way to the final. England have really turned themselves around in the shortest format of the game, they batted with real aggression, bowled tightly and were by far the sharpest fielding side in the tournament. Kevin Pieterson won the Man Of The Tournament award, and deservedly so for some fine batting displays.

England are the World 20-20 Cricket Champions, now, who thinks our football team can get as far in their competition this summer ?
Ronnie James Dio R.I.P.

One of the greatest voices in metal is no more, RJD died of cancer yesterday at the age of 67.

Dio sang with some of the biggest names in the metal scene, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell and of course his own band Dio, and of course he ensured that generations of metal fans will continue to throw the horns at gigs.

I once saw Dio on the Dream Evil tour, it was a great night, the band had some mad effects on stage including a huge metal dragon that loomed over the audience and covered us all in smoke, happy times.

Goodbye Dio, the world's a little duller without you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Olicanians at Silsden

Olicanians made 257, match still in progress.
Fire ! Fire !

60 people arriving for lunch in ten minutes time, and some fool sets off the fire alarm necessitating a visit from our friendly neighbourhood firemen. The bloke on the left was huge, he had to duck to get in the doors, maybe they're recruiting super tall firemen to cut down on expensive ladders.

Anyway, there was no fire, it was dust from the building work that triggered the alarm.

Now, I'm not sure what this says about golfers, but we have had to place a notice next to the fire alarm (bright red box with a picture of a burning building on it) which reads - "This is not a door release, this is the fire alarm."
Reasons for Staff Shortages at Nesfield Catering

5% Wrote down wrong shift
5% Wrote down wrong week
5% Went to wrong workplace
9% Hangover
4% Slept in
4% Slept in someone else's bed therefore no alarm clock
6% Time of the month : period
5% Time of the month : werewolf
3% Unexpected asteroid strike
6% Random sports injury
7% Random chef related injury
12% Random alcohol injury
4% Yes, I did mean 7am not 7pm, it's a breakfast shift you berk
9% Inability to understand percentages
37% Georgie's holidays

Friday, May 14, 2010

New vs. Nu

(photo - a total knobhead)

New Metal, which became Nu-Metal, aimed to break open a new style in rock music much as thrash metal had made the progression from minor sub-genre to mainstay.

New became Nu, and for a while it was all bright and shiny, metal mixed with rap, pounding beat crossovers and videos with big production values.

Then, suddenly, the entire rock world had an epiphany. Blokes who shouted a lot were not good singers, guitarists who could chug and blur but couldn't riff or solo were not good musicians, a dj was never a good idea in a metal band, and Fred Durst was a total knobhead.

In politics, the Labour Party mirrored events in the rock community. Labour became New Labour and veered first to the political right of the Liberals, and then to the right of the Tories.

For a while it was all bright and sparkly. Then, we followed George Bush into a series of hideous wars, and it became obvious that Tony Blair's long term plan was not "Education, education, education" after all, but was to divert all the money in the world into his own bank account.

And that's how it happened folks.
England Cruise Into 'Not The World Cup' Final

England produced a tight and displayed bowling display, coupled with some sharp fielding, to restrict Sri Lanka to 128-6, and then cruised past that score with 4 overs to spare to win their semi-final of the ICC World 20-20.

The final is Sunday afternoon and England will face either Pakistan or Australia. I think it's fair to say that most England fans would like to beat Australia in the final.
Differences In Perspective

I heard a report on R5 last week which said "RBS has stemmed its losses, reporting just a £248m loss in the first 3 months of 2010."

I understand that this is an improvement of almost £500m on the failing bank's losses over the same period in 2009, but I still wish to disagree with the BBC's use of the word 'stemmed' in such a blase manner.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Review : The Waves - Virginia Woolf 6*

I'm not sure that this my best possible introduction to the writing of Virginia Woolf. The Waves is a breathless stream of consciousness style novel in which the entire writing is presented as chunks of dialogue or inner thoughts presented by each of the six characters. The thoughts and musings of the six, who begin as children and age in spurts throughout the book, overlap and intertwine. Sometimes they tell the different sides of the same part of the tale, sometimes they are narratives of their own life only.

I found the writing style of The Waves to be really beautiful, Woolf had a craft with words and phrases that makes each paragraph a joy to read for its prose style, but her deliberate blurring of the individual identities of the six characters made it hard to follow the plot, such as the plot is. There is a seventh character, Percival, who never speaks a dialogue of his own, but who is revered and honoured by the others, and greatly mourned and missed after his death, this tragedy provides much of the impetus within the direction of the plot.

