31 May 2010

A modern hermit faces eviction

Karen Markham.had hoped to l pursue a life of solitude and contemplation when she became one of Britain’s few officially recognised hermits. However, according to the Telegraph, the former music teacher faces the prospect of being forced out of her secluded hermitage after its owner decided to sell up.

Miss Markham has lived as a hermit for six years at the Hermitage of Divine Wisdom in Acton, Shropshire. Last year she was consecrated to a solitary life of prayer and contemplation by the Rt Rev Michael Hooper, the former Bishop of Ludlow.

Her daily regime follows the rules of solitary living laid down by St Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, and involves rising at 4am to spend three hours praying and chanting divine names, as well as spending time in contemplative silence. She is committed to a life of chastity. She has no television, takes no holidays and has very few personal possessions of her own. She weaves hand-loomed rugs using wool from local sheep.

She is understandably distraught at the prospect of losing her home. “The stability of having somewhere to live has been very important and if I have to leave I will have nowhere to go,” she said. “There are so few hermitages in England that it was hard enough to find this place.”

Senior clergy, including several bishops, have launched a campaign to try and save Miss Markham from losing her home and allow her to continue in the role which they describe as “invaluable”.

The Rt Rev Hooper is one of a number of bishops, including the bishops of Hereford, Warwick and Dudley, who are backing the campaign to raise funds to buy the cottage which is set to be put on the market in September for around £220,000. (Miss Markham had bee living rent free)

“It is of infinite value to have a solitary living in the community with this vocation, which supports us all and never allows us to forget God,” he said.
Modern hermits are usually either members of religious orders who live in separate dwellings or otherwise make vows to live a single, consecrated life, but they are as likely to be found living in a city as in a rural retreat.

There are no central records of the numbers of hermits in Britain but there could be as many as 200, based on the number of members linked to the Fellowship of Solitaries.

Whether she can stay in her hermitage or not she certainly has chosen a lifestyle that most of us would find impossible to follow. Personally I hope she can find a solution and carry on her life of contemplation..

Perhaps this may sound strange given my (far less than favourable) views on religions in general, but this she has made a choice to live that way and who are we to deny her. The spanner in the works of course is money.... Hi ho

The colour of the sky in my world

30 May 2010

Another Alium


by William McGonagall

Ancient town of Leith, most wonderful to be seen,
With your many handsome buildings, and lovely links so green,
And the first buildings I may mention are the Courthouse and Town Hall,
Also Trinity House, and the Sailors' Home of Call.

Then as for Leith Fort, it was erected in 1779, which is really grand,
And which is now the artillery headquarters in Bonnie Scotland;
And as for the Docks, they are magnificent to see,
They comprise five docks, two piers, 1,141 yards long respectively.

And there's steamboat communication with London and the North of Scotland,
And the fares are really cheap and the accommodation most grand;
Then there's many public works in Leith, such as flour mills,
And chemical works, where medicines are made for curing many ills.

Besides, there are sugar refineries and distilleries,
Also engineer works, saw-mills, rope-works, and breweries,
Where many of the inhabitants are daily employed,
And the wages they receive make their hearts feel overjoyed.

In past times Leith shared the fortunes of Edinboro',
Because if withstood nine months' siege, which caused them great sorrow;
They fought against the Protestants in 1559 and in '60,
But they beat them back manfully and made them flee.

Then there's Bailie Gibson's fish shop, most elegant to be seen,
And the fish he sells there are, beautiful and clean;
And for himself, he is a very good man,
And to deny it there's few people can.

The suburban villas of Leith are elegant and grand,
With accommodation that might suit the greatest lady in the land;
And the air is pure and good for the people's health,
And health, I'm sure, is better by far than wealth.

The Links of Leith are beautiful for golfers to play,
After they have finished the toils of the day;
It is good for their health to play at golf there,
On that very beautiful green, and breathe the pure air.

The old town of Leith is situated at the junction of the River of Leith,
Which springs from the land of heather and heath;
And no part in the Empire is growing so rapidly,
Which the inhabitants of Leith are right glad to see.

And Leith in every way is in itself independent,
And has been too busy to attend to its own adornment;
But I venture to say and also mention
That the authorities to the town will pay more attention.

Ancient town of Leith, I must now conclude my muse,
And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse,
Because the inhabitants to me have been very kind,
And I'm sure more generous people would be hard to find.

They are very affable in temper and void of pride,
And I hope God will always for them provide;
May He shower His blessings upon them by land and sea,
Because they have always been very kind to me.

