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Fusion Man goes for it at last

Yves RossyWhat do you get if you cross the Atlantic Ocean with the Titanic? Half way! Let us hope the Swiss pilot Yves Rossy manages to get all the way across the English Channel when he tries to fly over here from France.
   He has tested the wing over land and in a wind tunnel, he calls himself Fusion Man because the pilot is part of the aircraft, which is a fusion of man & machine, and he reckons he can go 35 kilometres on the 10 minutes' fuel in his one-man jet pack with carbon-fibre wings. But if there's a medium-size splash in the sea off Dover on the 24th, we'll know he didn't make it!
UpdateAccording to the special National Geographic website,, the flight will now be made on Thursday 25th. Why can't he make his bloody mind up?
UpdateBloody Swiss time-waster. Too cloudy over Dover so he'll try again tomorrow. And why was there no sound on the Nat. Geo. website feed?

Yves Rossy lands at DoverThe Fusion Man really does go for it at last
Two days late, but the weather was perfect so no hesitation. On Friday 26th, Yves Rossy loaded himself and his wing into his launch aircraft, lit the jets up while he was still in the aircraft (!!!) and stepped out into space.
   A turn out to sea, and he was off toward Dover, with the white cliffs clearly visible in the news helicopter shots. No worries about the 10 minutes' fuel – he organized a tail-wind which sent him across the Channel in just 9½ minutes.
   Once over land, he could relax and do a spot of showboating before landing by parachute in a field behind Dover lighthouse; taking care to pick one containing no cows. And he had a police escort to make sure no jumped-up jobsworth from the Border Patrol mugged him and demanded to see his passport.
   Now, airline pilot Yves Rossy is in the history books with Louis Bleriot and he could be on the verge of a leisure sales boom, as everyone who has pushed flying microlights to the limit is bound to want one of his jet-wings.

Stephane RoussonMeanwhile, going the other way . . .
A couple of days later, a French amateur pilot called Stephane Rousson set off on a 34-mile homeward trip on a combination of a bicycle and a blimp-type airship called Zeppy.
   He set out from Hythe at eight o'clock in the morning and he was just half-way to France by lunchtime. Unlike Mr. Rossy, he was unable to take a parachute because of the weight and his emergency plan, in the event of being lifted too high by the blimp, was to use a knife to slash open its fabric.
   He got himself geared up for an attempt to pedal to France in June, but high winds kept him on the ground. This time out, he got to within 11 miles of Wissant, his target in French coast before running into adverse winds. Maybe next time?

space news
Back-door diplomacy

The end of the world is nighThe Russians are starting to regret sticking two fingers up to the world over their invasion of Georgia, so they're trying to make friends by the back door. The ploy involves trying to organize a global task force to do something about the asteroid Apophis, which has an orbit which crosses Earth's orbit.
   Apophis will come close in 2029 and again in 2036, so the Russians are hoping to get the rest of the world together to talk about methods of deflecting Apophis, if it is ever nudged from an Earth-crossing orbit to an Earth-crashing one, while hoping that everyone else will become deflected from the situation in Georgia.

@Spiv warning!
The European Space Agency is advised to have a lawyer handy if it pulls off its plan to land a spacecraft on an asteroid and return materials from the asteroid to Earth for study. The last time a spacecraft landed on an asteroid; when NEAR Shoemaker landed on Eros on February 12th, 2001, NASA was landed with a bill for parking frees from one Gregory Nemitz, who had filed an ownership claim with the Archimedes Institute Claim Registration Office. No doubt the Institute will be swamped with further claims when ESA announces its target in due course.

@The 'Great Planet Debate' had a not so great outcome
The talking shop at Johns Hopkins University didn't produce any break-though as far as defining a planet goes. But it did come up with one fairly universal conclusion:
   "The controversy caused by the IAU officially declaring the term to be restricted to eight objects in our solar system was unnecessary," said Mark Sykes, Director of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, "but a natural consequence of one group of people trying to impose their views on everyone else."
   Translation: The busy-bodies screwed up.