This was a hard book to read, despite its slim size, I spent page after page in wonderment at Woolf's word play, whilst at the same time thinking that I wasn't sure who was speaking or even if that was important to the flow of the book. Woolf herself called the book not a novel but a 'playpoem', it isn't really stream of consciousness writing either, Woolf pored over the work and made two drafts before publication.

66 of 1001.

Nazzle - To be in a dreamy, stupid, abstracted state; Yorkshire, Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary.

The painting is Daydream by Yoshi Tajima, see more of his work at Radiographics.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jack and Alice

How sweet is that ?
Album Review : Bite Your Tongue - Sex Slaves 8*

For Fans Of : Misfits, Scott Sorry and the Sinatras, The Wildhearts, Ramones, Guns On The Roof

If you think that the album cover is cheap, tacky and generally in poor taste, then this isn't going to be the album for you. Sex Slaves pump out infectious melodic power pop punk fuelled by booze and sung with a sneer, it's dirty, sleazy fun

Simple but hooky guitars drive a familiar but fun feeling New York punk sound, these are the sort of tracks that you can hear a couple of times and its like you've known them for ever. There are a lot of hits on the album, We're Going Out Tonight and Me And My Friends are great party tracks, and the unspeakably filthy and hilarious All Night Long is sure to be a live crowd pleaser.

One or two tracks drop into a sort of 10 a penny punk Good Charlotte style pap, I think the band ought to wonder whether the cheesy balled Kiss Me was really worth including. Where the band really hit their stride is in the vulgar and snappy 3 minute rockers like the country and western styled Thank God for Jack Daniels and Search And Destroy, quick blasts of lively and arrogant scuzz rock for the terminally inebriated.
Album Review : Pulse Of The Earth - Hungry Lucy 6*

For Fans Of : Ephemera, Switchblade Symphony, Rhea's Obsession, Faith and the Muse

Darkwave, trip hop, electronica, whatever. Hungry Lucy's Christa Belle has a beautiful and ethereal voice which lifts this album out from the mediocre beats and keyboards that swirl and eddy around her voice. The other part of Hungry Lucy as War-N Harrison (I know, the puns couldn't be worse if he called himself War'n Peace).

High point of this album include Balloon Girl and The Standing Ones where Christa sings strongly and with some vigour, but all too often it's back to the forced, breathy little girl vocals as on Bumble (with the lyrics "bumbling around" which aptly sums up the album).

Hill has more stirring lyrics and better projection, but most of the rest of the album has rather plodding and uninspired music. Christa's voice saves it from being a total washout, and has me wondering whether she has ever considered doing modern folk music, she has just the sort of voice that would lend itself wonderfully to the style of song that Rachel Unthank sings.

You can download the album, and Hungry Lucy's entire back catalogue, for free, from Hungry Lucy at Jamendo.
Changes - An Open Letter to David Cameron : Dan Bull

Another nice bit of work from Dan Bull.

By rmoola at b3ta.
Prime Minister Cameron Moves In

It has taken a while, but not anywhere near as long as it took the government of Austria to organise their coalition (around 6 months), and the UK has its first real coalition government since WW2.

Lib Dem MP's supported leader Nick Clegg in a unanimous vote last night to ally themselves with the Tories and end a rather dismal Nu Labour government mired in sleaze and who had done little to repair the economy.

Now, Cameron is not the bloke I wanted or voted for, to be honest, he's not the bloke that the vast majority of the UK wanted having gained just over a third of votes cast, but with the Lib Dems votes we actually have a government that was voted for (sort of) by a majority of the voters who turned out. As always, if you didn't bother to vote, you got the government you deserve.

Cameron talks well, he sounds honest enough, PM Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have a hard task ahead of them, mending the economy whilst getting around their own political ideals won't be easy, but it will be interesting to watch.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 7.6

The rules....

Anyone can enter, there are no prizes, it's just for fun.

Please don't put answers in the comments.

E-mail your answers to me with QUIZ 7.5 as the title,, on/by Sat 22nd May.

Please don't supply multiple possible answers, I will mark them all as wrong.