Don't forget McGonagall online for all your Tayside tragedian needs

29 May 2010


Arch Enemy will not be representing Sweden

Corvus Corax will not be representing Germany

Laibach will not be representing Slovenia

Las Ketchup will not represent Spain.. Wait a minute they did a few years ago... Hiho

Tonight Is Eurovision night

None of the following bands wikl be representing the UK:

28 May 2010

Photo Hunt Memorial

The theme for the week's Photo Hunt is memorial. This statue is the Fleet Air Arm memorial on the embankment not far from the Houses of Parliament. I love it. It's one of the eeriest statue I have ever seen.

NB Fleet Air Arm is the name for the Royal Navy's aviation wing


27 May 2010

And now here's a frogfish

I can't find footage of a handfish to embed but check the video from Der Spiegel

Meet Hando and he looks pissed off

Hot on the heels of discovering a jellyfish looking like a city of gonads, scientists at CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania have discovered a species of fish that walks rather than swims.

A relative of the angler fish The handfish is only found in Australian waters and walks the seabed on hand-like fins.

The CSIRO's Daniel Geldhill said "Ideally we would have had more specimens for many of these species but due to conservation concerns there comes a point where we need to get names on them to make it easier for managers, and for us, to keep an eye on how they're going," he said.

Fourteen species have now been revealed.One of those newly-named is the Pink Handfish. Only four specimens have ever been found, the last one being on the Tasman Peninsula in 1999.

"The whole family is endemic to Australia which means they are only found in Australian seas and so it's quite unusual in that regard. Many are limited to the south-east and particularly Tasmania," Mr Gledhill said.

Nic Bax of the University of Tasmania says there has been a noticeable decline in some species including the spotted handfish. "We actually hope that given the [River] Derwent is really cleaning up again since the 1960s, that possibly now is the time that this species might really recover. It does have quite a history. They're obviously a very unique fish which people notice and they are undeniably cute," he said.

Wow, I had never even heard of these fish until today. It’s good to learn something new each day.

Arse biscuits!

The toalies have not been in power a couple of weeks and some bastard nicks our car.... Given that it was 20 years old it was hadly stolen to order.... Bugger, wank and bollocks!!!!!!!

Spiraea blossom

26 May 2010

Ah such trust!

The Fortean Times Breaking News section featured this article from Tech Eye: US military man Erick Jhonson came home from a stint in Iraq to find that his wife was pregnant. Clearly he assumed she had an affair, but his wife Jennifer claims the “other man” was actually someone a little less physical. she claimed that she became pregant after watching a 3D porno

“I see it as suspicious. The films in 3D are very real. With today’s technology, anything is possible,” he said

“Even though my husband believed in me, my marriage could be at risk,” Jennifer said. “But he knows I’m faithful.” Jennifer explained that “a month after watching the movie, I started feeling dizzy and the results were positive.”

I think Erick is utterly right to believe his wife. Personally I am glad to see a little trust in this cynical world....

Alium 25 May

25 May 2010

Don Wales keeps up the family tradition

Don Wales has speed in his blood. His grandfather was world land spped record holder Sir Malcom Campbell. He was thus also related to land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell.

Last weekend he joined is august relatives as a landspeed record holder. It is not the absolute record – that is still with Andy Green and Thrust SSC but he is the fastest ever person on a lawn mower.

The setting of the record attempt was Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire which saw Malcolm Campbell, Jon Parry-Thomas and Henrey Segrave break land speed records in the 1920s. He smashed the previous record - 80.792mph - hitting 86.069mph on Saturday then 87.833mph on Sunday.

"We are very excited and very pleased to have beaten our own record today," said Clare Hansley-Boyd, a spokeswoman for the British team. "We have finished the weekend as world record holders and have improved on yesterday's speed – so we are happy with that."

For the record attempt to qualify, challengers have to use a machine that is certified to be built primarily from lawn mower parts. Proof that it is a mower also has to be produced before the speed attempt, with a public grass cutting demonstration.

The team had hoped to break 100mph, but in the end settled for 87mph. "They're very tired after the efforts they put in over the weekend," Hansley-Boyd said. "It's a bit early to say where we'll be going from here, but I think the 100mph target is something everyone will be aiming at for the future."

Don Wales we salute you

Alium 23 May 2010

23 May 2010

And now the frog, sorry Dong, with the inflatable, err luminous, nose

When awful darkness and silence reign
Over the great Gromboolian plain,
Through the long, long wintry nights;--
When the angry breakers roar
As they beat on the rocky shore;--
When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights
Of the Hills of the Chankly Bore:--

Then, through the vast and gloomy dark,
There moves what seems a fiery spark,
A lonely spark with silvery rays
Piercing the coal-black night,--
A Meteor strange and bright:--
Hither and thither the vision strays,
A single lurid light.

