A musical Masterclass. Rush playing YYZ.
The local BBC News site had a warning after some local troglodytes were seen waving bags at stags in Wollaton Park. Bear in mind that it is the rutting season, and the last thing any sane person needs is a pair of deer antlers up their backside.
But this bit is funny:
Kath George, museum assistant at Wollaton Hall, said…
“Our advice is always the same, no matter what the season, or whether the deer have children with them – DO NOT approach them!
“They are wild animals…”
I always thought a young deer was a fawn. But it seems that we’re now anthropomorphising them for some reason.
Original story published 7 January 2015, updated October 2015. Updated again as a result of Evans’ successful appeal as of April 2016 and subsequent date for retrial in October 2016. Updated again in June 2016 after Evans is signed by Chesterfield on a one-year deal.
Further update after Ched Evans is cleared of rape in October 2016.
I’ve been trying to steer clear of this, but I can’t. Before I start let me make one thing absolutely clear: RAPE IS WRONG.
For background, Ched Evans is a footballer who used to play for Sheffield United. A couple of years ago he was convicted of rape and sent to prison for five years. He’s served about half of that sentence and is now out on probation. He is trying to rebuild his career. Initially, it looked like Sheffield Utd would take him back, but there was an outcry and they backed down. A Maltese club wanted to sign him, but the Ministry of Justice said he couldn’t play abroad.
Currently [see update], Oldham Athletic are in talks about whether or not to sign him, but they are under intense pressure not to.
Evans still maintains his innocence, even though he was convicted. He is preparing an appeal.
The reason I have decided to comment on this very sensitive issue is down to this article I saw today [January 2015] on the BBC website. Of course, the first thing I did was locate the Jean Hatchet blog mentioned in that article –
it’s here, if anyone wants a look [it seems to be dead].
What immediately struck me about the blog – and in all honesty, I just wanted to see a selection of Jean Hatchet’s writings to find out what sort of things she wrote about – was that in spite of the BBC’s label describing her as “a blogger” she has, at the time of writing, only actually published five articles. The first was produced in November last year – less than three months ago, which hardly makes Hatchet the fount of all blogging knowledge the BBC story implies. All five posts are essentially foul-mouthed rants, and all but one of them is specifically to do with Ched Evans, with the other one certainly being along related lines. Jean Hatchet’s main claim to fame (other than being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist”), and the main reason the BBC sought her out (though being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist” was undoubtedly part of the equation), is that she is the one who started the online petition that is trying to force Oldham not to sign Evans. I have no doubt that she would start any number of additional petitions if any other football club showed an inclination to sign the player.
On her blog, Hatchet makes the following statement:
It is evident that Mr Evans, and men like him, do not understand the notion of consent.
This is the crux of Evans’ conviction. The girl he is said to have raped was allegedly out of her skull on drink. She had already gone with one of Evans’ friends – presumably while she was still capable of thinking and walking – and was having sex with him when Evans turned up and joined in. The friend was acquitted, but Evans wasn’t. The girl says she couldn’t remember any of what happened. The whole situation is far from being black or white, except in terms of the Law and Evans’ subsequent conviction.
The issue with “consent” is far more complex than Hatchet seems capable of realising. You see, it is absolutely possible for a woman to consent to sex with a man, then to have regrets the following day and make allegations concerning non-consensual intercourse (possibly throwing in a few comments about being drunk). Intercourse may not even have taken place for such claims to be made, and the motive may well be financial gain or some sort of retribution, but it will immediately be labelled as “rape”. The man’s name will automatically be published in every newspaper in the land, whereas the woman will automatically be granted full anonymity. Even in cases where the woman is proved to be lying – and it happens quite often – her anonymity often remains in force, yet the man’s life is in ruins. But what makes this even more frightening is that Hatchet (and, increasingly, the Law) actually seem to believe that that rape of some sort has still taken place… if not in actuality, very nearly so.
At this point I will say again: RAPE IS WRONG. If a man forces himself on a woman, he should rot in prison for a long time. But should that still be the case if there is any doubt at all over consent?
