Random Dump

It was Krispy Kreme Friday!

Saw the story of Russian scientists trapped in a Siberian forest with 1,500 pound brown bears circling their dwelling slavering to eat them. Two scientists have already been killed. Read about it here.

A Qantas Boeing had to perform an emergency landing because a hole was blown in its baggage hold. Apparently some baggage was hanging out from the hold after the plane landed, so my theory is the baggage saved the plane by plugging the hole. Which led me to think, can there be some sort of automatic plugging mechanism (foam / gel) like in puncture-free tyres to stop or reduce decompression in the event of a blowout? Maybe the plane could have a double hull with sealant in between?

Lab Rats made me laugh yesterday, unusually. There was a sketch about negotiation.

1- “Everybody likes to negotiate”
2- “Nobody likes to negotiate”
1- “Well.., most people like to negotiate”
2- “Very few people like to negotiate”
1- “Some people like to negotiate”
2- “Ok, some people like to negotiate”


I’ve seen a couple of episodes of a prograame on BBC 2 called ‘Jimmy Doherty’s Farming Heroes’.

Jimmy Doherty is a city dweller from Essex who gave up everything five years ago to start his own farm. His trials and tribulations were documented on another earlier programme. Now he’s been going around Britain showcasing innovative and hard-working farmers.

As usual, the BBC has presented a programme both educative and entertaining. A whole new previously-unknown world was opened up to me, with amazing facts and stories of perseverance and courage.


Only half the human population produces methane, because in some people the methanogenic bacteria have not been handed down or have been killed by an antibiotic course after an illness.

Daffodils can slow down the degenerative process of Alzheimer’s and may prove a cure.

Peas have to be frozen within one and a half hours of being harvested.

Martin vs Mystery Men

Reading ‘Yellow Dog’ by Martin Amis reminded me again of why I rate him so much.

“The wind was committing murders in the night, sudden abductions, terrible smotherings…”

“He finished the bottle of wine, that night. He needed a bottle of wine to get him through it: that is to say, he needed a bottle of wine to get him through an evening with only a bottle of wine to get him through it.”

I also watched a movie with great quotes in it over the weekend: Mystery Men!

“I don’t need a compass to know which way the wind shines.”

“He who questions training only trains himself in asking questions.”

“When you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts.”

“We have a blind date with destiny and it looks like she’s ordered lobster”

All on board / Who’s on your board?

I came across an article about a certain Carlyle Group buying some firms in Turkey, including a 50% stake in the shipbuilder TVK Shipyard. Out of interest, I looked up the Carlyle Group.

Wikipedia tells me that it is a global private equity investment firm based in Washington, D.C. with more than USD 81.1 billion of equity capital under management. It also has/had some illustrious members.


G. Allen Andreas – Chairman of the Archer Daniels Midland Company

Daniel Akerson – company director

Joaquin Avila – investment banker

Laurent Beaudoin – CEO of Bombardier (1979-)

Paul Desmarais – Chairman of the Power Corporation of Canada

Arthur Levitt – former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Karl Otto P̦hl Рformer President of the Bundesbank

Olivier Sarkozy (half-brother of Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France) – co-head and managing director of its recently launched global financial services division, since March 2008.

Jeffrey Chen- CEO of ASE-Taiwan

Jason Chen- Chairman of ASE Group

Political figures

North America

George H. W. Bush, former U.S. President, Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board from April 1998 to October 2003.

George W. Bush, current U.S. President. Was appointed in 1990 to the Board of Directors of one of Carlyle’s first acquisitions, an airline food business called Caterair, which Carlyle eventually sold at a loss. Bush left the board in 1992 to run for Governor of Texas.

James Baker III, former United States Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, Staff member under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, Carlyle Senior Counselor, served in this capacity from 1993 to 2005.

Frank C. Carlucci, former United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989; Also, former Princeton wrestling partner of former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Carlyle Chairman and Chairman Emeritus from 1989 to 2005.

Richard Darman, former Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under George H. W. Bush, Senior Advisor and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group from 1993 to the present.

Randal K. Quarles, former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President George W. Bush, now a Carlyle managing director.

Allan Gotlieb, Canadian ambassador to the United States (1981-89) and member of Carlyle’s Canadian advisory board.

William Kennard, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Bill Clinton, Carlyle’s Managing Director in the Telecommunications & Media Group from 2001 to the present.

Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Bill Clinton, Carlyle Senior Advisor from 2001 to the present

Mack McLarty, White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton, President of Kissinger McLarty Associates, Carlyle Senior Advisor from 2003 to the present

Dan Senor – political consultant

Peter Lougheed – Premier of Alberta (1971-85)

Luis Téllez Kuenzler, Mexican economist, current Secretary of Communications and Transportation under the Felipe Calderón administration and former Secretary of Energy under the Zedillo administration.

Frank McKenna, Canadian ambassador to the United States and former member of Carlyle’s Canadian advisory board

George Soros, American financial speculator, stock investor, philanthropist, and political activist.


