Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Weekly round-up: 30 September 2017

(Still not sure of this ‘Round-up’ thing…

In my head,  can’t switch off the need to explain WHY an item is included – yet I have friend sites that do the same thing and seem to get away with giving nothing other than the title/link, and have great long lists of round-up items.

Oh well… I’ll keep trying stuff.)

It was nice to a positive report from Aberdeen, where it seems our native red squirrels have apparently ‘seen off’ the disease-carrying grey invader from the area Red squirrels ‘winning battle with greys’ in Aberdeen woods

Those seeking to emulate Russian daredevil bloggers seem to lack style and attract police, unlike the originals. For anyone who doesn’t follow the Russians, I should perhaps add the cautionary note that Russians DO FALL and DO DIE! But there were no splats at the Glasgow Tower – I would have a link here, but when I checked the Daily Record’s page (where I read the tale and watched the video) – the link failed and the article appeared to have been removed. Other provided plain reports (no video or pics from it) later Two men reported by police over Glasgow Tower climb

The Mongol Rally is a crazy event, but it gave Scottish couple Chris and Julie Ramsey the chance to be the first to finish in an electric vehicle, and they made the news Scots couple complete 10,000-mile rally in electric car But instead of being seen as an achievement, I was sad to see that many proponents of EVs went to war in discussion forums, as their brains appeared to go into some sort of meltdown – caused by the wording of the rules, and description of vehicles which meet the criteria for acceptance in this event. Too long for me to go into detail (the rules are in Wikipedia) – I just saw the whole thing as sad, and how success can be turned to apparent failure by twisted minds.

How do morons and tyrants manage to gain control of nations? With an orange moron and a yellow tyrant playing at ‘Who the biggest?’, it’s ironic that the seas off Scotland should be seeing the first exercise that includes live ballistic missile defence evaluation Missiles fired with no prior warning in exercise off Scotland Missile exercise in Scotland amid North Korea tensions Organised long before the North Korean situation escalated, this will last one month, involve eight countries and 13 or 14 ships (different numbers have been reported).

Two military exercises are taking place in the waters off Scotland at the moment Warships gather in Scotland for Nato exercises The usual second phase of Joint Warrior completes the exercise which began with its first phase back in April Royal Navy releases details on Exercise Joint Warrior

It’s busy out there. There was also the earlier New Sea Ceptor air defence missiles tested off Scottish coast

Good job Unmanned Warrior was held in 2016 Unmanned boat to play part in Navy’s first ‘robot wars’

Ongoing efforts to make life hard for metal thieves seem to be ineffective, with this sort of event still in the news Train services cancelled after signalling cables stolen

Fans of Tom Weir might want to stop in Fort William where Rare Scottish climbing artefacts (are) to go on display and will include Tom Weir’s bonnet (and other items he owned and used). You have until 08 October, or see them online: The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection

I was never a frequent visitor to Paisley, despite it having a lot of interesting features and historical interest (I went to its RC model shop, and a camera shop). But, it has a museum and it’s going to get better Paisley museum revamp secures lottery funding It’s getting a £43 million refurbishment  – which make me wonder why Kelvingrove only cost £28 million, and the Burrell is also way past that at £66 million.

Not being photogenic, I’ve never had any desire to be in front of a camera, and from behind, I’ve tried to catch pics that lampoon selfie-takers (sadly, only one so far). This Rankin fellow apparently take pics of celebrities, so I’ve never heard of him, but being a Scot from Paisley, he has some wise things to say about the scourge of narcissism and the selfie Scots photographer Rankin: Why I worry about the selfie  (There’s only one comment after it: Nothing says “I am a prat” like a selfie. Nothing says “I am a total prat” like a selfie stick.)

Did you know this is the third year the Braehead Shopping Centre and Soar has welcomed children from the Chernobyl region?

Do you think he liked his job? Hugh Hefner: Playboy magazine founder dies aged 91 All joking aside, the magazine DID contain excellent writing by leading authors and high quality articles. I saw few, but still have (only the relevant pages of) an article that looked at the original Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing. Famous then, the cars are now worth millions. If I had the full magazine, it would probably be worth a few pounds more today. Oh well.