1) Why do people think that St. Bernard rescue dogs carry a brandy barrel ? (1)

2) Who is this ? (1)

3) During WW2 there was a German plot to destroy the British economy by air dropping vast quntities of forged bank notes into Britain, what code name did Germany give to this (failed) plot ? (1)

4) A happy couple on their wedding day, but who is the groom ? (1)

5) Which work contains the characters Biterolf, Hermann, Venus, Wolfram and Elisabeth, and who wrote it ? (2)

6) What is the name of this island ? (1)

7) What is the name of this item ? (1)

8) What is the name of the dinner which celebrates the life and birthday of Charles Darwin ? (1)

9) What creature grows a detachable harpoon which it uses to stab its partner as the opening sequence of their mating ritual ? (1)

10) Who is this rather relaxed looking chap ? (1)

Please don't answer in the comments, the quiz takes me ages to write.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington
11 May 1985

It was supposed to be a party, Bradford City had just been promoted from the Third Division, and a home match against Lincoln City should have been a 90 minute celebration.

Instead, tragedy struck. A fire broke out in the main stand, it swept through the structure in moments, panic reigned. 56 people died, hundreds were injured. As people tried to leave the stand, they discovered that the exits beneath the stand had been locked.

Everyone around here knew someone who died, or knew people who lost friends and relatives that day. Growing up in the small towns and villages in West Yorkshire you were either LUFC or BCFC, so you knew the other team's fans because they were your work colleagues or your school friends. A classmate at school lost his Grandad and his 11 year old brother that day.

25 years on, we all remember.
2nd Division Football

That Saturday afternoon timeline by amount of nervous swearing....

Swindon score - bugger

Millwall equalise - wahey !

Gradel gets a red card - ****, ****, **** ******* idiot!

Bristol score - ****, ******* typical

Millwall take the lead - ****

Howson scores - Yes ! Yes !

Beckford scores - ******* YES !!!!!

Thanks Leeds, you could have made it an easy automatic promotion, but instead chose to turn the season into the plot of a Hollywood sports movie.
Post Election Confusion

5 days since the General Election, and we still have no Prime Minister or government.

One thing is bothering me about the the current shenanigans, and that is the attitude of a lot of Liberal voters. The Liberals always knew that they were not going to win an outright majority, they hoped to be a larger party than they ended up being but in any course of events it was assumed that they would be joining some form of coalition government.

Coalition of course means working together, and trading some of your ideas and ideals against the other team's ideas and ideals. I have lost track though of just how many Libs I have heard on chat shows moaning on about Nick Clegg giving up on his core beliefs.

Look people, it's this simple. The Lib Dems are the smallest of the 3 parties who can make a government, they are talking to the Tories because that is what Clegg indicated he would do. Either way, if they were negotiating with the Tories or Nu-Labour, neither Cameron nor -insert next Labour leader's name here- are going to fold and swap all their own policies for Lib Dem ones, it just will not happen. Therefore, whatever changes to Tory policy the Lib Dems manage it will be more political influence than the Liberals have ever had before.

I do agree that electoral reform is the big one though. Almost every nation in the world has abandoned the first past the post system, that is because it is anti-democratic and allows the Tories and Labour to bully other voters into so called tactical voting because they are made to believe that a vote cast outside the big two is wasted.

So far Cameron seems to be offering a referendum on the deeply unsatisfactory Alternative Vote system. Following the record of the last government on providing manifesto promises on referendums, this promise might not be worth anything at all.

Of course the Tories don't want Proportional Representation, under the fair system the Tories would see their share of MP's in parliament fall drastically. The Liberals got 23% of the vote in the general election, and under PR where people felt there vote would properly count, that percentage could well rise.

The worst option of course is that we will have another election, on the first past the post system, later this year. This would allow both Labour and Tories to employ more anti-democratic bullying tactics to try and squeeze out the smaller parties.
Yorkshiresoul's Rambling Quiz Series 7.5 Answers & League

1) What is the origin of half time in a game of football ? (1)

Many schools played a mixed game to the rules of football in one half, and rugby in the other, this to accomodate schools who played the different codes, the half time was to allow the changeover between the two sets of rules.

2) Which traditionally land based game is an island nation hoping to play above the water, and how ? (1)

The Maldives are hoping to construct a giant floating platfrom, to be built by Dutch Docklands International, which will hold a golf course on its upper decks.

3) Which country has unveiled a new economic policy of which the stated aim is to more than double the per capita income of that nation's citizens by 2020 ? (1)

Malaysia's New Economic Model

4) What is the name of this flag, and amongst national flags, what special status does it hold ? (2)

The Danish Dannebrog, the oldest national flag design still in use.

5) Who is this ? (1)

Sebastian Pinera, President of Argentina.

6) Who made a four hour speech in the House Of Commons in May 1789 that would lead to a worldwide shift in human rights ? (1)

William Wilberforce spoke on the abolition of slavery.

7) What is the name of this painting, and who painted it ? (1)

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushiko Hokusai.