Slowly it wanders,--pauses,--creeeps,--
Anon it sparkles,--flashes and leaps;
And ever as onward it gleaming goes
A light on the Bong-tree stems it throws.
And those who watch at that midnight hour
From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
Cry, as the wild light passes along,--
'The Dong!--the Dong!
'The wandering Dong through the forest goes!
'The Dong! the Dong!
'The Dong with a luminous Nose!'

Long years ago
The Dong was happy and gay,
Till he fell in love with a Jumbly Girl
Who came to those shores one day,
For the Jumblies came in a sieve, they did,--
Landing at eve near the Zemmery Fidd
Where the Oblong Oysters grow,
And the rocks are smooth and gray.
And all the woods and the valleys rang
With the Chorus they daily and nightly sang,--
'Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve.'

Happily, happily passed those days!
While the cheerful Jumblies staid;
They danced in circlets all night long,
To the plaintive pipe of the lively Dong,
In moonlight, shine, or shade.
For day and night he was always there
By the side of the Jumbly Girl so fair,
With her sky-blue hands, and her sea-green hair.
Till the morning came of that hateful day
When the Jumblies sailed in their sieve away,
And the Dong was left on the cruel shore
Gazing--gazing for evermore,--
Ever keeping his weary eyes on
That pea-green sail on the far horizon,--
Singing the Jumbly Chorus still
As he sate all day on the grassy hill,--
'Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve.'

But when the sun was low in the West,
The Dong arose and said;--
--'What little sense I once possessed
'Has quite gone out of my head!'--
And since that day he wanders still
By lake or forest, marsh and hill,
Singing--'O somewhere, in valley or plain
'Might I find my Jumbly Girl again!
'For ever I'll seek by lake and shore
'Till I find my Jumbly Girl once more!'

Playing a pipe with silvery squeaks,
Since then his Jumbly Girl he seeks,
And because by night he could not see,
He gathered the bark of the Twangum Tree
On the flowery plain that grows.
And he wove him a wondrous Nose,--
A Nose as strange as a Nose could be!
Of vast proportions and painted red,
And tied with cords to the back of his head.
--In a hollow rounded space it ended
With a luminous Lamp within suspended,
All fenced about
With a bandage stout
To prevent the wind from blowing it out;--
And with holes all round to send the light,
In gleaming rays on the dismal night.

And now each night, and all night long,
Over those plains still roams the Dong;
And above the wall of the Chimp and Snipe
You may hear the sqeak of his plaintive pipe
While ever he seeks, but seeks in vain
To meet with his Jumbly Girl again;
Lonely and wild--all night he goes,--
The Dong with a luminous Nose!
And all who watch at the midnight hour,
From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
Cry, as they trace the Meteor bright,
Moving along through the dreary night,--
'This is the hour when forth he goes,
'The Dong with a luminous Nose!
'Yonder--over the plain he goes,
'He goes!
'He goes;
'The Dong with a luminous Nose!'

Ah a bit of Edaed Lear occassionally is essential for health and happiness!

The Dong, sorry frog, with a luminous, err inflatable, nose... and a tree kangaroo too

According to the Telegraph an international team of researchers camping in the Foja mountains of Indonesia happened on a frog sitting on a bag of rice in the campsite. On closer inspection it turned out to be a previously unknown type of long-nosed frog. When the frog is calling, its nose points upward, but it deflates when the animal is less active.

The researchers also report finding the smallest kangaroo, a big woolly rat, and a bent-toed gecko with yellow eyes.

The Foja Mountains are in the western side of the island of New Guinea, a part of Indonesia that has been little visited by scientists over the years. So the environmental group Conservation International, began investigating the area. The results of their 2008 expedition were announced on Monday.

Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, said one of the most amazing animals the researchers observed was the rare golden-mantled tree kangaroo.

Most people think of kangaroos as creatures that live on the flatlands of Australia, he said, but this one has adapted to forest life. "It can jump into a tree and scurry right up it," Mr Helgen said. "But on the ground it hops around like any kangaroo."

Well there you have it. I will have to see if there is footage of its nose inflated


A new song that will be appearing on next month's new release Blood of the Earth

22 May 2010


The not wife suggests that this sums up Jams O Donnell... Either that or she wants me to shut up....
Bob Has tagged me for a theme tune meme

What music could I choose to sum up what the Poor Mouth is about? A tricky one. The first is from Robert Calvert, who hapens to be my avatar.

The second is Black Mass by Jason Crest

Not that there's really anything psychedelic about the Poor Mouth..,

21 May 2010

I would like to thank a visitor from Lazio in Italy who came to look at a Jacques Brel post a few minutes ago. He or she was visitor 750,000 to the Poor Mouth. Thanks and haste ye back. There's fresh drivel (almost) every day!

