Apparently Manchester’s “won” the bid to build a Supercasino. Without first going into the social ills this is promoting, I’m wondering about the word “bid“.

Why should the cities be bidding? Does this mean that the councils of several cities were pitted against each other to win over the favour of a conglomerate/consortium?

If so, what were the councils offering the profit-making organisation? “Come build here, we’ve got a large target population of losers that you can make a quick buck off”? If I was a profit-making organisation I’d surely be demanding a guarantee of certain minimum numbers coming through my doors!

The BBC website says:- Manchester had been chosen because of its “very thorough consultation” with the local community and “the way it dealt with questions of problem gambling”.

But surely the way not to deal with problem gambling is introducing a Jerusalem for gamblers! I have seen government “efforts” in this area. Leaflets in betting shops with a telephone number. “Call us if you think you have a problem!” Practically every gambler thinks he/she is beating the odds, can quit when he/she wants and doesn’t have a problem.

Should I consider the revenue this is bringing in, perhaps? But what if I was a rich person and offered to pay the council say £10,000 for every person I shot because I like a bit of game hunting? How much revenue will justify this? You can fiddle with the details; more money per person, or perhaps I only shoot people who are using up valuable NHS resources. Will the council decide that for certain values in the equation, I should be allowed to do so?
Note to Rach:- Words like “gambling” and “prostitution” in a comment put it in the moderation queue.

A Great Weekend

It was a really nice weekend, a Saturday spent in the company of old friends playing badminton, having Dim sum, watching Manchester United win, and having a few drinks and takeaway food. And then there was comfortable vegetating on Sunday with Sha.

Thanks to all, it was great to see you all and I had a wonderful time!!

Joni Mitchell

Don’t it always seem to go,

That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

The Allman Brothers

Can’t spend what you ain’t got,
Can’t lose what you never had.

Oumou Sangare

I feel really privileged and pampered to be able to just stroll into a library and pick up one of the best CDs ever recorded. Thank you Mr. Music Buyer for Central Libraries; how could he (or she (obviously if it’s she then we’re not going to address her as Mr.)) have known to buy Oumou Sangare?
Oumou Sangare is a female singer born in Bamako, Mali. Her music is that of Southern Mali, with a distinct, hypnotic style of traditional music called “Wassoullou”. Have a listen. My favourite songs are Dugu Kamalemba (Skirt chaser) and Ne Bi Fe (I love you).

Meanwhile, is playing a long-forgotten song by Credence Clearwater Revival called “Walk on the water”. I loved CCR when I was introduced to them by Moscow’s Radio Classica 102.1 fm (Classic Rock, that is) but I seem to have somehow forgotten about them.

How true

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

-Douglas Adams

The fine line ——-

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Sikh at the head of Newsnight the other day. He was a tre jolie and intelligent fella and managed to finely tread the line between self-aggrandisement and self-deprecation. Then I saw him crop up again last night on Channel 4 with a program about gambling. He proved to be a very funny guy, cracking jokes and puns with a straight face while gamely trying everything.

I’ve since learned he wrote, directed and starred in “Meet the Magoons”, a comedy show.

And as Google informs me, Shasha was right. Hardeep Singh Kohli grew up in Scotland so traces of that accent were noticeable. He also produced a documenmtary called “In search of the tartan turban”.

In India, Sikhs were a regular sight on television; but Hardeep is the only one on British telly I can remember.

And New Scientist informs us that there is indeed a fine line between being British and African, atleast for some people. The title says it all:- Genes reveal West African heritage of white Brits. Yes, you didn’t know what mama dear was upto, did you?

GIS / Ding

Okay, here’s the news you’ve been waiting for.

At the interview I was sat down in a small room with an ancient laptop (in case I made off with it?) and given a A4 paper with a task on it. I had 30 mins to read and prepare a presentation, following which I’d be grilled/interviewed interminably.

The task? Assuming a Manchester Transport Enterprise was receiving complaints from Trafford Park Employers that there were poor public transport services for its employees, especially at key shift times early morning and late night, how would you (I) assess the problem and provide solutions. Specifically, what data would I need, how would I use it in a GIS system, and what advantages/drawbacks of using a GIS system.

I’m not going to further anoint myself in glory by giving you my brilliant answers; suffice it to say that I enjoy such tasks and it really took the pressure off me having prepared anything beforehand as the interviewers knew the whole thing was pretty much off-the-cuff.

So I remain hopeful.

In other news, Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui in the SAGA Master’s Final. Ding went ahead 2-0 at the start, but Rocket Ronnie then came back to blow him away 10-3. This was a remarkable game for Ronnie’s brilliance, but also because of the drama than went on. The 19 year-old Chinese Ding was upset by the reaction of the 4000-strong crowd in the Wembley Conference Arena when he missed a shot, and ended up looking severly distressed and tearful. There may have been some heckling going on as well, and Ding left the table for the final break with 31 year-old Ronnie’s arm around his shoulder. In the final frame Ronnie paused in his play to berate a heckler, which the rest of the crowd applauded.

We forget how nerve-wracking it must be to play in front of a live audience and cameras for a 19 year-old, no matter how talented he is. I hope this experience helps Ding understand and deal with external pressure better, for he is surely a champion in waiting.

An Interview with Naz

Going to an interview now with one of Greater Manchester’s largest Public Transport Enterprises. 45 mins of “assessment” followed by 60 mins of “interview”. (Dunno why the “quotation marks”).

Sha and Ali are at a photoshoot. More about that later. (He he. That should keep ’em hanging for more details.)

And it’s my pesky little sister Yasso’s birthday today. She’s now old enough to tie her own shoe laces. In some countries. You can hand me the presents and I’ll definitely really make sure she gets them. Yeah.


I saw this thing I liked on Sha’s blog, so I wasted no time in copying it. And you’ll love it too.

How shall I describe it? Hmmm…
Why don’t you roll your mouse over any of the web links on this blog and see what happens? Like this photoblog by Kleinert for example.