The girl involved in the Ched Evans case is no exception as far as official anonymity goes (she’s even been given a new identity). However, it isn’t difficult to find her name (it actually appears in Hatchet’s blog in several of the comments). Assuming that what I have read has even a grain of truth in it, the woman in question appears to have a previous (failed) history for attempting to blackmail sportsmen. At the very least, she went willingly with Evans’ friend and was not quite so comatose when the friend picked her up in the chip shop or wherever it was. Much is being made of the fact that she was possibly – not definitely – around two and a half times over the drink drive limit, but that doesn’t automatically mean you are unconscious. It also appears that the girl in question tweeted that she was “going to win big” on the run up to the trial, and made various promises to friends about how she would spend the money on them. If you Google it you can dig all this up – including the tweets that the girl had apparently attempted to delete (and it is worrying that the new identity she has been given is perhaps partly an attempt to side-step this Twitter history without actually considering any of it). I’m not aware that any of this was brought up in court. Interestingly, Welsh police arrested 23 people for naming the victim, and to date nine have been convicted. The full case is described on Wikipedia, though you can see numerous side stories in the media.
None of this proves that the judgement against Evans was wrong [as of January 2015, when the original conviction still stood], of course, but it does make you wonder. Well, maybe not those like Jean Hatchet, but certainly normal people. The girl who was apparently raped certainly didn’t seem to have had her life damaged the way rape victims’ lives usually are judging by her tweets, and that doesn’t make any sense. The point is that this wasn’t a case of a man kidnapping a woman in the street, dragging her into an alley, and forcibly raping her. It’s much greyer, and as I say it all hinges on the issue of consent and the court’s interpretation of that in this particular case. Evans’ guilt appears to have been as marginal as his innocence would have been.
Irrespective of this very important background information, the big question to me is: should Ched Evans be allowed to have any sort of career?
There is one sensible argument that says he should wait for the outcome of his appeal before trying to play professional football again. However, no matter what the outcome of that appeal, Evans will be hounded by the feminists until the day he dies. You see, the big grey area of the Law that deals with the matter of consent has a bottomless chasm on one side (i.e. you’re totally guilty). Unfortunately, on the other side there isn’t the expected “totally innocent”. Instead, there’s another chasm almost as deep as the first which merely says “you’re nearly guilty, but not quite”. Feminists like Jean Hatchet make sure it stays like that with their foul-mouthed tirades.
At the present time [January 2015], Evans is being prevented from working by people like Hatchet and the British Legal system. Even Ed Miliband has stuck his nose in – all I can say there is that Miliband is bloody lucky that my
support of Labour goes deeper than him [that was then, back in 2015 – Labour doesn’t have my support while Jeremy Corbyn is leader]. Effectively, people would rather Evans die on the street than rebuild his life. Oh, I’m sure that people like Jean Hatchet would argue in favour of the rebuilding that his victim has got to do – and I’d agree… if only the unused evidence didn’t suggest something more.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know Evans personally, though everything points to the usual problems of a young man acquiring fame and money, and having it go to his head. Even without the issue of rape coming into it, footballers getting involved in sexual activities that are bordering on the realms of pornography are not uncommon. But it takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and young females are increasingly drawn willingly into the same world.
Yesterday (7 January 2015), Oldham had all but signed Evans in the full knowledge that some sponsors would pull out. Today, they have withdrawn the offer due to threats to staff and their families. They cite the sponsors, but the threats are the main reason. The people who made those threats are scum. The worst kind of scum. And the type of scum that is far lower down the evolutionary chain than Evans could ever be.
I see that Ched Evans’ case is going to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal (as of 5 October 2015).
As of 21 April 2016, Ched Evan’s appeal has been successful and his earlier conviction for rape has been quashed.
Reporting restrictions are still in place because he is now back to being “the accused” and will have to be re-tried on the original allegation – but this time, with important and relevant evidence being heard which had been deliberately ignored the last time.
It goes without saying that Jean Hatchet still openly considers him to be guilty. Indeed, in Hatchet’s mind, any man who ever has sex with a woman is guilty of something. In fact, people like Hatchet just need an accusation for guilt to be proven.