Photo Hunt - Monthly

The theme for the week's Photo Hunt is monthly. Here are a couple of concrete barges that have been left to rot at the side of the Thames for decades. The photo was taken at high tide. Tides having a monthly cycle I thought it would rooughly fit with the theme!

Bebe and Tail

A cat tail makes an excellent comfort blanket...

20 May 2010

Royal Navy in sea monster cover up conspiracy


The Telegraph reports that the The Royal Navy has confirmed that it does not keep central records about sea monsters.

Notes of unusual sightings may be recorded in ships logs but they are not assembled in a central archive devoted to sea monsters. Furthermore sightings of strange marine animals reported to the Navy by the public are passed on to the UK Hydrographic Office, a front organisation for the Greys which provides misinformation by placing Antarctica at the bottom of the planet and not in its real location which is half a mile from Guildford.


Details of the Navy's policy emerged in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request in which a marine biologist inquired whether the Ministry of Defence held records about ''abnormally large or dangerous sea monsters hundreds of metres under the sea'' that had not been revealed to the public.

In reply an official wrote: ''The RN (Royal Navy), and MoD in general, does not maintain any form of central repository of information purely devoted to sea monsters.

Dr David Clarke, an expert in unexplained phenomena, said the Navy showed an interest in sea monsters in the 19th century. The National Archives in Kew, west London, contain several historic Royal Navy files about strange sightings on the oceans, he said.

These include an 1830 report sent to the Admiralty in London by the captain of the ship Rob Roy about a ''great thundering big sea snake'' measuring about 129ft long seen by his crew in the waters near the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.

Another file records how Commander George Harrington, captain of the Castilian, saw ''a monster of extraordinary length'' rear its head out of the sea, again near St Helena, in 1857.
''I have looked at some of the ship's logs in the National Archives, and there are instructions about what people should record. ''Any unusual observations of any kind should be recorded in the ship's log.''
The terrible sea monk

In reality sea monster sightings have been suppressed by a cabal including the Kraken, Umibozo, Leviathan, the Lizard aliens that control the Royal family those pesky bilderbergers and the people of Andorra (who really rule the world). Oh and the terrible Sea Monk too

Well it was at least a good chance for some gratuitous sea monster pics culled from Wikipedia!

More Barges

19 May 2010

Jafar Panahi on Hunger Strike

According to Bloomberg Business Week, leading Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi has gone on a hunger- strike to protest his ill-treatment.

Jafar Panahi, who is being held in Tehran’s Evin jail, began to fast May 16 after officials threatened to arrest his family and forced him and other inmates to stand outdoors naked for one and a half hours, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in an e-mailed statement.

“I swear upon the cinema in which I believe, that I will not stop my hunger strike until my demands are met,” Panahi, who has been detained since March, said in a letter released by the New York-based group. The filmmaker, 49, demanded access to his family, a lawyer and release on bail.

Panahi is an award-winning director whose films explore life under the rule of Iran’s Shiite Muslim clerics. Several of his films, which have been criticized by the authorities for depicting a negative side of Iran, have been banned from being shown in the country.

Panahi’s prohibited films include “Crimson Gold,” which looks at the privileges of Iran’s upper class through the eyes of a pizza-delivery man and won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Also banned in Iran is Panahi’s “The Circle,” which portrays the harsh aspects of life for several women in the Islamic nation. It won the Golden Lion award at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. Panahi won the second-highest award at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival with “Offside,” a comic tale about a government ban on women and girls attending soccer games.

Panahi had been briefly detained in July last year after he attended a ceremony at a cemetery to commemorate Neda Agha- Soltan, an opposition supporter killed during a post-election demonstration.

The charges against Panahi include making a movie without a permit and wearing a green scarf indicating support for the opposition “Green Movement,” in a film festival abroad, his wife, Tahereh Saeedi, said April 12.
Jafar Panahi’s films are truly excellent and I would stromgly recommend them to anyone. But this is by the by. The Iranian authorities treatment of Panahi is an utter disgrace. The charges against him are as flimsy as those levelled against other protestors.

The Iranian authorities are using a sledgehammer to kill any dissent even in cases describing it an offence against God.. But this will not work in the end. I have every confidence that the people will prevail. Not tomorrow, not next week but the Mullahs will be consigned to the dustbin

The first abutilon bloom

18 May 2010

Come on baby light my fire

Make of this what you will but according to the New York Daily News the world's phallus was more than just a representation of a membrum virilise erect.

The relic was found in a cave in Germany and is being studied at the University of Tubingen It is estimated to be at least 28,000 years old and apparently had been discarded after being broken. Pieced together from more than a dozen fragments, the find was a rare one since examples of masculinity from that period are unusual to stumble upon, although female-inspired works of art are rather common.

Phallus, sex toy(?) and fire lighter? This is a toll that was surely a tool!