Shenzhou 7 launchChina launches ambitious space mission
The 3rd manned launch of the Chinese space programme carries 3 "Taikonauts", one of whom, Col. Zhai Zhigang, will spend half an hour making China's first ever space walk. The eventual ambitions of the Chinese space programme are to send taikonauts to the Moon and to build their own, independent space station.
   The only down-side to the mission is that the Chinese government still insists on making everyone involved, and the politicians who watch, spout the usual sickening commie dreck about this considerable achievement. BFN would like to tell them:
   "Just pack it in, guys. Forget the spin and concentrate on the real business."


Check your pockets, quick!

Clunking CoinAnother thing that's gone up since new labour took office is the number of fake pound coins in circulation. The Royal Mint last guestimated their prevalence in 2003 and came up with a figure of 1%. Five years on, there are now 2% of fakes in the average pocket.
   If the problem gets any worse, the Mint is going to have to do what the South Africans did when people stopped accepting 5 rand coins because of the number of bogus ones around – replace all the genuine pounds with a redesigned coin. And then hope that people will accept the new Broon Poond.


The government's next money-grubbing scheme

notesThe police, Community Support Officers (a.k.a. Blunkett Bobbies) and members of the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (a.k.a. Smith's Stasi) will be given the power to stop and search people suspected of being in possession of forged pound coins, which is a criminal offence even if someone else gave the forged coin to the victim. Anyone who has bogus poonds will be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice for each bogus poond.
   There are currently 30 million duff pound coins around, so the scam has the potential to raise a quarter of a billion pounds to stuff down the Brown Hole in the nation's finances.
UpdateAs the Brown Hole is already £50 billion deep, growing by the second and on target to hit £90 billion next year, cynics suspect that the Treasury is already knocking out fake pound coins instead of making new ones to maximize the income from fines.
UpdateThere is also a suspicion that the government is planning to install pound coin testing machines on high streets everywhere. Looking like vending machines, a notice on the devices will announce that it will return genuine pound coins but retain duff ones. However, cynics suspect that the machines will be rigged to retain all real coins and issue only duff ones to maximize the income from fines.

   New Trade Route Opens In North

climate change sloganClimate changes at the North Pole have opened up both North-West and North-East Passages, and turned the Arctic ice cap into an island for the first time in recorded human history.
   Shipping companies are hoping that the summer thawing pattern becomes permanent as an ice-free North-West Passage cuts 4,000 miles off the trade route between Europe and Japan and points east, offering large savings in fuel consumption and reduced carbon dioxide generation penalties.
   The bad news is that the route is likely to be open only for a couple of months between July and September.

climate change sloganDumpers' Delight
Recycling has been put on hold because of a world shortage of wheely bins. A new environmental law has come into effect in Germany, which means that every household needs an extra bin. So the world's output is being directed to filling a green hole 40,000,000 bins deep.

climate change sloganHorse Hockey
Back in 2001, Dr Michael Mann of the University of Massachusetts gave the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a big thrill with a graph which showed that the world has suddenly started heating up at a hell of a rate. The graph was called the 'Hockey Stick' because of its shape.
The Hockey Stick
   There was one slight problem with this 'proof' of violent, man-made climate change – the method of processing the data was about as straight as one of alastair campbell's dodgy dossiers; it can spit out a hockey-stick graph even if it is fed numbers from the phone book. Worse, Dr. Mann seems to have a tony blairite regard for the truth; he missed out both the Mediaeval Warm Period (700-1300), when it was warmer than today, and the Little Ice Age (1560-1830).
   The people making a good living out of global warming scams embraced this 'proof' enthusiastically; so much so that the much demolished Hockey Stick has been revived with new and dodgier 'proofs'; inconvenient data are still omitted but the 'proof' has been fleshed out with irrelevant data.
   Dr. Mann is now saying that while he fiddled the first version of his dodgy dossier, he got it right by accident. Which serves to prove only that honest science doesn't count when the greenhouse industry sees a threat to its income.
   Further reading : See postings @ the beginning of this month.