Hatchet should maybe try to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. Even if they are men. The quashing of Evans’ previous conviction means that – at the moment – he is not a convicted rapist, which is more or less the only thing Hatchet ever has to say.
Ched Evans’ retrial is set for October 2016.
As of June 2016, League One Chesterfield have signed Ched Evans on a one-year deal. Jean Hatchet hasn’t picked up on the story yet.
Ched Evans has been found not guilty of rape in his retrial which concluded 14 October 2016.
I wonder if those involved in the witch hunt previously – such as Jessica Ennis-Hill – will alter their opinions now that he is legally not guilty? Mouthpieces like Jean Hatchett won’t accept it, I’m sure. He/she/it was happy to point out that Evans’ retrial simply meant he hadn’t been proven guilty yet – not that he was innocent.
Well, now he is. Legally.
Amusingly, someone found the blog this afternoon on the term “ched evans is a lying rapist”. Erm. No, he isn’t. He is legally not a rapist. And that means that – since the original conviction was quashed – he never was.
He is (or was) an immature, overpaid, testosterone-fuelled idiot – in much the same way that his alleged victim is clearly in possession of a few extreme character flaws of her own. In fact, she is the one who has been shown to be the liar.
And Jean Hatchett’s “blog” appears to be no more. It was certainly not there when I looked a little while ago. He/she/it may have drowned in their own bile.
Ched Evans has disassociated himself from those who keep posting the woman’s name on the internet. Personally, I am surprised he isn’t seeking compensation for having had his life ruined by this woman, the police, and the judicial system. A police spokeswoman is quoted:
Supt Jo Williams of North Wales police said: “We are aware that once again the victim has been named on social media.
“We would remind people that it is a criminal offence under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act to do so, and that the victim has the right to life long anonymity.
I don’t know if it is just me, but with Evans’ original conviction having been quashed, and with him being found not guilty, surely there is no “victim” in the sense being used here?
You may regard Evans as a scumbag who – at the time of the original event – had no morals worth speaking of. Indeed, the 21st Century’s new breed of “empowered woman” is feeding off this image and proceeding to libel Evans every chance they get (and unfortunately, such libel is perfectly acceptable when coming from women these days). But the fact remains that he is not a criminal.
The point that all of these idiots ignore, though, is that even if Evans did have the morals of a rabid dog as a result of his actions towards his “victim”, she also scored a perfect zero on the same scale! She wanted a “good time”, and the facts show that she had one fairly regularly. If women want to be considered equal, they’d better start considering such matters on an equal basis – the artificial bias against men is a joke.
Evans and his “victim” – in the absence of any conviction – were identical as far as morals and egotism were concerned.
Information in the public domain from around the time Evans’ appeal was lodged alleged that “the victim” was trying to score a big payout, had tweeted this and then tried to erase it (at one time, you could actually see these documents online), and it was also alleged that she had attempted the same thing with other sports stars. None of that was mentioned this time around.
As a footnote, according to the Wikipedia explanation of the case, each person who was convicted of naming the woman was “told to pay her £624”. At the moment, she’s nearly £6,500 better off from this source alone – even though the outcome now implies that she lied.
“Equality” doesn’t have the same meaning it used to.
Over the years, I have updated this article several times as I have found progressively better solutions to the problem. I’ve now found the complete solution, which I will identify later.
The problem of smeared windscreens in the rain has been driving me nuts pretty much since I started driving, but it became a major headache once I started teaching people to drive.
I guess everyone has experienced it. You get a few spots of rain, and when the wipers wipe you get a mosaic pattern left behind for a few seconds. But in heavy rain it’s like someone poured chip fat on the screen and you just can’t see properly. I’ve had varying levels of success removing it – scrunched up newspaper (no good), sodium lauryl sulphate (not bad), various solvents (fair), Clearalex (quite good) – but things came to a head when my lease company replaced my last car. In rain you couldn’t see anything, and absolutely nothing would get rid of whatever it was on the windscreen. I was close to assuming that the glass was damaged in some way since it was a brand new car.
