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Bad Dog

Profile Information

Name: Duncan White
Gender: Male
Hometown: Southampton
Home country: England
Current location: Southampton
Member since: Mon Dec 21, 2015, 06:50 AM
Number of posts: 2,025

About Me

Writer of two novels, one published. Socialist.

Journal Archives

Make no mistake the real winner last night was Ted Cruz

Because now people outside America know who he is. And if the Clinton and Sanders camps carry on attacking each other he may well be the next bloody president.

Actually the real winner was Pep Guardiola, that's who's dominated the news today.

Tomorrow's Post Iowa threads.

Whatever the result, there will be threads claiming this a great victory. There will be others claiming Iowa is unrepresentative. There will be threads claiming why it went wrong/right. And there'll be a lot of vitriol and backbiting, none of which will make any difference to the actual result.

Google tax: European Commission 'willing to probe deal'

From the BBC, and a really good reason to stay in Yerp.

The European Competition Commissioner says she is willing to investigate Google's tax arrangements should someone complain about them.

Her comments come as the SNP's economy spokesman, Stewart Hosie, says it has sent a letter calling for such a probe.

The development comes as the row over Google's tax affairs in the UK and elsewhere intensifies.

Meanwhile, Google has written to the Financial Times defending its 130m deal, saying it complies with the law.


Government loses two bedroom tax cases.

This is breaking news, but it's brilliant news.

Appeal Court judges rule so-called bedroom tax is discriminatory in two cases brought against UK government


Anyone else watching TOTP 1981 on BBC4?

A lot of it's nostalgia, but there is a cruel moment in pop history coming up. They showed two episodes last week. On Thursday it was Tommy Vance and Ultravox were 6th in the charts with Vienna. Last night's showing with Simon Bates had John Lennon on number 1 with Woman, (it was just after his murder, on Thursday Imagine was number 1.) Number 2 was Phil Collins with In the Air Tonight and Ultravox had moved up to number 2.

They also showed a "joke" record, Joe Dolce with Shaddap you Face, which had just crept into the charts at number 30. He did a panto performance complete with a blackboard and pointer so the audience could join in. At the end Simon Bates condescendingly said I'm sure it will be a hit before moving on to the "hits that matter," the top ten.

Now I'm sure you're all aware that Joe Dolce pipped Ultavox to number 1. That should be next weeks or the week after, (unless Savile or Travis presented it) and part of me is looking forward to the looks of amazement as Dolce races up the charts to the top spot.

Yes is was a tragedy, Vienna is a brilliant song and Shaddap you face is a joke, but it's already happened, and there's so very little joy in life at the moment what with Cameron at number ten and Nigel Farage still being alive.

Grimm's fairy tales actually thousands of years old.

I love stuff like this. From the BBC website.

Fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast can be traced back thousands of years, according to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon.

Using techniques normally employed by biologists, academics studied links between stories from around the world and found some had prehistoric roots.

They found some tales were older than the earliest literary records, with one dating back to the Bronze Age.

The stories had been thought to date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries.
In the 19th Century, authors the Brothers Grimm believed many of the fairy tales they popularised were rooted in a shared cultural history dating back to the birth of the Indo-European language family.

Later thinkers challenged that view, saying some stories were much younger and had been passed into oral tradition having first been written down by writers from the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Durham University anthropologist Dr Jamie Tehrani, who worked with folklorist Sara Graca Da Silva, from the New University of Lisbon, said: "We can come firmly down on the side of Wilhelm Grimm.

"Some of these stories go back much further than the earliest literary record and indeed further back than Classical mythology - some versions of these stories appear in Latin and Greek texts - but our findings suggest they are much older than that."

The study, which was published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, employed phylogenetic analysis, which was developed to investigate evolutionary relationships between species.

It also used a tree of Indo-European languages to trace the descent of shared tales to see how far they could be demonstrated to go back in time.

Dr Tehrani said Jack And The Beanstalk was rooted in a group of stories classified as The Boy Who Stole Ogre's Treasure, and could be traced back to when Eastern and Western Indo-European languages split more than 5,000 years ago.