Jesus in Me

Last month the Annals of Improbable Research, the fine fellows and fellowesses who brought you the IgNobel Prizes, reported on a breakthrough in simulacra research.

Jesus appears in many places - trees, walls, puddles, griddles. irons, kit kats and even the blessed terrier arse but never before on an internal organ.

The image is from from a thoracic spine examination by Christopher Vittore and Kevin Tribble, radiologists in Rockford, Ilinois and clinical assistant professors at University of Illinois College of Medicine. MRI technologist, Deb Savala assisted with the technical data.

Now the technical stuff: This was performed on an open MRI machine, a General Electric Signa 0.35 Tesla MRI scanner. (Details: 40 x 40 cm field of view, sagital plane, frequency 256, phase 128, image slice thickness 5 mm with 2mm skip interval, no phase wrap.) Which means little to me

Well there you have it. The full force of medical research has proven absolutely that is someone says "Jesus is in me" all it takes is an MRI scan to prove it!

Shame it looks a bit more like Billy Connolly though....

An angry sky

17 May 2010

Great moments in litigation

Although perhaps not quite as good as it used to be (ah the days when it used to be a labour of love publication, published erratically and sent to less than 2000 subscribers)! I still look forward to receiving the new issue of the Fortean Times.

In between issues there is the breaking news section which throws up plenty of blog fodder, including this odd tale.

According to the Iowa new station WQAD News the Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered the relatives of a deceased man to exhume his body so his head can be cut off and cryogenically frozen.

The court sided with Alcor Life Extension Foundation of Scottsdale, Ariz., which sought to dig up the remains of 81-year-old Orville Richardson, late of Burlington Iowa, who died in February 2009. Mr Richardson had signed a contract with Alcor to have his head placed in cryonic suspension. However his Richardson's family buried him instead.

Alcor filed a lawsuit to exhume Richardson's body but a Des Moines Country District Court judge ruled against the company, which appealed. The appeals court overturned the district court's decision Wednesday, saying Alcor was entitled to his remains.

After a year in the ground I daresay that all Mr Richardson will be good for after resuscitation is as a replacement for Rush Limbaugh. Just as well he wasn’t cremated!

Ronnie James Dio RIP

Ronnie James Dio, late of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven and Hell.

By the Thames

Two of the abandoned concrete barges on the Thames near the Tilda depot in Rainham. They may or may not have been built as part of the D-Day Mulberry Harbour, although one source is of the view that they served as petrol barges.

Whatever their role, these barges are slowly rotting away by the Thames

16 May 2010

A Greater Iran? I shudder to think

Yesterday a radical cleric called for the creation of a "Greater Iran" that would rule over the entire Middle East and Central Asia, in an event that he said would herald the coming of Islam's expected messiah.

Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi said the creation of what he calls an Islamic United States is a central aim of the political party he leads called Hezbollah, or Party of God, and that he hoped to make it a reality if they win the next presidential election.

Kharrazi's comments were published Saturday in his newspaper, Hezbollah. He said he envisioned a Greater Iran that would stretch from Afghanistan to Israel, bringing about the destruction of the Jewish state. He also said its formation would be a prelude to the reappearance of the Mahdi, a revered ninth-century saint known as the Hidden Imam, whom Muslims believe will reappear before judgment day to end tyranny and promote justice in the world.

" Besides Israel, he said the union would also destroy Shiite Iran's other regional adversaries, whom he called "cancerous tumors." He singled out secular Arab nationalists such as members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party in Iraq, as well as followers of Wahabism, the version of Sunni Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.

Kharrazi's comments reveal the thinking of a growing number of hard-liners in Iran, many of whom have become more radical during the post election political. The growing voice of hard-liners like Kharrazi has deepened worries even if it appears unlikely such a divisive figure would win the 2013 presidential election. Kharrazi, however, is not highly influential in Iran's clerical hierarchy and his views do not represent those of the current government.

Still, even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that he expects the government which follows his to be "ten times more revolutionary."

Kharrazi sounds like an idiot who would bring the Middle East to destruction (not that there aren’t enough mental cases in the region already). Even if he is not particularly popular across the populace I dread to think who among the Baseej and the Revolutionary Guards are listening to him...

A memorial decades late

Late last week it was announced that a permanent monument is to be built to commemorate the thousands of Bomber Command aircrew who died during WWII.

Westminster Council gave permission for the open style pavilion at the Piccadilly entrance to Green Park. The memorial, which should be built by 2012, will commemorate the 55,573 crew of Bomber Command, with an average age of 22, who were killed in World War II.

The roof of the pavilion, made from Portland Stone, will be open to the sky and the open entrance will be made from melted down aluminium sections of a Halifax bomber shot down during the war and in which all seven of the crew were killed. It will also house a sculpture of the seven aircrew by the sculptor Philip Jackson.