In normal circumstances, every vehicle that uses our roads leaves deposits behind. Some of it is dusty, some is gritty – but a lot of it is oily. That’s why when it rains after a period of dry weather we’re advised to take care, because the road can be very slippery as water and oil sit on top of the tarmac before the oil is eventually washed away. But road spray is obviously going to be a mixture of dirt, oil, and water, and when this gets on to your windscreen you start to get smears. Now, up to a point, your screen wash can deal with it (unless you just put water in your tank, in which case you’ll get smears all the time). Eventually, though, the oil seems to bond to the screen such that removing it is no longer easy.
Another source of windscreen contamination is, oddly enough, the car wash (or the simple act of hand-washing it if you use wax). Even if you don’t choose the waxing option in the car wash, the brushes will be contaminated with wax from people who did, and if you’ve ever noticed how a single fingerprint can be smeared across almost a whole mirror or windscreen unless you use something which lifts it off, you’ll realise that a little wax (or oil/grease) can go a very long way. That’s why even if you hand wash your car, small amounts of wax gets on to your rags and get spread on the glass. The gunk also attaches itself to the rubber of your wipers, which means it can be quickly smeared back on even if you appear to have removed it from the glass. The wax (and oil) also collects below the wipers, so if you forget to clean that part of your windscreen, the wipers merely dip into the gunk like a pen dipped into ink and spread it across the glass again.
Most surfactants will remove these normal deposits with varying degrees of success. Even Fairy Liquid works up to a point. But some are very powerful and work much more effectively. Clearalex is a proprietary product consisting of sachets of powder you dissolve in your screen wash fluid. It works quite well, but it leaves terrible residues behind when the water dries. I found this as annoying as the oil smearing it removed. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is an anionic surfactant used in many household products, and I found that it was also good at removing quite a lot of windscreen gunk. It is a gel-like substance when purchased in the 70% strength, but in spite of that it also leaves residues on the glass when it dries (though not as bad as with Clearalex). I was very happy with SLS – until my recent vehicle change, where I found that no matter how much I used it would not touch whatever was on the glass.
Back to the internet, and I had to sift once more through the usual nonsense where every time someone who obviously has a particularly stubborn issue asks for advice, it goes through scrunched up newspaper, vinegar, Fairy Liquid, Fairy Liquid plus vinegar, polishing clay, Fairy Liquid with polishing clay in it… you get the idea. But somewhere I can’t remember now, I found a reference to sugar soap. I’d not heard about it before, but it is used by decorators and builders to remove grease and dirt from surfaces prior to painting. I suppose what really caught my attention when I looked into it further was the fact that you’re not supposed to get it on your skin because it removes natural oils and is dangerous.
Wikipedia describes it thus:
Sugar soap as typically found in Commonwealth countries is a cleaning material of variable composition sold for use on surfaces affected by greasy or tarry deposits which are not easily removed with routine domestic cleaning materials. When in dry powder form it looks like table sugar thus causing the name.
The solution is alkaline and its uses include cleaning paintwork in preparation for repainting.
It also turned out to be dirt cheap, at about £2 for nearly half a kilo from Screwfix. I bought some, made up a batch using information on the pack, and gave the windscreen a good scrub using it. I rinsed it and took the car out for a run in the rain.
Initially, I didn’t see any difference, but after a few wiper passes the glass was getting noticeably clearer. The sugar soap appeared to have softened whatever it was on the glass and it was gradually coming off. So when I got back home I made up another batch and soaked some rags in it, then left them covering the windscreen (including the bit at the bottom) for about half an hour. I also cleaned the blades with it. This time the windscreen was absolutely crystal clear. I even made up smaller batches for use in spray bottles for on-the-road cleaning, and this worked like a dream. Sugar soap doesn’t leave much of a residue, either, as long as you don’t let strong solutions dry off.
The Ultimate Solution
That might have been the end of it had I not started using a local hand car wash instead instead of the old Tiger Wash at the garage. I was intrigued by how easily they managed to remove every trace of dirt and oil from the car with only a power spray and some mysterious hand-pumped spray guns with various liquids in them, so while they were working I did a bit of snooping and noted the names on the various drums and containers lying around. The important one turned out to be “TFR” – which I discovered means “traffic film remover”. Already this was sounding quite exciting (well, it’s exciting if you’re a chemist) due to the way TFRs operate.
