If music be the food of love . . .

A British newspaper report tells us that an enraged gunman in Thailand shot dead eight of his neighbors, including his brother-in-law, after their constant, repeated karaoke versions of pop songs (including John Denver’s “Country Roads”) drove him into a frenzy. Needless to say, one can’t condone murder for any reason . . . but I’ve been driven to distraction by idiots playing music over and over again (and far too loudly). I’d imagine that drunken renditions of pop songs in the karaoke style would be enough to drive me over the edge, too! I’m not sure about John Denver, though.

Continue reading

Weekend Wings #10: Flying The Hump

Air transport today – whether civilian or military – is a complex, seamless web of people, machinery, locations and infrastructure. We take it for granted that we can ship anything anywhere in the world within a day or two, provided only that it can be broken down into loads that will fit onto an aircraft. It wasn’t always so easy. World War II was the catalyst in developing our modern air infrastructure. During the war huge networks of intercontinental air travel were developed: new methods of freight handling and mass passenger transport were devised: and the experience gained by tens

Continue reading

They make ’em tough in Aussie!

I enjoy amusing foreign television advertisements – both real and imagined. This one isn’t real, but is a spoof advert showing Australian men as they are reputed to be (or do they imagine themselves this way?). It’s not exactly safe for work, so if you’re not watching it in private, turn the volume down. Peter

Continue reading

The undoing of gobbledygook

I’m sure we’ve all run into examples of gobbledygook from time to time. Forms to be filled out that are impossible to understand: regulations that are impossible to follow because no-one can figure out what they mean: academic theses, dissertations and articles that are incomprehensible to all except those with advanced degrees in Martian circumlocution: and so on. Well, help is at hand from the Plain English Campaign. Their purpose in life is to help individuals and organizations, public and private, to clarify the language they use in communication by getting rid of excessive verbiage and making things as simple

Continue reading

A tree surgeon . . . NOT!

Following my rather sad previous post, I thought a bit of levity might lighten the atmosphere – so here it is. This video was taken in South Africa, where an enterprising soul decided to pull down a palm tree using a pickup truck. Unfortunately . . . well, why spoil it? You can see the results for yourself. *gigglesnort!* Hat-tip to David Z. for the e-mail. Peter

Continue reading

The tragic reality of evil

It’s been a sad day for me. A good friend, one whom I respect greatly, drew my attention to a court case in Australia. Two lesbian lovers became sexually aroused while they bludgeoned a teenage girl with a concrete block and strangled her with a dog chain, a judge says. The young women then kissed over the body of their dead or dying victim, 16-year-old Stacey Mitchell, the West Australian Supreme Court in Perth was told. Justice Peter Blaxell yesterday sentenced Jessica Ellen Stasinowsky, 21, and Valerie Paige Parashumti, 19, to life in jail, with a minimum 24-year non-parole period,

Continue reading

Not quite your classical golden “throne”!

It seems that the Hang Fung jewelry company in Hong Kong has long had a “Hall Of Gold” exhibit in that city. It’s described as “an extravagant display that includes a golden palace and statues of Chinese goddesses, originally created to lure shoppers into the company’s showrooms.” Everything on display is made of gold . . . even the toilet. This piece contains a full ton of gold – which gives you some idea of the density of that metal! Anyway, the rising value of gold has made it too expensive to keep on display. The company has announced that

Continue reading

A battle remembered, and heroes fallen

News from Norway is that the wreck of HMS Hunter has been discovered. She was an H-class destroyer of the Royal Navy that was sunk during the First Naval Battle of Narvik on April 10, 1941. The First Naval Battle of Narvik saw the first award in World War II of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest honor for gallantry in action. It was conferred posthumously upon Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee, Officer Commanding the Second Destroyer Flotilla (of which HMS Hunter was a member). His own destroyer, HMS Hardy, was so severely damaged in the battle that she had to be beached,

Continue reading

Don’t die here – or else!

From the village of Sarpourenx in France comes this interesting vignette. They’ve run out of space in the village cemetery, so the mayor has promulgated a rule that “all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish”. To add insult to injury, those disobeying Mayor Gerard Lalanne’s injunction will, he says, be “severely punished”. I’m not quite sure how you go about punishing someone who’s died. Perhaps he’ll revive them for chastisement? Threaten to take away their good-conduct privileges in Purgatory? Send the riot police after

Continue reading

A new twist to home defense

In England citizens aren’t allowed to own or use firearms for self-defense. One gentleman has applied his mind to the problem and come up with a solution that is, I must admit, unique in my experience. You see, Joe Weston-Webb used to be a traveling showman. He still owns many items of equipment from those days, including a cannon once used to “fire his wife across the River Avon” – she must have been a long-suffering woman! – and a replica of a Roman catapult. They’re going to come in handy. After an arson attack on his offices and vandalism

Continue reading