climate change sloganMenace to saviour in one bound!
Eden Energy, a bunch of enterprising Aussies, is doing test drillings in redundant Welsh coalfields in search of commercial quantities of methane. This explosive greenhouse gas is the curse of miners but it could just do its bit to plug the gap left by diminishing yields from undersea gas fields.

climate change sloganBad luck or bad government?
The people who were flooded out of their homes in Northumberland last year were told that they had been on the receiving end of a 'once in 150 years' event. So were the people caught up in this month's floods unlucky to have copped for successive '150 year disasters'? Or does their plight have rather more to do with the government's failure to build adequate flood defences?

climate change sloganDodgy doings at the Beeb
Ofcom is investigating the BBC over charges of deliberately broadcasting misleading information about climate change by deliberately misrepresenting (by cunning editing) the views of experts who don't follow the party line on global warming and the effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Crime News
House of Commons ASBO for scotch gordon?

Commons officials have discovered who has been vandalizing the Dispatch Box in the debating chamber. It's the prime monster, who has been stabbing it with a black marker pen during Prime Minister's Questions. He tries to hit his documents, but his aim is so bad that the Dispatch Box is now covered with black skid marks, which the french polishers are unable to shift. It is to be hoped that scotch will be obliged for paying for restoring the damage he's cause, but no doubt the taxpayer will have to foot the bill, as usual.

@Can you spot a flaw in this argument?
40% of criminals fresh out of gaol or community sentences go straight back to crime, so killing all of them at this point would cut the crime rate by 40%.
   All Hail, BlackFlag!
Your deliberate mistake is an easy one this month. Killing the prisoners after they've been convicted would both cut the crime rate AND save the cost of locking them up.

@Stick your nose in, get burnt!
Iran is paying an interesting social price for supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan – an epidemic of heroin addiction. The Iranians are letting the Taliban export both opium and high-purity heroin through their country, a fair amount of the dope in transit is leaking into the local drug market, and the customers are switching from opium to heroin.

climate change sloganIf the lights go out, call the cops!
Theft of solar panels is on the increase in sunny California – so people in Britain who have them should make sure they're well screwed down and make bloody sure they're insured with a reputable company.
   The only consolation is that stealing a worthwhile collection of solar panels needs a lorry and a sizeable crew of determined thieves. So 'ordinary' crooks will find it easier to steal cars and similar self-propelling, high-value goods.
   But many of the thefts in California are being perpetrated with a level of expertise which suggests that the thieves work in the solar panel industry and they have their own recycling scheme in operation.

@Stroppy plods!
Complaints about the police are at a record level and 20% of them are about rudeness. The Home Office says the numbers don't matter. They just reflect the fact that more and more people are realizing that the police are no longer allowed to do a proper job and they're moaning about it.

@"Hello? Hello? Anybody there?"
Ofcom has fined Barclaycard a record £50,000 for making silent calls and upsetting people. And the fine would have been even higher if there had not been a top limit on the penalty. The chief executive described it as the worst case of silent or abandoned phone calls ever investigated by Ofcom.


Rick Wright

Atom Heart Mother by Pink FloydOne of the founders of Pink Floyd; their keyboards player and one of the essential composers; has died at 65. Rick Wright dreamt of being a jazz musician but he became a student of architecture as a more realistic career choice; which he abandoned in favour of joining the rock music scene in the underground, spaced-out sector.
   After the first album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967), Dave Gilmour replaced the troubled Syd Barrett and the band went on to create the monster hit Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and then monster double albums. Eventually, the egos became bigger than the band and Rick Wright spent almost a decade as a solo artiste before being drawn back into the big time by Dave Gilmour.


Frank Mundus

The man who pioneered shark fishing as a sport has died at 82. His talent for catching huge sharks earned him the nickname 'Monster Man'. He began hunting the world's biggest sharks in the 1950s, he bagged a 2-ton great white in 1964 and he gave an account of how he did it in the magazine Esquire.
   Mr. Mundus, who had a personality as big as all outdoors, was convinced that he was the inspiration for the character Captain Quint in Jaws (1975). Author Peter Benchley insists that Quint is a composite character, which explains Mr. Mundus' opinion that Jaws was the funniest and the stupidest movie he had ever seen.
   As well as catching fish, Frank Mundus campaigned for the use of less damaging hooks to allow big fish to survive being caught and released, which earned him some points as a conservationist.