In a nutshell, a 1% TFR solution in a spray bottle gets all the oil/was film off a windscreen in one go. The same concentration in your wash bottle has a similar effect.
That well-known scientific organisation VoucherCodesPro.co.uk has carried out some “research” into the kind of music being listened to at the time people had accidents. They conclude that Adele, Justin Bieber, and Sia were the biggest offenders. The full list is as follows:
- Adele – 18%
- Justin Bieber – 17%
- Sia – 15%
- Slip Knot – 14%
- Rihanna – 14%
- Drake – 13%
- The Beatles – 10%
- Calvin Harris – 8%
- Eminem – 8%
- Kanye West – 7%
No other data are given – such as age, sex, ethnicity, or location – which would be on any scientist’s list of vital pieces of information (mind you, it’s probably illegal to identify sex and ethnicity in case they point to something the Thought Police don’t like). All they say is that respondents were “over 18”. Oh, and that the average number of accidents these people had had over a two-year period was two, with fourteen near misses!
When you combine that last part with the fact that – with only one or possibly two exceptions, and even then only just – the type of music being listened to says a lot about the mental ages of the people responding, you get a very good idea of where the problem actually lies. It’s all baby music.
By comparison, I have had one accident in 10 years – and that was because some stupid cow ran a red light in poor weather in the dark. I can’t recall any “near misses” in that same period, even with learners driving. The “research” clearly shows that the kind of person most likely to listen to Adele or Justin Bieber is the type most likely to be an inexperienced/crap driver who is likely to hit things instead of going around them. It doesn’t prove in any way that Adele and Justin Bieber are direct distractions.
When asked why the music has been such a distraction, the top reasons cited were – “I was singing and dancing when I should have been focusing on the road” (43%)…
I can’t imagine many men doing that. I’m sorry, but I just can’t.
An email alert just came through from DVSA advising that from 28 October 2016 the permanent Chilwell location for the test centre (formerly situated in Beeston) will be at Unit 24 on Eldon Road. This is little more than a stone’s throw away from the Village Hotel, where it is currently situated.
Up until 28 October, tests are from the Village. There will be an open day on 1 November.
This is a big story in the tech world. Samsung, which recently launched its Galaxy Note 7 phone in a blaze of publicity, has halted all sales.
Many people will be aware that they had to do a recall after a number of devices caught fire or exploded either during or after charging. Samsung said that they’d traced the fault back to a faulty batch of batteries, and began replacing recalled devices with ones which were apparently safe to use. However, a number of these “safe” phones have also caught fire.
There were around 100 cases in America with the original version, and at least seven incidents have been reported so far with the replacement versions.
This is really going to hurt Samsung. It is quite likely that the Galaxy Note 7 will now never be (re)launched, which could cost them billions. They’ll lose around $10 billion in sales from the US alone. And that’s even before you consider the costs associated with the mass recalls – which are among the largest in history – and the damage to their reputation.
Anyone who bought one is advised to contact the place they got it from to initiate the return process.
Even before this latest announcement, Note 7s were gradually being banned from flights after at least two instances of smoking units on board causing flights to be abandoned.
Original article – 3 October 2016.
So there we go. After selective reporting by the media, only saying anything when the GBP goes up against the US Dollar (USD), today it has hit a new 31-year low.
As I write this, it stands at $1.286 – and it’s still trending down. The BBC has been careful not to mention this new record, instead rattling on about the FTSE – which, incidentally, is only increasing because the GBP is falling, since many FTSE listed companies who sell in $s can report better figures in £s, thus encouraging share dealing.
This is what the mere stench of Brexit has done. Just wait until we start to taste it as well!
It fell to $1.272 at the end of 4 October – 14.2% below what it was at before the Referendum.
On 6 October it was at $1.260 – that’s over 15% below its pre-Referendum value.