At least Peggy’s last five years were better than the rest (since animal activists have so far failed to force this zoo to close Zoo in ‘heartbreaking’ decision to put down brown bear

I’d like to say I’m amazed at the level scumbags will stoop to, but having been unfortunate enough to learn I knew one or two, I don’t think they have any morals or scruples. Such things are just not in their mindset. Still, using people’s concern for pets is still worth noting as a low and dirty trick Bogus callers impersonated SSPCA officers in Livingston See also this piece of dirt Mount Vernon cemetery worker jailed over burial fraud

And finally… Following the sad story of the ignorant octogenarian last week (the one who imagined he saw Nazi swastikas in the grip pattern moulded in his comfy bargain slippers from China), I got the following pic of a Nazi temple – well, it probably would be in HIS mind.

There was, unfortunately, no info or description, so I have to guess. The mosaic suggests it probably predates the Nazi regime, when it was a popular motif, possibly in a building dating very (very) roughly around 1900. Taken through a metal gate of some sort, suggesting it was laid in the entrance to a building, maybe in the US, or even India, there isn’t enough surrounding detail to make a decent guess.

Swastika Mosaic

Swastika Mosaic


30/09/2017 Posted by | Weekly round-up | | Leave a comment

Glasgow Sheriff Court (still) beats the Holyrood skip

I came across a chance pic I took of Glasgow’s Sheriff Court, and it brought the standard tear to my eye as it reminded me of Scotland’s shame in the shape of that skip sitting in Holyrood – the embarrassing £414 million money-pit sometimes known as the Scottish Parliament Building. Thankfully not credited to any Scottish architect, but a weird Catalan architect who succumbed to brain disease not long after it was completed (some might put two and two together regarding that). Seems his wife was no prize either, as I have memories of reading she wanted money for work done on the building after he was dead and buried.

Recent news of the Holyrood skip has reported it will come to the end of its useful life as soon as 2060: Scottish Parliament building ‘will reach end of useful life by 2060’

Again, just going by memory, that seems to be a mew claim or more recent figure, magicked up after an earlier claim was made a few years ago, suggesting it would only last 30 years (due to spiralling maintenance costs), taking it only to 2034 or so. I wonder where they found the additional 26 years from? (Maybe they just bought a box of hard hats, and anyone entering the skip will be obliged to wear one).

Now, after the scandal of the build price, they’re having to try to hide the ridiculously shabby build it paid for:

Architectural experts warn MSPs will have to approve a massive refit bill or face moving to a new building.

Speaking to a Sunday newspaper, architectural writer David Black said, “It doesn’t compare terribly well with the Scottish Parliament Hall in Edinburgh, which was built in 1639 and is still there.

“The Holyrood building has in-built problems. It is so ridiculously over-engineered.”

Peter Wilson, who was project architect for the Museum of Scotland, said: “The Scottish Parliament should have cost about £150 million if it had been managed properly. But it was totally mismanaged, though an inquiry, which was a whitewash, said no one was to blame.

“But you could say the building has more value than some of the occupants. If you replaced them with wall or loft installation, you wouldn’t know the difference.” A Scottish Parliament spokesman added: “Our annual accounts assume an initial 50-year depreciation period for the building, which is based on standard practice.”

Via Scottish Parliament building ‘will reach end of useful life by 2060’

I wonder how many remember the stories of loose and falling beams, not long after the skip opened, now possibly all deleted to hide its near immediate failure.

Yet Glasgow’s Sheriff Court, a building that has to be reasonably secure and robust, and fit for purpose, just seems to amble along and do its job without fuss, disaster, or scandal.

It even managed to become the first post-war court facility in the country to be named as a listed building in Scotland.

Glasgow Sheriff Court across the river

Glasgow Sheriff Court across the river

30/09/2017 Posted by | council, photography | , , | 2 Comments

On misinformation, the rise of a Cuban mystery

I saw a story come to light quietly a few weeks ago, and note that it has come to a head today as:

US reveals details of recent ‘sonic attack’ on Cuba diplomats

I found the suggestion that this, if it is real, is classed as a ‘sonic attack’ on the diplomats… interesting.