Paul Newman

The star of a string of Hollywood hits (and a few flops) has died at 83. His acting career stretched across 6 decades and he played everything from the boxer Rocky Graziano to the convict-hero in Cool Hand Luke (1967). He teamed up with Robert Redford for the classics Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), he received 3 Oscars – one for acting, one honorary and one for his charity work, which raised millions of dollars; he managed to stay married to the same woman for 50 years – Joanne Woodward, his second wife; he was a motor racing fanatic (on and off the track) and he also found time to create his own brands of salad dressing and pasta sauce.


Things you find in your change with the pennies


Bad Deal : US 1¢ – worth ½p
Good Deal : Irish 5 eurocents – worth 4p

voyAct quick before the Trade Descriptions Act gets you!
The World Sport Classification Council will meet at the end of the month to rule on the status of motor racing in general and Formula One in particular. No changes are expected for most subdivisions, but F1 could well end up alongside TV wrestling in the "sports entertainment" category if it is downgraded in the wake of the shameful outcome of this year's Belgian Grand Prix.

voyDuring the Credit Crunch . . .
Is it a good thing if you don't have enough money to make you worry about losing it?

voyNothing like getting your priorities right
The labour party has copped for a £1,000,000 donation from the Harry Potter author. So what does it plan to do with the money? Pay off part of its £14,000,000 debts? No, spend the cash on propaganda.

voyBanks used to be thought of as rock solid. Now, the only place you find rocks are between the ears of the spivs running them.

voyBite the bum but take the cash?
Both John McCain & Barrack O'Bama were quick to savage the Wall Street bankers who sent the financial world into a tail-spin. But none of the rhetoric can be taken too seriously as these same bankers are the major contributors to both presidential campaigns. And you can be sure that having coughed up their quids, the bankers will want their pro quos.

voyscotch gordon has done so much damage to the pound . . .
. . . that a million pound note, which will be auctioned this month, is expected to fetch only £40,000.

@Spot the difference!
The government isn't going to nationalize the failing Bradford & Bingley Bank, it's going to merge it with the nationalized Northern Rock Bank.

Better Out Than In

Good sense? None here, mate!

Thanks to the boneheaded EU quota rules, 117 million tonnes of the 187 million tonnes of fish caught in British waters had to be thrown back, dead, to rot in the sea because they were the wrong species.

voyFIA to end up in the dock?
The knotty question of who regulates the FIA, motorsport's governing body, is likely to end up in the European Court of Human Rights. Following this month's fiasco at the Belgian Grand Prix, where British driver Lewis Hamilton won fair & square, only to have the result handed, unreasonably, to Ferrari, the stewards and the upper tier of management of the FIA could well end up in the ECHR charged with bringing motor sport into disrepute.
   More on this breaking story when we get it.

voyCrazy Frog wants a misdirected swindle
Valery Giscard, sometime French president and a leading architect of the EU constitution, thinks that the rules should be rewritten to stop Britain blocking the creation of a European state. Strangely, he doesn't seem to be planning to exclude from the decision making process, the Dutch, the French and the Irish, all of whom voted against the constitution while scotch gordon signed off on it after breaking his promise to give us a referendum.

voyDo it again and get it right this time
French EU officials are conspiring to make the Irish hold another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty next year and deliver a supporting vote. They expect the Irish government to cave in at a meeting of EU prime ministers next month after they have been offered suitable bribes in a minor redrafting of the treaty.

voyIt doesn't have to make sense, it's the EU
Just because it gets dark early in Scandinavia, drivers in the whole of the EU, including Mediterranean countries, will have to keep their car headlights on all day and waste a couple of hundred quid's worth of fuel per year. All in the interests of harmony.
EEC, maybe. United States of Europe, no bloody way!
   [So will the EU have to arrest itself for endangering the planet by being responsible for the release of all this unnecessary carbon dioxide? Ed.]

voyLethal Chinese scammers blocked
The EU has banned imports of chocolate, biscuits, cakes and similar products from China, where crooks have been adulterating watered-down milk with melamine. As a result, 53,000 children have been treated for kidney failure and kidney stones, 4 children have died and millions more have required testing at hospitals.
 • Milk itself, and other dairy products, were banned by the EU some time ago.