Analysis showed Beauty And The Beast and Rumpelstiltskin to be about 4,000 years old.

And a folk tale called The Smith And The Devil, about a blacksmith selling his soul in a pact with the Devil in order to gain supernatural abilities, was estimated to go back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Dr Tehrani said: "We find it pretty remarkable these stories have survived without being written.

"They have been told since before even English, French and Italian existed."

"They were probably told in an extinct Indo-European language."


MI5 named UK's most gay-friendly employer after survey

From the BBC.

The security service MI5 has been named as the UK's most gay-friendly employer, following a survey by a leading gay rights charity.

It beat some 400 organisations to top Stonewall's 2016 list of best employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.

The survey assessed staff engagement, career development and other factors.

MI5 director general Andrew Parker said it was "a great acknowledgement of the continued progress we have made".

Stonewall said MI5 had demonstrated its equality in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, training and community engagement.

More than 60,000 staff from across the 400 organisations took part in an anonymous survey about their employers' attitudes.

UK politicians currently debating whether or not to ban Donald Trump from Britain.

Stopping Donald Trump from coming to the UK risks turning him into a martyr, a Labour MP has claimed during a three-hour House of Commons debate.

Paul Flynn said Mr Trump's call to ban Muslims from the US was "extremely dangerous" but barring him from the UK risked being seen as anti-American.

However, SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said a ban would be justified on the grounds of "religious harmony".

A petition advocating a ban has attracted 574,000 signatures.

Monday's debate, which took place in a packed Westminster Hall committee room, ended without a vote.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said the government had the power to exclude people who would "do harm" but the US was the UK's most important ally and the UK should "engage" with presidential candidates even when it "profoundly disagreed" with their views.

The "Ban Trump" petition states that the UK "has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech" and argues that the rules must be "fairly applied to the rich as well as poor".
A counter-petition, also being debated although it has not reached the 100,000 signature mark, argues that foreign nationals should not be banned "for their opinions on domestic actions" and a ban would risk damaging US-UK relations given the possibility of a Trump victory in November's election.

Opening the debate in a crowded chamber, Mr Flynn said it would be wrong to ignore the ban petition, given that the "public was speaking with such a loud voice" and insisted the debate was not an attempt to "disrespect Americans or the American state".

Follow link to BBC with its own link to debate.


Strange David Bowie petitions.

Shortly after Bowie's death I received an email from Change dot org inviting me to sign four David Bowie petitions. The first one was from someone who wanted a star named after Bowie. I didn't sign it because it only costs 29.90 to name a star and if someone wants to do that they can and probably have already.

The second petition was to rename Mars David Bowie. I didn't sign that one either, I can't see other countries going along with it, it mucks up mnemonics My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Names becomes My Very Easy David Bowie Just Speeds Up Names, and unless all the planets are similarly named Mars/David Bowie will stand out like a sore thumb and look daft.

The third petition was to get Bowie's picture on the new 20 note. I didn't sign that either. Currently Adam Smith is on the 20 note, previous figures include Edward Elgar and Michael Faraday. One thing they've all got in common is they all died a long long time ago. Bowie's death is much too soon for that.

The fourth petition was for a commemorative set of stamps. I did sign that, if the Royal Mail can issue a set of stamps commemorating the new Star Wars film they can issue one for Bowie.

FA Cup Anyone?

The third round is always very romantic, well done to Exeter for holding Liverpool to a draw and winning a replay at Anfield. I'm hoping for a good run for Southampton, but they're playing Palace who beat us 1-0 not so long ago. Just down the road, (and actually closer to where I live,) non league Eastleigh are taking on Bolton. That could deliver an upset, the BBC is live from Eastleigh today.

There couldn't be a better way to throw off the January Blues.

Wycome v Villa is an early kick off, could be an early upset.

Any ties other DU members are particularly interested in, or and FA Cup stories you'd like to share?
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