The memorial will contain inscriptions, carvings, and a dedication. There will also be inscriptions from Winston Churchill, who said in a speech to Parliament in 1940: "The gratitude of every home in our island ... and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty goes out to the British airmen who undaunted by odds, un-weakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion."

It is high time that a memorial was raised to these brave men, nearly half of whom gave their lives during WWII., My father, a Bomber Command veteran himself (although by flying his first op at 16 he helped bring the average crew age down!) is glad that recognition comes at long last but, lie a lot of aircrew, he is not too pleased at the idea of Churchill quotes. Many veterans feel that Churchill sold Bomber Command down the river after the end of the war.

Further details about the memorial can be found at They Gave Everything

15 May 2010


Or some barking mad avant gardists from Slovenia...

Guilty pleasure - Angelwitch

Soemtimes a bit of cheesy NWOBHM hits the spot!

William B and Jack B Yeats

Sea and Lighthouse - Jack B Yeats


I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!
We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee;
And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the sky,
Has awakened in our hearts, my beloved, a sadness that may not die.

A weariness comes from those dreamers, dew-dabbled, the lily and rose;
Ah, dream not of them, my beloved, the flame of the meteor that goes,
Or the flame of the blue star that lingers hung low in the fall of the dew:
For I would we were changed to white birds on the wandering foam: I and you!

I am haunted by numberless islands, and many a Danaan shore,
Where Time would surely forget us, and Sorrow come near us no more;
Soon far from the rose and the lily, and fret of the flames would we be,
Were we only white birds, my beloved, buoyed out on the foam of the sea!

14 May 2010

Photo Hunt - Half

The theme for the week's Photo Hunt is half, After a little thought I present the very first Tumbling Ted (Saponaria ocymoides) of the year. At the time it was just half open

Boris again

More handsomeness from the ginger beastie

13 May 2010

Schwarzwalderkirschtortegate: Victory for Dave Osler, Hurrah!

I know that this has already been reported widely across the blogosphere but I am delighted that the libel case brought by Johanna Kaschkeagainst Dave Osler was thrown out of court today (If you are unfamiliar here is the brief background set out in an earlier post).

Rather than rewrite what has been written far better by others I would recommend a series of posts written by Modernity (here then here, here and here).

Had Kaschke won then there would have been serious consequences, no just for Dave but for the British part of the blogosphere.

I would recommend Dave's own views on the casehere. Here's hoping that Kaschke's related actions against fellow bloggers John Gray and Alex Hilton receive the same treatment asap.

DPRK creates artificial sun

Billions of dollars are being spent on taking nuclear fusion from the realms of stars and H Bombs and into our lives as a source of cheap, clean energy. At present it seems to be many years off, cold fusion experiments excepted.

That is until this morning when the Guardian carried a report that North Korea had done what the combined might of the rest of the world could not.

So it was off to the Korean Central News Agency which had this to say yesterday (12 May)

Scientists of the DPRK succeeded in nuclear fusion reaction on the significant occasion of the Day of the Sun this year....The successful nuclear fusion marks a great event that demonstrated the rapidly developing cutting-edge science and technology of the DPRK.

The nuclear fusion technology is called "artificial solar" technology as it represents a field of the latest science and technology for the development of new energy desired by humankind. The nuclear fusion technology for obtaining safe and environment-friendly new energy the source of which is abundant draws great attention of world science at present.

Scientists of the DPRK have worked hard to develop nuclear fusion technology their own way. They solved a great many scientific and technological problems entirely by their own efforts without the slightest hesitation and vacillation even under the conditions where everything was in short supply and there were a lot of difficulties, thus succeeding in nuclear fusion reaction at last.

In this course, Korean style thermo-nuclear reaction devices were designed and manufactured, basic researches into nuclear fusion reaction completed and strong scientific and technological forces built to perfect the thermo-nuclear technology by their own efforts.

The successful nuclear fusion in the DPRK made a definite breakthrough toward the development of new energy and opened up a new phase in the nation's development of the latest science and technology.

Needless to say the UK Branch of the Korean Friendship Association, JISGE (Juche idea study group of England) and ASSPUK (Association for the study of songun politics UK) have praised the DPRK for this great breakthrough Check out Anglo Peoples Korea Friendship/Songun blog (Type it into your browser!) for the relevant statements

As for international response to this momentous occasion? The response seems to be (gently) “Err, we think not!” And who am I to gainsay the international response?

The lilac in our garden

12 May 2010


Want more will power? Do a good deed. Want even more? then do something evil!

Last week Live Science carried an article which indicates that acts of kindness can boost willpower and physical strength.

