September 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Con Spirito by CJ Bolland

Halcyon And On An On by Orbital

Low-Key Sonics by Zero Men

NZ Police reveal how they harass people

September 26th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

New Zealand Police Association

A North Island police station received this question from a resident through the feedback section of a local Police website:

“I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

In response, a sergeant posted this reply:

First of all, let me tell you this … it’s not easy. In the Palmerston North and rural area we average one cop for every 505 people. Only about 60 per cent of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “general patrols”) where we do most of our harassing.
The rest are in non-harassing units that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60 per cent of general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So, roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 6000 residents.
When you toss in the commercial business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 15,000 or more people a day.
Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop two-thirds of a second to harass a person, and then only another third of a second to drink a Massey iced coffee AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to the challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilise some tools to help us narrow down those people we can realistically harass.

Read the rest.

via the excellent Scaryduck

Err. Some words about abortion. I can’t think of a proper title, though.

September 25th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

What do Ludwig von Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow have in common?

A professor in a college ethics class presented his students with a problem. He said, ‘A man has syphilis and his wife has tuberculosis.

They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness.

The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?’

After a spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that she should abort the child.

‘Fine,’ said the professor. ‘You’ve just killed Beethoven.’

and then Peter Saunders describes how Justin Bieber came into the world, and “a future star football player”, Tim Tebow (whoever he is).

Decisions to keep babies in circumstances in which many might opt for an abortion resulted in Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow.

Well, at least one of those is a reason for abortion.

Seriously, though, you can’t not have an abortion just because that baby might turn out to have some great skill or talent. The decision has to be for what is best at the time.

I’m not a doctor, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, I’d be milking the ill, frail and infirm for every penny I could get and sod off to a desert island as soon as I could, but I’m guessing the the students in the Beethoven case came to their conclusion because on the balance of probabilities either Beethoven should’ve been born completely fucked up, his mother dead or both.

The same for Beiber and that footballing chap. Neither parent knew what their offspring would grow up to be. It just happens that they both grew up to be famous to some degree or other and at the same time be completely replaceable in their chosen field of err, expertise. Beethoven might have been a fellow with an unparalleled talent for music but would the world really have been much different without him?

You could turn things around and look at all the normal, healthy babies that are born to normal, healthy, loving parents, then turn out to be serial killers or war criminals. There’s probably a more of a reason for aborting babies using that logic.

Just because someone has studied medicine for a few years and knows what should happen to a body in certain circumstance doesn’t mean they know what will happen. They look at what has happened previously and state the odds, in one way or another, of particular outcomes. There will always be anomalies. That’s the nature of statistics.

Abortion shouldn’t be taken lightly. The people involved need to be given proper information about what could happen, what is likely to happen and then left to clear it with their own conscience about what they feel is right.

You can’t have or not have an abortion because that child might be the one to find the cure for cancer. One person, believe it or not, is not that special in the big scheme of things.

Handy FAQ on the European Block Exemption (motor vehicles)

September 21st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


27 August 2012

Since the adoption of the new motor vehicle Block Exemption Regulation1 and the
Supplementary Guidelines2, the Commission’s services have received a number of
questions relating to the application of the new framework for motor vehicle distribution
and repair and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles. Where these
questions have been frequently asked, or are otherwise likely to be of wider interest, they
are reproduced below together with answers and explanations.

Some handy questions and answers regarding who can do what, with what, with regards to supplying parts and servicing your vehicle, especially when it’s still under warranty.

It’s in .pdf format and can be downloaded here:

2010 EU Block Exemption FAQs

“We currently know of 5,400 Greek copies … of the New Testament…”

September 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve been reading.

Lost Christianities, by Bart D. Ehrman. The following extract shows, simply, that the New Testament, the book all Christians hold so dear, has been changed and altered at the whims of men. It is not devine in any way.

After the fourth or fifth century, copies of the New Testament became far more common. Indeed, if we count up all the New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered, it is an impressive number overall. We currently know of 5,400 Greek copies of all or part of the New Testament, ranging from tiny scraps of a verse or two that could sit in the pal of your hand to massive tomes containing all twenty-seven books bound together. These copies range in date from the second century down to, and beyond, the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. As a result, the New Testament is preserved in far more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity.

What is interesting for those who want to know what the original text said is not the number of New Testament manuscripts but the dates of these manuscripts and the differences among them.

I should emphasize that it is not simply a matter of scholarly speculation to say the words of the New Testament were changed in the process of copying. We know that they were changed, because we can compare these 5,400 copies to one another. What is striking is that when we do so, we find that no two copies (except the smallest fragments) agree in all their wording. There can only be one reason for this. The scribes who copied the texts changed them. Nobody knows for certain how often they changed them, because no one has been able yet to count all the differences among the manuscripts. Some estimates put the number at around 200,000, others at 300,000 or more. Perhaps it is simplest to express the figure in comparative terms: There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

How on earth did the papers come to that conclusion? The European Commission and MOT testing.