I’ve read of claims that the Nazis, in their growth years before World War II, would roll up with lorries at meetings being held by their opponents. The lorries were said to contain powerful amplifiers and large loudspeakers, fed with inaudible low-frequency signals of only a few hertz. These low-frequency sound waves were supposed to induce various feeling of illness, unease, sickness, panic, and other maladies which would disrupt the meetings and make them unpopular.

But, from modern analysis of the claims, it seems that this was propaganda, and that there is no genuine scientific basis for the claims made.

Also, the same (or similar) frequency is claimed to be the magical ‘brown frequency’, allegedly able to cause the target’s bowels to open uncontrollably when they are targeted.

Sadly, when the Mythbusters’ team donned nappies and set up a test range, with huge amplifiers and loudspeakers, they failed to find any effect despite trying a range of frequencies and power levels.

This makes the claim of a Cuban ‘sonic attack’ hard to believe, unless they have added ‘magic’.

Incidentally, I’m well aware of various acoustic weapons and deterrents, but having seen the demo videos, none of these seem to be covert, and are very obvious when in use, being both seen and heard.

If the claims of affected diplomats are true, and not just a manufactured political excuse to start some tit-for-tat actions by the Orange Moron, then there could be something far more serious taking place.

I only have fictional accounts, but on the other hand, there is not doubt that exposure to both ionising and no-ionising radiation at excessive levels is potentially harmful. Don’t forget Litvinenko and death by polonium.

I’ve been involved with NDT (non-destructive testing) at times, and even the smallest portable kit comes with dire warnings, demands for shielding to keep people nearby safe, while the largest X-Ray source I worked on needed a room with two 5-ton lead-lined doors and a concrete refuge maze to run and take cover in if you were in the room and the source was somehow activated. Similarly, if you get anywhere near microwave radar transmitters, they are festooned with warnings not to be anywhere near them when they are operating.

I hate to oversimplify and say it’s easy to make X-Rays, but in principle it’s not hard…

X-Ray basics

X-Ray basics

And the portable NDT kit is… portable!

I haven’t touched it for years though, and forget how far we had to make sure there were no actual people that might have been in the beam path.

Portable X-Ray Test

Portable X-Ray Test

Crumpled TV detective Columbo solved one case where people were mysteriously falling in and dying after noting plants in an office were dying too, eventually finding the killer was setting up a portable NDT X-Ray transmitter outside the office.

Even before that, old-time radio criminologist Lamont Cranston, known as ‘The Shadow’, was faced with an apparently genuine Pharaoh’s Curse. Explorers who entered a tomb and dared look at the mummy would collapse and die moments later. He found that the killer had placed an X-Ray generator behind the mummy’s head, and activated it when anyone gazed on the pharaoh, blasting them with X-Rays from only a few centimetres from their head.

As for RF or microwave attacks, two or three beams could be aimed at, and crossed, on a building, and produce hazardous levels when combined.

While the reality (as opposed to the purely fictional cases noted) is probably that the levels involved would not result in instant death, but odd symptoms and illness. Even the worst cases of nuclear irradiation do not kill instantly (try looking up the ‘Demon Core’ for details), but take days to cause a horrible lingering death as the body’s systems fail. Even battlefield radiation doses are cruel, producing victims referred to as ‘walking dead’ or ‘ghosts’. After an initial period of feeling ill, such victims appear to return to health after a few days – but the damage has been done, and their bodies are merely in the initial phase of shutting down, and after appearing to recover, are actually incurably injured, and will die.

I don’t suppose there will ever be an honest reveal. The US will not provide evidence, just claims, while the Cubans will deny all accusations.

I really only mention it since we really are back to the games enjoyed back in the days of the Cold War.

29/09/2017 Posted by | Cold War | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why do bad or stupid design?

While I’ve just had a little soft kick at Dyson, at least they seem to TRY to get things right, or don’t make stuff that is just ‘wrong’.

See the pic below for the sort of bad, or stupid, design that has me climbing the wall when I come across it.

It’s an example of something that appears to look fine and good when first seen – then raises the question (for me at least) “What idiot designed this?”

This is one half of the casing around the guts of a solar garden light, a trivial item perhaps, but still no excuse for bad design.

I sometimes pick these things up in the street, usually broken, but they often still work, and the circuits on the PCBs can be reused to drive LEDs, and they will charge suitable cells to, even from the solar cell if it hasn’t been smashed. And for free, which can’t be bad.