On the morning of 7 October the GBP appeared to enter freefall again. Laughingly, this is being blamed on an “Asian flash crash”, as the UK media frantically seeks to blame it on someone outside the UK, and on events which are non-Brexit related. They even declared that the GBP “recovered immediately”.
Let’s get something straight. It didn’t “recover”. It momentarily dropped to about $1.14 and then rose again – but not to the original value. Throughout the day it only recovered half of what it lost in the “flash”, and then progressively lost half of that gain again. It is barely holding $1.24, and even the slight rise at the close of trading was due to the USD weakening on disappointing unemployment figures (it is absolutely not because the GBP strengthened). It was at $1.260 yesterday, $1.272 two days before that, and $1.286 on 3 October. It has therefore lost almost 5 cents – nearly 4% of its value – in consecutive stages in around four days. Whatever happened last night was – and remains – real.
Performance against the EUR is almost identical.
There is only one reason this happened. And that reason is Brexit.
Late afternoon of 10 October and the Forex rate is below $1.24. The media – particularly the BBC – is still trying to talk things up and avoid the obvious. They point out that many airports are now offering less than €1 to the GBP, adding that:
You can find better currency rates almost anywhere other than at an airport.
Well, yes. M&S is offering €1.08 – and so is Asda. John Lewis is offering €1.09. Tesco is offering €1.10. There is a transaction fee which pulls the actual rate down by a few cents in each case. For all practical purposes, the rate is €1.08, and airports ALWAYS give lower rates. They always have.
The fact is that the GBP has fallen so much that the €1 threshold is painfully apparent.
I’m dying to see them talk this one up. By the end of 11 October (the first trading day after the weekend) it had hit as low as $1.21 and finished at around $1.22. Early on 12 October it has risen to almost £1.23.
However, since its highest level post-referendum, it has dropped by the virtually the same number of cents that it lost the day after the referendum! In other words, it lost 14 cents as a direct result of the referendum, and it has fallen 13 cents since early September. It is around 26 cents lower than it was the day before the referendum (or nearly 18% down).
But I bet you they start talking about how it is 2% up on yesterday’s low.
Final proof – if ever it were needed – that Donald Trump must not become US President. The actual transcript of what he has been recorded saying about women makes damning reading.
This is the same man who has been making similarly derogatory remarks about anyone who isn’t American – and most of those who are – on average about once a week, though that frequency has increased of late as the campaign ramps up.
This is the man who has made what has been seen by some as the suggestion that his opponent should be assassinated.
In the UK, someone like this would not even be allowed to keep their job as a McDonalds burger flipper or Big Issue seller. They most certainly would not be awarded sole responsibility for the country’s security. So it is frightening to think that Trump is running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton – it means that approximately half of voting Americans support his warped views, and so must hold most of those views themselves.
In this latest shambles, Trump has not even had the decency to apologise. Instead, he chose to argue that he is not perfect and he is still learning. He is quoted:
I said it, I was wrong, I apologise
This is the man who, should he become president, will have access to the Big “LAUNCH” Button. It makes your blood run cold to think how close Doomsday is, with those NRA nutters and Trump up each others’ backsides all ready to get a set of keys to the Nukem console.
America is currently in the grip of what appears to be an epidemic of creepy clowns trying to abduct children. It even appears that the problem has moved over to the UK.
It started out as a dimwit prankish kind of thing, then the sicko-perverts got in on the act. In the UK, incidents seem confined to the Newcastle area at the moment, suggesting that over here it’s still just a low-IQ thing.
I had to laugh when I saw this progression in America, though. Utah police have had to issue warnings to residents that it isn’t OK to shoot clowns at random if you see one.
Mind you, as I’ve already mentioned, this IS America, and Utah police obviously have to keep hold of that baton. Someone asked:
Can I shoot or take action against someone that is dressed up like a clown?
Now, in most civilised territories, the answer to this would be a straightforward “no”. But not in Utah. There, they have to cloud the issue with this response:
That’s not a simple yes or no question. It has a lot of variables to it.
Erm. No, it doesn’t. It has one variable: x = “can I kill someone dressed as a clown?” And there’s a simple, single answer: “no!”