September 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Meddling Brussels bureaucrats want to make modified and most classic cars illegal under radical reforms which would affect millions of British drivers.
The European Commission has proposed a shake-up of the MOT which could cost thousands of jobs and cripple the industry that deals with modifying cars.
Under its plans, all vehicles would have to remain identical to the specification they were in when they left the factory – which would mean classic cars could not even be updated with safer equipment.
The proposed new rules would mean any modifications – from different windscreen wipers to newer brake lights – would mean the car would automatically fail its MOT test.

says the Daily Mail.

Cars with any kind of modification could fail an MoT if new EU rules get the green light from member states, a motoring group is warning.

The Association of Car Enthusiasts (ACE) says even aftermarket wheels or stereos would bring a fail, and mean cars would have to undergo costly, time-consuming vehicle approval testing before they could be considered roadworthy.

The Auto Express tells us.

This is outragous. How dare those meddling Eurocrats tell us what we do with our motors?

This is what the European Commission actually says though…

Reports in the press that the European Commission has proposed to make modifications to cars illegal, or to ban classic cars unless they are unchanged since manufacture are entirely wrong.

The Commission’s proposals would not, if agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament, make any difference to the current situation regarding MOT testing in the UK except to make most classic cars more than 30 years old exempt from testing if they are not used day-to-day on the roads.

All other cars would remain subject to roadworthiness testing, just as they are now. Whether or not they have been modified is not of itself relevant: what counts is whether they are safe and that is what is assessed by MOT tests in the UK and by the equivalent tests elsewhere.

So feel free to modify, update and upgade away, petrolheads. But if they’re not planning on banning modifications what are they doing with MOTs?

What the proposals will do is require all Member States to bring their road worthiness tests up to a certain level of rigour, already applied in the UK : for example, motorbikes will need to be tested regularly everywhere, as they are already in the UK. This will make driving safer for UK drivers at home and abroad.

Read that again. Go on.

Yes, they want to bring the European standard for roadworthyness up to the level the UK already apply. It won’t affect us because it is our standard they want to emulate across the other EU countries.

A bit of sanity from Europe that the papers could use to blow our own trumpet and the papers get it wrong in the most spectacular style, with plenty of quotes from the government and motoring organisations, but nothing from the European Commission.

Instead of being proud that we have the most stringent safety testing for vehicles, the papers create an opportunity from nowhere to stir things up again.

Some tips for companies new to Twitter

September 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone that starts on Twitter can take a little time to find their feet and get into their own groove with it. This also applies to companies. So to help all those companies that have just decided to dip their toe in the water and feel the Fail Whale nibble on their pinkies, here are some of my pet hates all dressed up as tips on how to get into your groove quicker and get more out of Twitter.

Only use a clearly corporate account. Don’t have ‘personal’ accounts that are purely corporate. By all means have multiple accounts, but keep the branding across them and have clearly defined roles for each.

Also, if you put your company name in your bio and you’re always on duty. “My views are my own” is not a get out clause. If you were going to say something controversial you either wouldn’t put your company name in the bio or you’re a twat. “My Views are my own” do not excuse a slip or a misunderstanding. An Apology does. If you’re worried that anything you say might impact negatively on the business, keep work and personal separate. If it’s a personal account that is only used for work related stuff, remove the ‘own views’ line from the bio.
(I’m not entirely sure I’ve explained that one properly, but hey-ho)

Step away from the hashtag. Don’t hashtag your company name or what will become your company Twitter for example, if Company A uses the name @BusinessA, don’t stick the hashtag #BusinessA in every tweet for no reason. If you’re tagging a username, tag the fucking username. Overloading on hashtags gets you nowhere. Hashtag for a reason, when it adds something.

Make sure links go somewhere. Don’t post “We’re really rock n roll now” followed by a link to the front page of your website when the minor press release you’re alluding to is in the “News” section. People will click the link, find nothing however tenuously linked to rock n roll, wonder what the fuck you’re on about and not bother next time. They won’t go digging about for some vague bit of news, no matter how clever the tweet was. People will be less likely to (re)tweet even the most interesting news if they have to sort out copying & pasting and shortening links for themselves.

Have fun. Twitter is a ‘social network’, relax and loosen up, stop tweeting in the style of a press release. Don’t just tweet about stuff your own company is doing, tweet stuff from around the industry, non-controversial funny stuff, and if you can pull it off, like Waterstones and Betfair Poker, just plain weird.

Reply to people, don’t rely on the masses to come to you. You could even let people within the company, not just the boss or the PR guy, take charge of the account for a time. You never know, some of them might be Twitter gods and really get you’re follower count up.

Minister for Faith

September 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I just heard via @davorg that Baroness Warsi is to become minister for faith and communities.

My two initial thoughts

1. What the fuck? Minister for faith? Huh?

2. I can just about hear the far right screaming about the Islamification of Britain being well under way and we should’ve listened to them all along.

It doesn’t matter what religion the Minister for Faith is, there shouldn’t be one. religionists aren’t being persecuted out of existence, their unearned privilege in society is slowly being eroded. The creation of this office is a step backwards. Once again, believers of fairy stories have the ear of government with no natural justification.

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