8) This ship holds a notable place in world naval history, what is its name and what makes it notable ? (2)

La Gloire, the first ocean going ironclad, France 1859.

9) What is the name of this character, and which real life actor is he modelled on ? (2)

Wee Hughie from The Boys by Garth Ennis, he is based on the actor Simon Pegg, with Pegg's permission.

10) Name the artist whose tower will stand in front of the Olympic Stadium in London ? (1)

Anish Kapoor.

Week 5 Scores

Dave P 6
Tony G 6

Quiz 7 Leaders

Dave Podmore 38
Mr Moosehead 29
Tony Gott 28
Eleanor 18
Lyle 2

Sorry for the hge delay in getting this round done, chef left, the summer season began, the quiz tends to run like this I'm afraid.

Monday, May 10, 2010

You Have To Perform A Sex Act On A Toy Elephant

Ha ha, more cut up brilliance from Shaun Pubis.
It Exploded All Over My Dog Lassie

Yes ! A bit of cut up/mash up genius from Shaun Pubis.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Get Better - Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip

Album Review : The Logic Of Chance - Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip 8*

Scroobius Pip is the most intelligent and humane rapper in the field. Now I know that in a genre that includes Eminem, 50 Cent and Dizzee Rascal this is rather like saying that Stephen Hawking is better at maths than class 3b of my local playgroup, but in any genre Pip's lyrics are ahead of the rest. Pip has a warm, positive and uplifting lyrical style, allied with a big dash of common sense.

Allied to Pip's lyrics are the insistent beats of Dan Le Sac. When Mike Skinner said that other rappers lyrics were "rhubarb and custard verses" so their music has been generally equally uninspiring. DLS provides clear rhythms with catchy beats and hooks that draw you into the songs.

Pip's subjects range from exploring the reasons and reporting of knife crime (Great Britain), engendering self respect and hope in the young (Get Better) to taking part in our political scene (Stake A Claim). If your idea of rap is to puff your chest out, pretend to be a big man and sing about bitches and bling, then Scroobius Pip is your polar opposite.

Here is a clever and considerate man offering tales of hope, Scroobius Pip is not saying "I am the solution", but rather "You can be the solution if you try."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

He Came Like A Storm Amidst The Wheat

And shivered their frail stems to the ground. Today Yorkshire Soul hails a cricketing hero from across the border, where our correspondent tells me that the bowling card for Tottington looks rather like this.....

Batsman 1 - b. P Meehan
Batsman 2 - b. P Meehan
Batsman 3 - b. P Meehan
Batsman 4 - b. P Meehan
Batsman 5 - well, I think you're getting the idea now

Dr. P, former Yorkshire Soul Quiz Champion, film reviewer and professional Lancastrian, returned quite devastating figures of all 10 wickets for 11 runs with 9 bowled and 1 lbw, simply awesome. Did someone upset you at tea Dr. P ?

TSJ Match Report

Closer to home, Brother in Law Mk. 2, aka New Dad, aka The Lurker, improved on last week's 5 for with a 6 for, which is a splendid effort.

Add to that the England win over South Africa and it's an all round great day for cricket.
Damn Those Polyolefins

So, I had just successfully glued the broken handle of my cafetiere back in to place, or so I thought. After completing the the gluing job I gave the instructions and warnings a once over.

'Not for use on polyolefins.' Well, I havn't the first clue what they are so I'm not worrying about that.

'Not for use on containers for hot liquids.' Bugger, perhaps I should have read the instructions first after all.

'WARNING ! IRRITANT !! Bonds skin in seconds.' Oh double bugger, I've knocked the cap off whilst reading the label on the back of the tube, and that warm sensation is the glue slowly oozing out of the tube and welding my fingers together.

I would now throw the coffee pot in the bin, but since picking it up that seems to have become attached to me as well.

(Photo - some science stuff)
What Could Possibly Go Wrong ?

It was late in the evening, we had finished the dinner service and the staff were having a late dinner in the 19th bar. As Saskia dined, the spirit of mischievousness took me. I went outside and made a snowball, my plan was to throw the snowball over Saskia's head where it would hit the wall and shower her lightly with snow, ha ha, laughs all round right ?

The only drawback to my plan is the fact that I am such an awful shot. I stepped into the bar and loosed the missile, it described a lazy arc over the ale pumps and then, splat, and screaming. My carefully aimed projectile landed squarely in poor Saskia's dinner covering the unfortunate waitress in a sort of gravy and leeks in cheese sauce sleet.

I was horrified, poor Saskia thought I'd done it on purpose and was shocked, the other staff were either howling with laughter or staring in stupefied silence. Not my best moment.