Home News
UK FlagHeads, you lose and lose

The animal rights mob are trying to get the Ministry of Defence to swap the real bearskins worn by Buck House guardsmen for something synthetic. They they'll be able to moan when the black bears go extinct because no one needs to keep them alive for the fur trade!

voyPR counts for everything
Liverpool is supposed to be the 2008 European Caterpillar of Culture but the city had a giant spider wandering around at the beginning of the month. Which suggests it's easier to blag £1.8 million to build a giant spider than to raise the price of a caterpillar.

voyA fitting penalty for yobbism?
A woman from Blackley, Manchester, is feeling hard done by because she failed her driving test. Her crime? Driving through a puddle and soaking some poor bugger on the pavement.
   BlackFlag News says : She got what she deserved from the examiner and she was bloody lucky the local plod didn't rush round to do her for assault when she admitted her crime on TV.

voyToo little, too late
The Church of England plans to apologize to Charles Darwin for rejecting his theory that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution when it was published. Maybe someone should tell the top bods at the CoE that Mr. Darwin died in 1882 and he's no longer around to receive the apology.

scotchIf he gets killed, he gets killed
Why are Greater Manchester Police wasting so much of our cash on security for this month's labour party conference? They've got coppers crawling all over the venue, looking for bombs, and more coppers setting up a security zone around it (which will achieve nothing other than shoving overtime payments into the coppers' pockets).
   After all, it wouldn't be the end of the world if someone took out scotch gordon and it's not as if there isn't a queue stretching round the block for his job.

voyWell! Would you adam and eve it!
According to the BBC news, the prime minister's wife was "trying to get money for drugs" at the labour party conference. So things must be really bad in Downing Street!

voyCall this logic?
The bloke who wrecked the nation's finances, scotch gordon, thinks he should be allowed to stay on as prime monster as he knows what he screwed up so he's the person best qualified to unscrew things. Executives who drove their financial institution into bankruptcy are now citing him as a precedent when they demand to keep their jobs and bonus opportunities.


Cold War Socks

The Russians are reviving the Big Freeze!
Don't Be Caught Out!

SPECIAL – September Only! 2 pairs for the price of 3!

HURRY to: Romiley Sock Shop, 13 Riverside Drive, Romiley.


Good News : scotch gordon is having himself relaunched this month!
Bad News : it's into a sea of troubles!
   Old scotch is in an ass-kicking contest with his chancellor, who dared to speak out against the spin and divulge a bit of the truth about the real state of the economy. Worse, his Home Sec., the incompetent jacqui, is warning that the credit crunch will send crime even further out of control and police forces won't be able to afford to hire enough coppers to make a pretence of fighting the crime wave.

@Tell the truth and be savaged by the Daily Wail!
The Chancellor is being blamed for a plunge in the value of the pound after he dared to expose scotch gordon's fraudulent spin on the state of the economy. He also managed to blunt the impact of scotch's latest relaunch, which relies on buying popularity through subsidizing mortgages with borrowed cash, which will have to be repaid long after scotch has been booted out of office.

First Drip – Nelson's Ship

The government has driven the country's finances into such a deep Brown Hole that it is going to have to sell off more national treasures to survive. Hinting that the Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's iconic flagship, could be sold to a private company is the first drip in the softening up process. While that particular notion has been dismissed as plain daft, the process will go on and on, stealthily, until the public loses interest.
   What will be the next kite to be flown? Will it be the Tower of London, Tower Bridge or even Windsor Castle? The favourite in the BFN office for the first sale is Buckingham Palace, which is crumbling and not being maintained as government policy, so it is likely to end up in the hands of a Russian zillionaire or an oil sheikh before long.