John Major, former British Prime Minister, Chairman, Carlyle Europe from 2002 until 2005


Liu Hong-Ru, former chairman of China’s Securities Regulatory Commission

Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand (twice), former member of the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board until the board was disbanded in 2004

Fidel V. Ramos, former president of the Philippines, Carlyle Asia Advisor Board Member until the board was disbanded in 2004

Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed Prime Minister of Thailand, former member of board, who resigned on taking office in 2001

Middle East

Shafig bin Laden, older brother of Osama bin Laden


Norman Pearlstine – editor-in-chief of Time magazine from (1995-2005)

Dinner call at the Brangelina house

“Maddox, Pax Thien, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne Marcheline, Knox Leon!!! Dinner’s ready!!!”

Manchester Jazz Festival

Been looking at the Jazz Festival website to see what Jazz can be enjoyed this weekend. Graboschi is coming down 17th – 20th, (correction, WunderKind has bailed out like the backpedalling German he is, and we can enjoy the jazz without having to pretend we like him) and the rest of the MBS gang can make a weekend of it. A lot of it is nice and mostly free. So here’s a list of what we can look forward to:


+ Festival Launch Party at The Deaf Institute
Starts: 8:00pm Price: £6 (adv.)/£8 on the door

Celebrate the opening of this year’s festival in conjunction with Freedom Principle and Sketch City with a feast for the ears. This selection of Mancunian urban jazz and DJs features loopy grooves from Cinematic Orchestra guitarist Stuart McCallum with guest flautist Finn Peters and vocalist Heidi Vogel; the up-and-coming, intense and energetic Chris Illingworth Trio; and experimental grooves from the 14-piece electronics-big band fusions of BPBB. Jazz, funk and world beats from DJs Ryan Hunn and Jonny Dub (Sketch City/Hoya:Hoya) top and tail the night.

Stuart McCallum
Chris Illingworth Trio
Beats & Pieces Big Band
DJs Ryan Hunn + Jonny Dub


+ Bossa Nouvelle at St. Ann’s Square
Starts: 12:00pm Price: free

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Bossa Nova, this specially-expanded line-up brings the sounds of Brazilian standards via Manchester, heralding a fresh, summery opening to this year’s St Ann’s stage gigs.

Suzanne Higgins – flute, tenor saxophone
Mike Davis – trumpet, flugelhorn
Andy Schofield – clarinet, alto saxophone
Jo McCallum – alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Alan Tokeley – French horn
Mike Walker – guitar
Les Chisnall – electric piano
Jake Newman – double bass, bass guitar
Steve Gilbert – drums
Bryan Hargreaves – percussion

+ John Ellis Band at St. Ann’s Square
Starts: 1:45pm Price: free

Sounds from West Africa and British folk music fuse with the jazz backgrounds of the players in the band, bringing new sounds and grooves to the party.

John Ellis – keyboards, vocals
Kenji Fenton – tenor saxophone, steel pans
Frank Grime – double bass
Rick Weedon – drums

+ 12twelve at St. Ann’s Square
Starts: 3:30pm Price: free

A refreshing, lively quartet from Barcelona influenced by the ‘free jazz’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining features of contemporary music, psychedelia and electronic music. Their music displays both the restlessness and breadth of vision in the current Spanish independent music scene.

This performance is made possible with the generous support of Instituto Cervantes, Manchester.

Jens Neumaier – alto saxophone
Jaime Pantaleón – guitar
Javier García – double bass
José Roselló – drums, percussion, samples

+ Lunnetta Dean at City Inn Manchester
Starts: 5:30pm Price: free

Favourite Mancunian diva returns to mjf to set feet a-tapping, faces a-smiling and spines a-tingling – songs special to Doreen delivered with her warm, captivating and laid-back sensibility.

Doreen Edwards – vocals
George King – electric piano
Dave Tompkins – double bass


+ ‘Jazz – Manhattan to Manchester’: Photographs by William Ellis at The Bridgewater Hall
Starts: 12:55pm Price: free

William Ellis is recognised as one of the world’s leading jazz photographers. On view will be the largest presentation of jazz photography seen in the UK – over three hundred images from the Ellis archive will be projected and fifty photographs will be exhibited. On show until 3pm, Tuesday 22 July.

Presented by Gallery at The Cinnamon Club

+ Gareth Roberts Quintet at The Bridgewater Hall
Starts: 1:00pm Price: free

Based in Cardiff, this youthful band captures the driving energy of Charles Mingus and Horace Silver, fusing it with original compositions and elements of Welsh folksong.

Presented with the generous support of Jazz Services

Gareth Roberts – trombone
Gethin Liddington – trumpet
Paul Jones – piano
Chris O’Connor – double bass
Mark O’Connor – drums

+ Alcyona Mick Quintet at The Bridgewater Hall
Starts: 2:15pm Price: free

A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire, Alcyona’s playing and compositions amalgamate angular melodic lines and strong, block harmonies that reference both Lennie Tristano and Steve Reich; the resultant band sound is energetic and punchy.