The results, based on three experiments, show that those who did good deeds or even just envisioned themselves acting charitably, were able to hold a weight or squeeze a hand grip significantly longer than those who didn't perform or think about such deeds.

All good stuff but it seems that evil acts confer even greater “powers”

In one experiment, 91 volunteers were asked to hold a five-pound (about 2.3-kilogram) weight for as long as they could, and then given $1 for their efforts. About half were asked if they would like to donate their dollar to UNICEF. Everyone in this group agreed to donate, while those not asked of course didn't donate.
All participants were then asked to hold the weight a second time. Those who had donated to charity were able to hold the weight for an average of 53 seconds, or 7 seconds longer than those who did not donate.

In a second experiment with 151 volunteers, participants held the weight while they wrote a fictional story featuring themselves either helping, harming or not causing impact on another person. Those who wrote about helping someone were able to hold the weight 5 seconds longer than those who wrote about a neutral interaction. Envisioning evil acts seemed to confer even more strength — those who thought about harming someone else held the weight about 8 seconds longer.

Well there you have it.. to get extra power, help an old lady across the road but to push the envelope? ......Sorry pup!

11 May 2010

Lines Read at a Dairymaids Social

It's been a while since I offered either of my readers one of Canada's cheese bard's great works This I will rectify now.

Throughout the world they do extol
The fame of our town Ingersoll,
The capital of dairyland,
To-night it seems like fairy land,
The youth and beauty here arrayed,
So sweet and neat each dairymaid.

And worthy of a poet's theme,
Sweet and smooth flows milk and cream,
For song or glee what is fitter
In this land of cheese and butter,
But no young man should be afraid
To court a pretty dairymaid.

And far abroad he should not roam
But find a charmer here at home,
Find some one now your heart to chear,
Thus celebrate the jubilee year,
Remember long this ladies' aid
And each bewitching dairymaid.

Hobart – City of Gonads

Well not the city itself (I could not possibly comment on the testicular nature of Tasmania,s first city) but a coelenterate (Oops I should say Cnidarian but my knowledge of taxonomy is years out of date...) discovery in (or near) the city.

According to ABC News Tasmanian scientists have discovered a new species of jellyfish in Hobart's River Derwent.

Scientists who discovered the jellyfish while surveying the waters outside the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation) in Hobart, have named it Csiromedusa medeopolis, meaning "jellyfish from CSIRO" and "city of gonads". The species is only a few millimetres wide and scientists say it looks like a flying saucer with a cluster of gonads on top.

Launceston jellyfish expert Lisa-Ann Gershwin said "It's absolutely different from every other jellyfish that's ever been known.So we not only put it into its own new species and its own new genus, but it's actually a brand new family....Quite possibly and quite humbly the greatest discovery of my career, ever. I mean I'll be lucky if I ever get a discovery even half as incredible again.... You know any mum with a new bub is always excited, but when you have a whole family of new bubs I think it's triply exciting."

The jellyfish is harmless to humans.

There you go. I love Ms Gershwin’s enthusiasm. If I had found a whole new family then I would be just as delighted I’m sure!

Aquilegia on the turn

10 May 2010

The demon in a can

New Zealander Wendy McMahon got a shock when she opened a tin of budget pears

I wonder if she will economise on tinned fruit in future....

It was this or in depth political analysis....

Margaret Cavendish on light and shadow

Of Shadow and Eccho

Pale Shadow once in Love fell with bright Light.
Which makes Her still walk always in His sight,
And when He's absent, then, poor Soul, she Dies,
But when He shows himself, Her Life revives.
She Sister is to Eccho loud and clear,
Whose voice is heard, no Body doth appear;
She hates to see or show Her self to men,
Unless Narcissus could rivive again:
But there two Souls (for they no Bodies have)
Do wander in theAir to see a Grave;
Silence would bury one, the other Night,
But was denied by Repercussion's spight;
And both are subject to the Eye and Ear;
For one we see, and the other we do hear.

So there's another piece from Colchester's finest export!

09 May 2010

Coming this solstice..

No. not a rerun of the election (I think we can wait a few more months for that) but the first new Hawkwind studio Album since 2005's Take Me To Your Leader.

Blood of the Earth is released on 21 June in three formats - Single CD, 2 CD edition and double vinyl album:

The track Line up on the two disc release is as follows:

Disc 1

Blood of the Earth
Green Machine
Inner Visions
Sweet Obsession
Comfy Chair
You’d Better Believe It

Disc 2

Galactic Angels
Tide of the Century
(All above live)
Long Gone (as recorded for MOJO Syd Barrett Tribute)

The single CD released is as Disc one above plus the bonus track Starshine.
The Vinyl is as the Single CD version plus an additional track Sunship.

