Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bathtub IV

3 minutes 33 seconds of animation good enough so that you can almost sniff the salt air...

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

And there's more here, including my favourite short film of all time:

World Builder from BranitVFX on Vimeo.


This looks promising ...

Hat-tip : Volokh Conspiracy

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vile Fatwa In Bangladesh

A 16 year-old rape victim is punished with 100 lashes.

This 'gruesome brutality' and 'parallel system of justice that misuse the name of religion' is roundly condemned by the Bangladesh Daily Star here.

JUSTICE has been made a farce of once again. In a shocking repetition of misuse of fatwa, a rape victim was at the receiving end of a hundred and one lashes; the punishment was fixed through local arbitration participated by some village elders in a village in Kashba upazilla. And the rapist is roaming scot-free.

The incident is shocking not only for the gruesome brutality meted out to the 16 year old girl, but also because of the attitude of the law enforcing agency who did not act promptly enough to prevent the whipping or take cognisance of the incident later. It is very clear that the High Court directive to the police, issued in August 2009, to investigate all extrajudicial punishments, has not been fully implemented. Had that been the case the perpetrators would have been brought to justice and made examples of, and this would have acted as a deterrent to others.

The recent incident is disturbing on two counts. It demonstrates once again that helpless women, who are victims of rape and other forms of torture, not only cannot seek redress of law, they and their parents are further subjected to physical and mental torture including social ostracisation, as in the recent case in Kashba.

The other disturbing aspect is the role of the police. We cannot comprehend the statement the OC of Kashba PS that he would take appropriate action if the victim filed a case in this regard. He is in clear breach of the High Court directives in this regard. It is even more disturbing because three women have been victims of lashing as result of fatwa in this very district during the current month.

One cannot speak too strongly against this kind of aberrations that is being used to perpetrate violence against women. This practice must stop immediately. We join with the conscious segment of the society in calling upon the government to take steps to stop the parallel system of justice that misuse the name of religion. While the highest court has taken cognisance of the matter the police have not been quite up to the task earnestly as yet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Cat versus Bear !

Never underestimate a cat.....

Hat-tip : Andrew Sullivan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

West Ham Olympic

I love the suggestion of West Ham United moving to the Olympic Stadium and renaming themselves West Ham Olympic

Just think :

* The club doctor would be Doctor WHO
* Opposing fans could never chant "Who are ya?" again. Instead Irons fans could sing "We are WHO"
* The Doctor Who theme tune would be a great piece of music for the players to run out to...

Anyway, how did Marseille get the name "Olympique Marseille" when the Olympics has never been in the south of France?

What's Going On Here?

I'm really puzzled by this article on the Southend Echo website:

A CONSERVATIVE councillor says he is running as an independent in another ward this year as a “practice run”.

Jason Luty, who is currently a Conservative councillor for Eastwood Park ward, will be standing in the May elections as an independent candidate in Westborough.

He says this is a “dry run” in preparation to challenging independent group leader, Martin Terry, whose term as an independent councillor in the Westborough ward comes to an end in 2011.

Mr Luty expects Tory Mel Day to win May’s elections because of national support for the Conservatives, but will use this experience as a practice run....

Full article here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Bitter Day for my Home Town

It's a bitter day for Rayleigh, with the announcement that all 600 or so jobs at Eon will be lost.

Cadbury's employees - be warned.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Couple Of Questions....

Does your local council's website have a link to the council leader's blog on it's home page?

Which council websites do you know of that do have a link to their leader's blog on the council home page?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A "Ghost" Story To Start The New Year

This is a true story about a former Essex MP - Major Sir Frederick Carne Rasch.

Rasch seemed to have had a pretty good life. He went to Eton and then Trinity College Cambridge, and did a lot of rowing there (that’s rowing boats , not rowing in arguments). He spent ten years in the Dragoon Guards, became a director of a couple of breweries, and then went into parliament as a Conservative, representing Essex South-East from 1886 until 1900, and then Chelmsford until 1908.

A magazine article on 1896 described him as “an Essex man and wholesome, bluff, genial fellow of strong opinions; who calls himself a Democratic Tory.” The very first question he asked in the House of Commons was about cavalry saddles, and you can imagine him in one of the Commons bars having a cigar and a few whiskies with his friends and talking about horses, rowing and country pursuits.

Rasch clearly had a social conscience, for example , speaking up several times in the House of Commons for poor farm labourers in Canewdon. But he definitely wasn’t a progressive- he was very much against giving the children of agricultural workers much of an education : “I know very well I am not an enthusiast, a crank, or a fanatic on the subject of education in the agricultural districts. To speak plainly, I detest it so far as I am concerned. I am here simply as an agricultural Member, principally to keep the rates down, and particularly the rates for education.”

So all in all he was a very down-to-earth chap. Not the kind of person you’d connect with any kind of paranormal events. And yet.....

It was the spring of 1905. The MP Sir Gilbert Parker described what happened as follows:

"I wished to take part in the debate in progress, but missed being called. As I swung round to resume my seat I was attracted first by seeing Sir Carne Rasch out of his place, and then by the position he occupied. I knew that he had been very ill, and in a cheery way nodded towards him and said, `Hope you are better.'
"But he made no sign and uttered no reply. This struck me as odd. My friend's position was his and yet not his. His face was remarkably pallid. His expression was steely. It was a altogether a stony presentment -- grim, almost resentful.
"I thought for a moment. Then I turned again toward Sir Carne Rasch, and he had disappeared. That puzzled me, and I at once went in search of him. I expected, in fact, to overtake him in the lobby. But Rasch was not there. No one had seen him. I tried both the Whips and the doorkeeper, equally without avail. No one had seen Sir Carne Rasch.
"I went round the House, inquiring in all the corridors and to the same end -- Sir Carne Rasch had not been seen. Going again to the lobby, I heard that Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson, who was at the lobby post office, had also been inquiring for the major, but without result.
"I joined Sir Henry, and we exchanged views."

Sir Gilbert was interested in psychic phenomena and wondered if Rasch had died and appeared as a ghost! Rasch was actually at home, ill with influenza, but he was neither dead nor dying. He seemed have been amused by the whole affair and couldn’t resist having a friendly dig at the Liberals:

"I was rather ill at the time, and had to keep my bed, and why I should have gone to the House of Commons that night I don't know. However, the Express of Friday says that I did. I am worth a good many dead ones yet, I hope. At any rate, I mean to go on a little longer.
"I feel, however, that I ought to apologize to the Liberal Party for not having died when I suppose I ought. Had I done so it would have saved them a good deal of trouble. If I have another chance perhaps I will endeavor to oblige them."

Rather unexpectedly, there was a response from the Liberals that confirmed this ghostly sighting. A letter from Colonel Sir Arthur Hayter, published in the Daily News said:

"Sir, On my way home to Southhill Park today I noticed in The Daily News that Sir Carne Rasch had been seen in the House of Commons by Sir Gilbert Parker when he was reported to be lying ill at home, and that further evidence in confirmation was required.
"I beg to say that I not only saw Sir Carne Rasch myself sitting below the gangway (not in his usual seat), but that I called the attention of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman to whom I was talking on the Front Opposition Bench, saying that I wondered why all the papers inserted notices of Sir Carne Rasch's illness, while he was sitting opposite apparently quite well. Sir Henry replied that he hoped his illness was not catching. -- Yours, etc.”

Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman became Prime Minister the next year, so should certainly trusted as a witness....

The full story abou the incident in the Commons can be found here.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The End Of Time

Thank you Doctor, a great final episode.
Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.