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Monkey Talk
The Americans gave us Surrender Monkeys (a.k.a. the French)
BFN offers Jabber Monkeys – the chattering classes

There are only 10 types of people in the world . . .
. . . those who understand binary and those who don't; or . . .
. . . those who understand ternary, those who don't and those who think they're dealing with binary

Inappropriatine – the wrong medicine for your condition

The NFL is back on our TV screens

Fans of the Green Bay Packers are just coming down from the delight of their team's Monday night opening victory over divisional rivals the Vikings. Not to mention relief at finding that Aaron Rodgers can play a bit. Meanwhile, fans of the Miami Dolphins are wishing that their team had signed Brett Favre instead of their deadly rivals, the New Jersey Jets.
UpdateAaaagh! Those Packers! They had the Lions dead and almost buried in Detroit but they let them bounce back and bite their bums, chucking away an 18-point lead. Luckily, they have a defense which is capable of scoring touchdowns. So their 48-25 win doesn't begin to reflect the agony which the Packers put their supporters through in the second half.

Valentino RossiA winner everywhere!
Congrats to Valentino Rossi on his victory in the first ever MotoGP at Indianapolis. The competitors had to brave the tail end of Hurricane Ike, and they did a remarkably good job of staying on their bikes despite the shifting ponds on the track.
   Mr. Rossi completed his round-up of the previous list of tracks at the end of last month with his first ever win at San Marino. He must be extremely pleased to have knocked off Indianapolis at the first outing. And to have sewn up this year's championship, as he has a lead of 87 points over Casey Stoner, the current champ, with just 4 events to go.

voySo what do people actually do at the Paralytic Olympics? See how many alcopops they can drink before they fall over?


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The World's Worst Keyboard Award . . .

. . . goes to the PHILIPS-freevents 5545URF Wireless keyboard

Its non-standard design makes navigation a nightmare, and someone who had learnt the system then struggles when using a keyboard with a conventional layout. It is also unreliable, working for days or weeks on end then suddenly becoming unresponsive and requiring enormous force to make the keys operate.
   It also lacks lights to show when the Caps Lock, Number Lock and Scroll Lock are engaged. But the worst aspect of its layout is the positioning of the Insert key right next to the Delete key, which results in the operator trying to delete something and finding himself struggling in Typeover instead.
   If you hear loud cries of "I HATE THIS F**CKING KEYBOARD!!!" coming from the vicinity of a computer, the chances are that the operator is struggling with this wireless keyboard or one of its cousins.

computer virusNasty goings on on the Internet
This month's shower of spam emails seems to be heavily laden with fake attachments containing all sorts of computer viruses, most of them of the Trojan horse variety, which lurk and record keyboard activity. The scams include fake invoices, contracts and credit card reports; messages about failed postal deliveries; people claiming to have received your bank details by mistake; and fake tickets from "Southwest Airlines".
   Anyone daft enough to be on the Internet without the benefit of an anti-virus program is at risk. But as there are free anti-virus programs readily available, maybe these people deserve to be caught out as form of natural selection!
   Find out more by visiting the CIA website, which posts all sorts of email scams.

@Warning! Danger!
Mobile phones could soon be wearing alarming messages like the ones on cigarette packets. The thinking is that if people are warned that mobiles could cause brain tumours, as cigarettes can cause lung cancer, heart disease, etc., then mobile manufacturers can't be sued by people damaged by using their products.

See Bangkok and die!

British holidaymakers are being warned to stay away from Thailand, where violent anti-government protesters are on the rampage with machetes. Visitors stand as good a chance of being stabbed as someone venturing into Britain's gangland areas.