Presented with the generous support of Jazz Services

Alcyona Mick – piano
Robbie Robson – trumpet
Mark Hanslip – tenor saxophone
Steve Watts – double bass
Paul Clarvis – drums

+ Free Spirits at The Bridgewater Hall
Starts: 3:30pm Price: free

Hailing from the North East, this exploratory ensemble brings together four virtuoso musicians from the world of jazz, rock, folk and classical Indian music to explore and expand the boundaries of Eastern and Western musical cultures. Spacious and evocative music that builds in momentum.

Presented with the generous support of Jazz Services

Lewis Watson – soprano and tenor saxophone
Dharambir Singh – sitar
Neil Harland – double bass, bass guitar
Bhupinder Singh Chaggar – tabla, electric percussion

+ Festival Jam Session at Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club
Starts: 9:00pm Price: free

All jazz musicians are welcome to bring their assorted horns, axes and Hobson’s choices to join in the fun. Saxophonist Ed Kainyek leads tonight’s house band.

Presented in association with Matt & Phred’s


It was thought that what differentiated man from beast was the ability to see things from another being’s perspective. This has proved not to be the case (see: Signs of empathy seen in mice)

I think what differentiates man from beast is the desire to make another being see from one’s own perspective.

Do you understand what I mean? Did you get it?


I stumbled across a link to a story in The Telegraph online travel section titled “Creation Museum: Among the believers”. The author describes his experience in an American museum in Kentucky taking a creationist rather than evolutionist view of history.

You might expect me to write a serious post on the absurdity of those ‘Mericans.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, I just love the comments to articles that are bound to polarise opinions. Examples to follow speak volumes:

…does the museum explain just where… in the middle of the palistine desert… noah got a penguin..??

In a state park in Texas, near Glenrose, there are dino tracks with human foot prints in the dino tracks, in an ancient riverbed. So Humans did not exsist with dinos? Most evos never want to talk about this evidence! Wonder why?

Schnoopy,i bet you have outdone yourself, you must be proud…you have succeded in making the beauty of christianity into a zombie horror movie…..i must say its quite a feat… but all said and done and admitting that i can’t compete with your sensibility, i must result to the age old truth, that after hating Him and crucifying Him with your words, making him into a zombie.He created you and he still loves you deeply.IT WAS BECAUSE YOU HE PRAYED ON THE CROSS AND SAID FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DO… “and SAY”…. LORD HAVE MERCY!!!

Wow the creationist have used such logic and well thought out arguments that I can see no way around their truths–I now believe Xenu loves us all.

D Burt (09:07 PM) said

“In a state park in Texas, near Glenrose, there are dino tracks with human foot prints in the dino tracks, in an ancient riverbed. … Most evos never want to talk about this evidence! Wonder why?”

See http://paleo.cc/paluxy/paluxy.htm for the answer to this question.

The “human footprints” are nothing of the kind. As the site says … “A few individuals continue to promote the Paluxy “man tracks” … but such claims are not considered credible by either mainstream scientists or major creationist groups.”

Where did Noah keep the termites?
If he only took two of each species, how did he feed the carnivores?
What about marsupials? Isn’ it strange they are not mentioned at all, even though they must have been a very unfamiliar sight in that region?
What about Rimpelstiltskin? Why wasn’t he in the story? Do you worship him? I mean, you do like fairy tales.

What a depressing debate! Re-running the debates of the 19th century in the 21st doesn’t seem likely to generate a whole lot of new insight.

The much more interesting question left hanging by the original article is why so many people (whatever the numbers really are) persist in believing the stuff presented at this “museum”.

I am shocked by the rudeness and intolerance displayed by evolutionists against christians in these posts. Evolution is definitely not a harmless theory. The Nazi’s used it to justify the extermination of the Jews. Abortion and euthanasia are all practical outcomes from its ‘survival of the fittest’ law and, as you can see from the posts, it produces an intolerance in those who hold to it today. Whereas the christian message is that we should protect the weak and the vulnerable. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The rather intolerant Darwinists in the UK postng here are living in a society that is apparently ready to accept incredibly backward and intolerant circa 7th Century Sharia law. Enjoy.

“Evolution is definitely not a harmless theory.”

Neither is religion.

“The Nazi’s used it to justify the extermination of the Jews.”

And what has religion been used to justify?

Death visits a squirrel

Woke up to a nice sunny morning today. Left home whistling, saw a fearless little squirrel munching on fallen stuff outside my home, said hello to him, went and waited at the busstop, saw the squirrel jump out on to the middle of the road, saw the taxi car racing down the road, saw him hit the brakes and horn, saw the front wheels miss the squirrel, saw him jump to escape from under the car, saw the back wheel roll him.

How things can change in seconds.

It was still flopping about and I stood there thinking, “Do I go over and stomp on it, or shall I find a brick or something; what do I do?” I couldn’t, and still can’t believe with my “worldliness” how shocked I felt.

Then the bus came, I got on and looked out the window. It had stopped moving and there was a pool of blood around its head.

Denmark v Zimbabwe

Denmark is officially the world’s happiest country.

Zimbabwe, torn by political and social strife, is the least happy.

According to the director of the study Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the University of Michigan:

“I strongly suspect that there is a strong correlation between peace and happiness”

I strongly suspect this man is a genius for deducing that.