But back to the example below – what’s my problem?

It looks neat enough – the bump at the top is for a small pole which the assembly is mounted on, and has another small pole (about 15 cm) which has the LED at its end; below that is a clip to hold a small LiIon cell which powers the thing; the four spacers and two clips which form a rectangle at the bottom hold the PCB; the rusty hole provides access to the unit’s slide switch; lastly, the two holes on either side are for screws to hold the case together.

Have you spotted the stupid part yet?

Here’s a clue: Where are all the components I just described?

Yup… hanging loose and dangling in mid-air because the LED is fixed in the other half of the case, together with the solar cell!


If they had moulded all the fixings I just described in into the other half of the case, then it could have been opened and worked on without having to unclip all the parts have them floating around, dangling on tiny fine wires that will fracture after being dragged about.

I’m sorry, but I can’t see any reason for doing it this way other than stupidity, and it’s just BAD design.

For what it’s worth, I have collected other solar lights found in the street, and they ARE built with all the components AND their fixings in one half of the case, so it’s not impossible to do, and I don’t seem to be able to find any pracitcal disadvantage with that layout.

Solar Light Cover

Solar Light Cover

29/09/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Why cats have nine (more) lives

Thank (another) anonymous benefactor for this follow-up to a recent graffiti post.

Reminder (click for bigger):

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti

If the hint that came with it was accurate, then this is an example from the Netherlands.

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti 2

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti 2

29/09/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow police memorial in the Trongate

I’m never particularly happy to quote or refer to other people’s claims if I haven’t double checked them, so I wasn’t completely comfortable with some of the lists I referred to a few weeks ago, but then again, I wasn’t making the claim that they were accurate, just having a bit of fun.

One was a list of Scottish inventions, with one entry noting that Glasgow invented the police, and was the home of the first police to be created by an Act.

Seems I had a pic on file that confirmed this, and the Glasgow Police Act of 1800.

Find it in the Trongate, near the Tron Steeple and the Tron Theatre.



29/09/2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Oh dear – Dyson has threatened a ‘radical’ electric car

Dyson Mega Electric

While I actually have some admiration for (now Sir) James Dyson for making his fortune from something he invented, I can never work up any enthusiasm for most of his philosophy. And he does seem to have set up something to help aspiring inventors.

Possibly this is because I see his products as tainted by being over-priced and aimed at people who can afford to buy something gimmicky.

I don’t have any issues with his cyclone-based bagless vacuum cleaners (other than their ridiculously high price – they’re even more expensive now than when they arrived) which can be shown to work, and he also succeeded in showing he was maligned overseas as regards power consumption. But then again, I see too many lying around, apparently discarded.

But he lost me with the so-called ‘bladeless fan’, which merely hides the blades into the base, and costs an absolute fortune.

I’m not sure about the hand-dryer, which I’m not buying just to try, and seems to come in for quite a lot of negative criticism (and jokes) online.

Back on track, I should declare that I don’t think the UK rates much attention regarding EVs (so far). I’ve spent the last seven years following US developments and uptake, and consider this country be up to 5 years behind, both in technology and, more critically, mindset. You’re more likely to get snide remarks here, than any appreciation of the technology

For example, back then many US ‘experts’ predicted the US power grid would collapse as soon as EVs began to appear. Guess what… it didn’t. According to sensible people, the US was under much greater threat decades ago, when air-conditioning became cheap enough for the masses to buy. But the increased load was just absorbed by the existing system, no panic, no disaster.

Last week, I read a UK ‘expert’ predict the National Grid (and even local street distribution) would be overloaded if (not when) EVs were adopted.

I should have kept a US analysis to hand (from years back) as it showed a proper analysis, and how the load was distributed. Overloading was shown NOT to be an issue.

Before you start kicking me, I’m fully aware the UK case could be different, I merely draw attention to a claim I find alarmist, and probably from the crazy anti-EV brigade.

The Dyson car announcement doesn’t inspire me with confidence. I don’t think the ‘great inventor’ has invented much, and while his adverts tout claims for things like ‘digital motors’ I’m sad to say I happened to come across some online teardowns of them by others, and they failed to find anything ‘digital’ or innovative, just conventional electric motors with a few modern tweaks.