The Belgian Swindle

It's funny how Ferrari always gets away with it but the British driver or British team is always clobbered. Yes, Lewis Hamilton did cut the chicane at the end of lap 42 of the Belgian Grand Prix to avoid a collision with Mr. Raikkonen. Yes, he did end up in front of Mr. Raikkonen. But, as the commentators pointed out, he did back off on the start/finish straight to let Mr. Raikkonen regain his place before overtaking him at Turn 1 on lap 43.
   If the rules were satisfied and the stewards handed Mr. Hamilton a 25-second penalty after the presentation ceremony, and gave Mr. Massa & Ferrari an undeserved win, that's clear evidence of either unbalanced judgement plus faulty eyesight at best or blatant bias at worst. And if the FIA starts talking about motor sport instead of motor racing, it deserves to be clobbered good & hard by the Trade Descriptions Act.
UpdateLast week's swindle in Belgium made the drivers totally paranoid about overtaking a week later in soggy Italy. The kerbs are treated as part of the track in the dry but usually avoided in wet conditions because they become lethally slippery. Anyone who used them while overtaking at Monza immediately backed off to let the other driver back in front to avoid a penalty.
   This virtual ban on overtaking appears to be some sort of face-saving manoeuvre by the management of Formula One aimed at justifying the way Lewis Hamilton was swindled out of his win at Spa. But all it did was remind everyone just how dodgy F1 has become.
UpdateEveryone, including the FIA, knows that Hamilton & McLaren were swindled in Belgium but the FIA has refused to unscrew its screw-up.

@Who's got it in for piers, then?
The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare went up in flames in July. Now, the derelict and uninsured pier at Fleetwood is no more after another monumental fire. Is there something about piers which makes them particularly susceptible to becoming bonfires? Or is there some pyro lurking about and getting more daring?
"It'll be Wigan Pier next," an expert remarked after watching the blaze on the TV news.

@Jobsworths sounding off . . .
HM Inspector of Constabulary has ticked off the Chief Constable of Essex Police for doing a proper job of policing his county. It doesn't matter that he has cut the crime rate during his 3 years in office. He's not been ticking the boxes for the guys back at the Home Office and HMIoC thinks visiting every crime victim is a waste of time and money, even though that's what the people pay for.

An end to the lies? Some hopes!

The Information Commissioner has ordered the government to release its collection of unshredded documents and undeleted emails around a draft of alastair campbell's dodgy dossier – the one which lied about non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction and which was used as an excuse for starting the 2003 Iraq war.
   The government has been arguing for the last 3 years that national security will be compromised if the information is released. Commissioner Richard Thomas has rejected the claim. In fact, all that's likely to be damaged is the blair government's already tarnished reputation.
   Disclosure will reveal the extent to which the blair regime exaggerated the case for military action and shine a light on the part it played in the fate of Iraq weapons expert Dr. David Kelly, whose death was a direct consequence of exposing campbell's part in faking the dodgy dossier.

US flagNot Fair! Ref! Not Fair!
Barrack O'Bama has accused fellow presidential hopeful John McCain of waging 'a dishonourable and dishonest' election campaign.
   Which sounds rather like Mr. O'Bama is getting his ass whupped and putting his alibi for losing in place good and early!

the muggerNot Fair! Ref! Not Fair! II
scotch gordon, Britain's sinking prime monster, isn't responsible for all the screw-ups he perpetrated over the last 11 years. The Brown Hole in the economy is all the fault of City of London spivs and bonkers bankers, who should be made to join Gamblers Anonymous.
   (So can he stay labour leader? Please? Please? And would we kindly forget all the tax breaks which scotch gave to the bosses who destroyed British companies but donated cash to new labour?)

@Still on the blame game . . .
Russia is now blaming NATO for its invasion of Georgia. Mother Russia would also like to deny that she has appointed herself Official School Bully to the rest of the world.
 • Russia is also enjoying the benefits of a financial meltdown, but Comrade Putin and his plastic president aren't getting the blame. No, it's all down to those evil Yankees, NATO, Georgia and the EU.
 • In China, no one is blaming government mismanagement for the stock market plunge as that's an open invitation to a bullet in the back of the head.

world news
Pointless diplomacy

San Marino, population 30,000 and host of alternative Italian Grand Prix events, has appointed an honorary consul in Wales. None of the microstate's citizens lives there so it is unlikely that the guy will be diverted too much from his other weird pastimes.