Two of the tracks are re-recordings "You'd Better Believe it which appeared on 1974's Hall of the Mountain Grill and Sweet Obsession which appeared on the Dave Brock solo album Earthed to the Ground.

Of the new tracks Wraith, Sentinel, Prometheus and Green Machine have been played live and from what I remember they are pretty good.

Hawkwind are still going (fairly) strong nearly 41 years after forming. I will certainly be making a purchase, perhaps two...

More Photinia

I know I've done photinia flowers to death but I do love these tiny flowers

The obligatory Geranium versicolor photo for 2010

08 May 2010

First concert

The first concert I ever attended was the first Hawkwind's two "Into the Eighties" concerts at the Electric Ballroom in Camden on 28 December 1979.

The support band was meant to be the Psychedelic Furs (who went on to fairly big things in the 80s) but they pulled out and were replaced by the now forgotten Billy Karloff and the Extremes. Amazingly there is a fair bit of footage from this band on You Tube

The Hawkwind line up at the time was Dave Brock (guitar, synths+ Harvey Bainbridge (bass) Huw Lloyd Langton (lead guitar) Simon King (drums) and Tim Blake (synths)

Shot Down In The Night

Motorway City

Spirit Of The Age

Urban Guerilla;

Prelude/Who's Gonna Win The War

World Of Tiers

New Jerusalem;



Phenomenon Of Luminosity


Master Of The Universe

Silver Machine


None of the videos are from the concert but it was a great introduction to live music for yours truly when 16

Best concert ever

I wish I could remember exactly when it was... I think it was late in 1982 when the Dead Kennedys played Southampton University. Perhaps I should get in touch with my old mate Smith who would certainly have recorded the date in his diary.. Anyway, whatever the date it was always the concert that has stuck in my mind.

Second support was MDC a Texan punk with particularly strident views on the police coprorations, homophobia and John Wayne. Here is a charming little ditty called Corporate Deathburger.

Main support was a popular beat combo from Sussex called Peter and the Test Tube Babies. Let us say that they were rather less political than MDC or the Dead Kennedys as evidenced by the title of their first album Pissed and Proud. In keeping with this theme here is Banned From the Pubs

And so on to the main act. Absolutely brilliant.. or at least my memory tells me that it was a brilliant concert

07 May 2010

Photo Hunt - Mother

The theme for the week's Photo Hunt is mother. Now I could have shown a phot0 of my female parent but she doesn't like to be photographed. So here is Bebe instead, Bebe was a feral cat before she came to us. She was born in a feral colony a few miles away. A person who used to feed them kept an eye on her when she was a kitten and when she had her first litter when she was little more than a kitten he took her to a cat shelter.

Bebe's kittens went quickly but nobody wanted a timid and rather wild young adult... except us. We took her in and gradually she developed into an affectionate if still a bit timid, housecat

.. and bye bye Georgie

George Galloway is no longer an MP... oh dear, what a shame.... never mind!

No seat for Griffin mercifully

Being a long term labour supporter (unsurprising since I have been a party member since 1984) election night was going to be painful. So for once I didn't stay up to watch the election.

I did fear waking up to hear that Nick Griffin had been returned as member for Barking. I am pleased to report that this is most certainly not the case.

Labour took Barking with 24,000 votes. The Tories were second with just over 8,000 and the BNP scumbag was in third with far too many votes for my liking but nowhere near enough to threaten the seat.

Well that's some relief!

Boris about his business

06 May 2010

Burgher III

Another detail from Rodin's Burghers of Calais. It can be found near to the Houses of Parliament

Wow! Wet, hairy beavers!

One of these plus a lot of chums are responsible for creating an awesome mega structure...

According to Discovery Online a Canadian ecologist has discovered the world's largest beaver dam in a remote area of northern Alberta

Researcher Jean Thie said Wednesday he used satellite imagery and Google Earth software to locate a dam, which is about 850 metres (2,800 feet) long on the southern edge of Wood Buffalo National Park. This is massive compared to a typical beaver dam in which can range between 10 and 100 metres long. It is very rare that dams reach 500 metres.

First discovered in October 2007, the gigantic dam is located in a virtually inaccessible part of the park south of Lac Claire, about 190 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of Fort McMurray.

Construction of the dam likely started in the mid-1970s, said Thie, who made his discovery quite by accident while tracking melting permafrost in Canada's far north.

Thie said he recently identified two smaller dams sprouting at either side of the main dam. In 10 years, all three structures could merge into a mega-dam measuring just short of a kilometer in length, he said.

“It's a unique phenomenon," he said. "Beaver dams are among the few animal-made structures visible from space."

North American beavers build dams to create deep, still pools of water to protect against predators, and to float food and building materials.

A 652-meter structure in Three Forks in the US state of Montana previously held the record for world's largest beaver dam.

One word Wow!