I worry that claims of £2 billion to be spent developing a ‘radical’ electric (battery powered) car to be launched in 2020 are spin, and the split of £1 billion on the car and £1 billion on the battery seems trite.

A further claim that 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at his HQ seems like more spin, with not even a teaser outline of a prototype, reportedly not even existing yet.

Sir James declined to give further details of the project. “Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential,” he told staff in an email. Everything is still a secret, including any annual production total, the cost of the car, its range, or top speed.

By 2020, the rest of the EV industry will have moved on from where it is now – I predict/suggest that, without an actual product on the market to develop and refine, by then, Dyson will be behind, and might not be much different from Sinclair.

The fallout from Sinclair was negative, and is still with us even today when EVs are mentioned in the UK.

I hope Dyson does not reprise past events, and do the same damage with his ‘vision’.

Via Dyson to make electric cars from 2020

From the past, 24 March 2016…

I was looking for related info, lest any genuine technical info had been leaked, and found this:

Dyson using government funding to work on electric battery technology at Wiltshire headquarters

Government documents have revealed that Dyson, best known for its vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and fans, is working on electric car technology at its factory in Wiltshire.

“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire,” the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan said. “This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.”

The government has since updated the document reportedly to remove references to the Dyson car, according to the Financial Times and Dyson has not yet responded to TechWeekEurope’s request for comment.

The revelation comes after Dyson, set up by Sir James Dyson (pictured left) revealed earlier this week that it would be investing £1bn on developing electric batteries over the next five years as it looks to expand and grow its product sales across the world.

Via Government Documents Show Dyson Is Working On Electric Car

That’s actually MORE interesting than the current 2017 story.

Apparently, this was spotted by The Guardian, before being redacted:

The Guardian newspaper spotted the documentation that was included within a National Infrastructure Delivery Plan published on the website. As you would expect the details revealing Dyson’s plans to create an electric car have been hastily removed from the Government site but not before the Guardian was able to grab a copy of the text which read :

The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.

Via Dyson Electric Car Under Development Reveals Government Website



Not sure if good or bad – ‘Industry’ seems to have thought about this, and agrees with me:

Dyson: industry experts cast doubt on electric car project

It seems to have provided the opportunity for more people to kick the Dyson hand dryer I mentioned.

I rather liked one user who claimed the design was poor, allowing water to collect in its base, to later allow the dirty aggregate be sprayed back out onto the unsuspecting user once enough had gathered.

But, maybe they had kids, and they were pouring water into it… for fun!

I also saw another negative report about the hand dryer:

One of his products, the Dyson bathroom hand drier, where you dip your hands down and pull them up as a blade of air blasts them dry, turns out to be a major spreader of airborne microbes and viruses in restrooms (a study found).

Going back to the car, I’ve seen some better versed writers with more info, and while there is nothing on the car, they noted:

Executives from both Aston Martin and Tesla have left their positions to join Dyson.

Earlier this year, Dyson hired Ricardo Reyes, former Tesla communications executive, which fueled speculation the British company had ramped up its rumored plans for an electric car, according to an Autocar report.

Last month, Dyson brought on David Wyer as its head of procurement. He followed another former Aston Martin worker, product development director Ian Minards, who left the British luxury brand for the same position at the appliance maker.

Looking at comments from people closer to the industry, the view seems to be Dyson is copying Tesla’s original model, and going for a premium model to sell expensive and make money.

But… that seems flawed. Tesla benefited from that model, and used it to get to money from luxury cars sales, and bring out its lower cost mass market car, launched recently. Tesla has also revised and simplified its luxury models, suggesting that is being consolidated, and concentration is moving to the cheaper cars, and their support. Notably, their service and support model has also changed recently, also changing to suit greater numbers.

Sadly, Dyson might be an EV dinosaur by 2020.

28/09/2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

What was behind this mystery gate in Duke Street near Parkhead?

I’ve been passing the red gate (well, mostly red, now faded, plus rust) for some years, and had expected to trip over some reference or other which might explain why it was there, or what it belonged to.

No luck so far.