The End of the World is Nigh"You're all DOOMED!"
The Large Hadron Collider is due to go online this month at the CERN laboratory complex, which straddles the French/Swiss border. Its function is to smash sub-atomic particles into one another with enough force to create conditions close to those at the Big Bang in an attempt to prove that the theoretical 'God Particle', the Higgs' boson, exists.
   But doom-mongers led by Prof. Otto Rössler of Tübingen University are trying to put a legal road-block in the path of the 15-year, multi-billion euro project. Some fear that the system will create black holes, which will eat the Earth alive!
   Others think that the LHC could produce another breed of hypothetical particles – strangelets – which can turn ordinary atoms into strange matter and destroy the Earth in a different way.
   It is to be hoped that the objectors will pay all of the court costs when their cases are tossed out of court, but no doubt the British taxpayer will be required to subsidise their fantasies, as usual.
UpdateThe LHC won't be up to full power for a year, and it isn't colliding particles yet, so maybe a gang of hadrons will clump together to form a black hole next autumn. Which means there's still time for the German attention-seeker to be right! (But don't count on it.)
UpdateEnd of World postponed until after Xmas
The Grand Opening of the LHC was spun as a HUGE success, even though there were no actual particle collisions. Now, it has emerged that one of the magnets melted, there was a major leak of helium and repairs will take at least a couple of months. So Higgs' bozos won't be forming any Earth-devouring black holes this size of Xmas.

voyHistory is what you make it!
Ex-pres Putin of all the Russias has ordered a whitewash job on Joseph Stalin. From now on, Russian schoolkids will be taught that the mad Georgian dictator had millions of Russians killed for their own good in an attempt to modernize his adopted country.

voy"Get out of that!" Thai-style
The Siamese people have just shed their prime monster. Not for corruption, not for groping female members of his staff, not even for being useless at the job. No, he got the bullet for hosting a TV cookery show while on the national payroll as PM!

voyThings the US public can be grateful to Pres Dubya for No. 1
Having to swallow $1 trillion of 'toxic' debt run up by the bankers who lent money, knowing the recipients couldn't afford to service their loans if interest rates went up.

voyNothing ever happens in Canada . . .
. . . because the world's oldest rocks have been found there. They're 4,280,000,000 years old, whereas most of the rest of the world's surface has been subducted at least once and recycled, and they push Australia, the previous record holder, into 2nd place in the league of ancientness.

This Month's Garbage

The Garbage The EU's official response to Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Hurricane Gustav, which didn't do a whole lot of damage to New Orleans

New Orleans – what a daft place to build a city below sea level, right in Hurricane Alley!

Tarique Ghaffur, the compensation-seeking Moaning Minnie of Scotland Yard.

The compo-claiming Commander Shabir Hussain of the Met, who wanted £750K to make his claim for racial discrimination go away but got nothing in court.

Heather Mills, who wants a million quid advance on her book about a model's doomed relationship with a rock star. [Maybe some public-spirited & rich person can be persuaded to give her the million, to split with the ghost writer, if the book's never written. Ed.]

The notion that pretending to save the planet makes criminal damage okay.

Useless bloody bankers.

Crufts, according to the RSPCA, which has dumped the dog show over the issue of creating deformed and disabled breeds.

Stuart Attwell, the ref for a Watford-Reading match, who awarded a goal to Reading even though the ball went over the line (for what should have been a corner) nowhere near the Watford net.

scotch gordon, who dashed off to the USA to save the world, after clunking at his party conference, only to find that anyone who counted was too busy to talk to him.

strewth kelly, who has been evicted from the Cabinet 'to spend more time with her family', which usually translates as: a) rubbish at the job (except under new labour), b) caught with fingers in the till, c) caught backstabbing or d) face doesn't fit any more.

David Blaine, who was supposed to hang upside down for 60 hours but kept turning himself the right way up every 5 minutes to drink something, have a pee or receive a medical check. [So no exploding eyeballs, then? Ed.]

The air traffic control computer, which broke down again this month.

IPv4 – the current Internet Protocol will run out of addresses within the next couple of years. This won't be a problem is Version 6 is implemented with enough time to do it right.

Liberal leader Calamity Clegg, who has been ordered to stop cold-calling voters with recorded political messages.

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Sole © RAL, September 2008.