What is it like working here, chef Robyn once said, in exasperated tones, "this is the only place I've worked where the staff have to tell the boss off for messing around."

Friday, May 07, 2010

Sorry To Hear That...

...Jacqui Smith has lost her seat, but at least she hasn't lost her moral compass.

Oh, hang on...
First Past The Post

A great idea for horseracing, but what a terrible way to decide who runs the country.
Time For Some Good News

England beat Pakistan yesterday in their first Super 8 match, and Yorkshire, well, Yorkshire are bloody fantastic.

'Relegation Favourites' Yorkshire beat a sorry looking Essex side in 3 days at Scarborough. The Southerners were sent packing with an innings and 96 run hammering at the hands of the Tykes, and poor Alistair Cook must be heartily sick of facing the Yorkshire attack this season, in 3 innings the England opener has made barely a dozen runs. McGratha and Gale got tons as Yorkshire built an impressive first innings total of 516, Essex failed to avoid the follow on as Yorkshire pace man Steven Patterson got a 5 for.

Yorkshire currently lead the County Championship by a country mile, the red rose rabble are in second place.
Brave New World Same Old Tripe

British Electorate Checklist...

Bottle = lost

Sheep = behaved like

Chance of serious long lasting political change = vanishing down the plughole

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

Get out and vote people, whether you think it is time for change, or time for more of the same you have to go and exercise your democratic rights today, cast your vote and stake your claim.

Good luck Nader Fekri and Nick Clegg, here's hoping.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Elector, n. One who enjoys the sacred privilige of voting for the man of another man's choice - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Book Review : Ben Hur, A Tale Of The Christ - Lew Wallace 8*

Taking into account its language and Wallace's sometimes overly lengthy descriptions, Ben Hur is a good action action story as well as telling the life story of Jesus along the way.

I dare say that like myself, many readers approaching Ben Hur will have seen William Wyler's classic film of the novel and will have some trouble in getting Charlton Heston and Jack Hawkins out of their heads for the first few chapters.

Where Ben Hur hits the spot for me is a decent and gritty tale of hardship and then revenge, but where it fails are the odd plot devices (the disappearance and then re-appearance of the Egyptian Iras is rather odd) and some rather stilted dialogue in places. I also find it very disconcerting when an author suddenly begins to address the reader directly, I am not fond of that at all in novels.

It is said that Wallace was an atheist when he began researching for Ben Hur, and a believer when he completed the novel. The final chapters of the book are deeply affecting and do seem to draw on a powerful sense of personal belief as Jesus heals the lepers and then is betrayed and crucified. Ben Hur finds his true faith through the final actions and sufferings of Jesus, putting away his sword and becoming a man of peace, giving his wealth to the new church and assisting its followers.

Ben Hur was massively popular after its publication in 1880, and continued to outsell every book except the Bible for decades to come. It is a more exciting and action based novel than many of its contemporaries, and once past the scenery descriptions, Wallace can write a good action sequence, both the initial accident with the Procurator leading to the downfall of the Hur family, and then the famous chariot race sequence, are well told.

Overall a good read despite the sometimes awkward plot contrivances, and a very moving ending.

65 of 1001
Voters - We're Not Stupid

Although all the main parties would seem to think otherwise.

Cost cutting = people will get sacked. We understand this, no matter how much you have us think differently.

I work in the leisure industry, I need people to be in well paying employment so that they can afford luxuries like golf. We have had a couple of difficult trading years already, and I can't see that any of the main parties are offering any real hope for the short term.

I will be voting on Thursday, and despite my misgivings over the Lib Dems energy policy, I will be voting for Nader Fekri. I am not worried that a surge of support for the Lib Dems will result in a hung parliament, the Bundestag operates well without an overall majority, the German economy is in a better shape than ours.

I do not feel that Labour have achieved many of their stated aims during their 3 terms, especially in terms of the much vaunted "Education, education, education" rallying cry. Despite the fact that Labour claim that around 40% of UK students now go on to university, we still have one of the lowest rates across Europe for children continuing in education after the age of 16*.

Perhaps it really is time for a sea change in UK politics.

*Source - Population and Social Conditions, Lene Major, Eric Gere.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Hot Girls Holding Guns, Dressed As Characters From Popular Literature

Worth a tag of its own ? Waitress Saskia (her Dad's a rock star you know) dressed as Alice, with a gun.

We also have a new chef, he's a sensible, hard working lad...

...who just happens to like dressing as Mr. T in his spare time, welcome back brother in law Mk.3 Rob.