In my time, there’s never been anything on the land behind, apart from the occasional pile of rubbish, and the fenced area has always just been a piece of ‘spare ground’. Recently, the only activity ever witnessed there has been the opening of a larger locked gate (out of sight, to the right) and display of a sign offering car-parking for a few pounds, on big match days at Celtic Park.

In the hope of digging something up I recently combed the online historic records for the area, and pulled up aerial imagery for the surrounding area. The former listed nothing for the spot, while none of the freely available aerial imagery even shows a building there.

I found some B&W aerial views that show the various steel and chemical works which occupied the surrounding area in the past, and even oblique views which date back to the 1930, including Carntyne Stadium (there was a stadium entrance immediately to the left of this gate – but separated from it by a wall/fence), but even then, the land on this spot still appears to be completely bare.

The old stadium entrance arch survived until a few years ago, when it was razed along with a small factory and business that lay to its left, leaving the land clear, with no other evidence of its use other than the perimeter fence. As far as I know, the industrial premises to the left was Tubular Scaffolding Ltd, said to have been founded around 1929 and described as the oldest scaffolding company in Glasgow, run by a family called Cole-Hamilton.

So. my usual resources all seem to have come up empty.

Do YOU know better?

Duke Street Mystery Gate

Duke Street Mystery Gate

Here’s a closer look at the hardware fitted to this gate.

As can be seen, these articles are fairly modern.

There’s a lock fitted to the gate which has an electrically operated release, and an intercom which visitors could ‘Ring the bell’ and speak to those inside and request entry, being ‘Buzzed in’ if they were granted access.

There’s also a metal ‘post box’ over to the right, so the postie didn’t need to gain access to deliver letters.

The original lock has long ago been burst, and the gate secured with a fairly robust chain.

Mystery Gate Hardware

Mystery Gate Hardware

Bonus note

Just for completeness, this a view of the former Carntyne Stadium entrance (and the wall of TS Scaffolding’s premises to the left) – when they were still standing a few years ago..

The gate in question lies a few metres to the right, out of shot.

Carntyne Stadium Duke Street

Carntyne Stadium Duke Street


The original pics are oldish, and more recent snaps from the same place betray the fact the NOTHING is beyond the attention of the Glasgow ned, not even a wrecked gate/door intercom.

As can be seen below, even the remains of that dead item were later stripped off their place next that gate.

The chain still survives, so far…

Stripped Panel

Stripped Panel

28/09/2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why you’ll never find me on Facecrook (ever)

Creepy Guy Pointing

If you can spare the time for a ‘long read’ then I recommend the following article, which voices all my concerns about the creepy world of facecrook – and more!

Facebook’s war on free will
How technology is making our minds redundant. By Franklin Foer

Compared to my own observations, which are fairly superficial, this analysis really makes me think that most people are mindless, and while there’s all sorts of whining and moaning about companies such as Google, who are merely doing what a company that is openly based on advertising would do with info that it can gather without being sneaky, there seems to be nothing that is secret and intrusive which facecrook can do that upsets most off the morons who use it without thinking about what they have signed up to.

While Google gets kicked around the floor for merely using information gleaned from people as they use its services, those who join facecrook seem quite happy to not only hand over their public details, but then pour all their intimate details and secrets into it – and then some of them get upset when that info is used by others.

My main gripe doesn’t relate to any of that (since they never suckered me in), but to the nasty way they the force people to join.

I’m fed up with people who suggest I ‘Look at my facecrook page‘, only to find I am denied access to what I have been offered unless I REGISTER and JOIN facecrook. Not everyone does this, but I also find most don’t know how to disable this either.

That, simply, is blackmail.

Worse still, I have read that some companies expect their employees to use facecrook.

Wonder how that would go down at an Industrial Tribunal if someone lost their job for not being on facecrook.

I wasn’t going to bother with this (why waste time on facecrook after all), then I saw they were doing the same with a survey:

The site is polling users about how they perceive it but declining to publish the results. Answer these survey questions and let us know your thoughts…

Facebook wants to know: is it good or bad? You tell us …


Facecrook is asking its own people to tell it if it is good or bad.

And how exactly will someone like me, who has an entirely negative view to express be able to make them aware of that view?

They deny me the option to express that view since I won’t JOIN their clique, therefore cannot respond to their survey.

They get only their ‘friends’ views.

And how many of those are going to say “We hate you, we loathe you, we despise you”?

(In this case I apologise for the many instances of ‘facecrook’ that appear here, I’m NOT trying to make a point, but then I can’t use the proper name all those times, which would help publicise it, and I’m not even doing that.)

27/09/2017 Posted by | Surveillance | , | Leave a comment

Summer in September in Glasgow in Duke Street

I usually fail to get pics like this because…

It’s cold and wet and the reason I would be taking them (if I dared take my non-waterproof camera out) would be to have a laugh, as I sometimes find the way café (or bistro) owners set tables and chairs outside when it’s pouring rain and/or blowing a gale to be almost hysterical.

But they do get customers who are prepared to sit outside while the wind chills their tea/coffee, and the rain is splashing down into their cups and watering down the content too.

I swear I really will take a chance and get a pic of such a scene one day.

But yesterday was much nicer, and outdoor dining was on the cards, and so much better than at the height of summer, when the same ‘treat’ also bring the joy of wasps and suchlike to your food, and you have to fight with them to get near it.

This was Duke Street yesterday afternoon, the height of high-class dining – next to a row of wheelie-bins!

Duke Street Cafe And Bins

Duke Street Cafe And Bins

We often see a reversal of weather trends towards the end of September – only a few days ago I was stuck indoors, the rain was pelting down, and it was cold enough for me to start digging out warm clothes.

27/09/2017 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The lynx effect – shows a union’s true colours

I’ve never had any time for modern unions… and that was BEFORE their rules almost cost me my job when I dared walk into a shipyard before paying a union for the privilege. And I wasn’t even employed there, but called in as a specialist to consult on some test problems.

I was tempted to kick this post off by kicking farmers, but that probably wouldn’t be fair on farmers, as there’s probably just two or three bad apples in the box, the ones that want money handed to them for doing absolutely nothing (other than being a poor farmer).

Back in the days when I flew (or tried to) real radio-controlled model helicopters (not the self-flying drones seen today), there was a small group of ‘young farmers’ that turned up at fly-ins with the latest and most expensive models. I don’t know it was fair, but they got left on their own once the ‘real’ flyers learned who they were, as the story of poor farmers going bankrupt etc was already common, and these guys were apparently throwing money around (I won’t go into the cars they turned up in).

I suspect a similar scenario carries on these days, with perhaps the old farmers and unions being the problem.

Witness the recent allegation of attacks (where at least one old farmer admitted blocking the road, also counter-alleging being attacked by cyclists) by farmers protesting at road closures for a mass cycling event.

We also have escalating claims of losses and costs to farmers emanating from the NFU, presumably paving the way for claims if/when lynx are re-introduced.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the project wanted to bring lions and tigers into the countryside, not lynx, which would appear to be more domesticated than the Scottish wild cat (our local feline being more likely tear your face off than any lynx I’ve seen near people, either in captivity, or in video).

The media and authorities have been of little help either, spreading panic recently by warning people to stay indoors and alerting schools when a single lynx managed to escape while being moved to a zoo down south: Escaped lynx on the run from the zoo finally recaptured

Sadly for the media, despite being on the loose for a month, Flaviu the lynx did not leave a trail of dead bodies while ravaging the country, In fact, he was barely noticed.

Every pet in the UK will be insured against lynx attacks if controversial plans to release them into forests near Glasgow and the Scottish Borders go ahead.

The Lynx UK Trust has identified land which could support up to 250 of the big cats between Loch Lomond and the Great Glen.

It is also moving ahead with plans for a trial reintroduction in the Kielder Forest, which straddles the border between Scotland and England.

Lloyd’s of London has agreed to insure pets, sheep and humans against attacks if the proposal is approved.

Via Every pet in UK to be insured against lynx attacks

I don’t know if it’s yet another effect of the growing problem of social media, but I keep finding that it gets harder and harder and harder to write an opinionated post without feeling I’m going to upset one or other bunch of extremist loonies that have appeared online, and could give me a hard time just for having my own quiet and (in my opinion) more reasonable say.

Snowy Lynx

Snowy Lynx

26/09/2017 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

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