Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

I’m confused – what is the Daily Mail moaning about?

Amusing story seen…

The Daily Mail is calling for a web browser alert that criticises its journalism to be changed.

The NewsGuard plug-in currently brings up a warning that says the newspaper’s website “generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”.

It has given this advice since August.

But the matter came to prominence last week, after Microsoft updated its Edge browser app for Android and iOS devices and built in NewsGuard.

This prompted several other media outlets to report the story.

“We have only very recently become aware of the NewsGuard start-up and are in discussions with them to have this egregiously erroneous classification resolved as soon as possible,” said a spokesman for Mail Online.

Daily Mail demands browser warning U-turn

I’ve seen some Daily Mail articles.

If the DM wants a different classification by NewsGuard – what I’ve seen suggests the route is a change in policy, NOT to ask NewGuard to change.

I wouldn’t give the DM as a reference, unless it was a very carefully chosen and vetted item.

When SeSco ran its active forum, one of the fun options was when contributors quoted DM articles, and then added their own disclaimer about the source in case they were taken to task for using it as a source, such was the sometime dreadful accuracy of its content.

And that was BEFORE NewsGuard was a thing!

NewsGuard Flags Daily Mail

NewsGuard Flags Daily Mail

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23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Cloud cuckoo land – or where all the damned activists must (want to) live

I’m usually a fairly tolerant person, but I have to confess that I find myself tending to lose patience with all the activists and campaigners who seem to be popping up these days, making absurd claims and demands.

I’ve already poked the cycling activists in the eye after now spending a year cycling in Glasgow, and the city centre, where I was scared to go after reading the activists’ warning about how dangerous it was there, how the place was ‘gridlocked’, and how my health would suffer as I fought my way through clouds of pollution.

Sorry, ain’t seen none of that, and often cycle through almost deserted streets, maybe a little busy at peak times.

Then there are the various Green Loonies, who keep going on and on and on endlessly whining about pollution of all sorts, also telling us traffic is killing us in droves, or that waste is not being tackled, or that recycling needs to be addressed.

While I wouldn’t say things are perfect by any means, these things are being addressed (in the real world, and in real world ways, which are never fast enough for activists), and more ‘joined up’ systems are needed, but these changes take time.

The latest lot I just spotted have come up with this gem…

They (Get Glasgow Moving) want to see the creation of a publicly-owned bus company and transport authority, affordable, integrated ticketing and a city-wide smartcard for across transport networks, bike hire stations with free access for concessions, and a “coordinated, long-term vision and investment”.

A statement from organisers reads: “Most people in Glasgow rely on public transport to get around (only 49 per cent of households have cars), yet our public transport network is a total mess.

“Investing in public transport is essential for expanding our city’s economy, addressing inequality and social isolation, reducing toxic levels of air pollution and tackling climate change.

“Bickering between political parties is letting Glasgow down. We are decades behind other cities in providing affordable and sustainable transport.”

A rally to demand better public transport in Glasgow is happening tomorrow

They seem to have selective myopia, and don’t even see their own ‘success’ – just blindly keep whining on and on…

The petition was originally handed in to elected members eight months ago and chiefs at the campaign group have now been invited to the council’s HQ to discuss their aims further at a committee meeting.

Then again, there’s probably an “Activist’s Handbook” that instruct them never to acknowledge even the slightest success, otherwise the “enemy” will see it as a sign of weakness, and take stuff back.

I used to think many such groups deserved support, and I’m sure there are some good and honourable ones out there.

But nowadays, I think they seem to fail when their aims and claims are reviewed and tested against reality.

For example, in their above manifesto, to say “our public transport network is a total mess” is really ridiculous, and an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

It may not be perfect, but that’s far from any sort of justification to exaggerate in such a blatantly provocative way.

On the bright side – always consider that we live in a country where we CAN have them (and better still, can ignore them,or even poke fun) 🙂

Activists

If you want a good example of a BAD activist, and one who has far too much time on his hands (assuming ‘he’ is an individual and not an activist group posing as an individual), then have a look at the Comment area after this article: Scotland ‘could be net-zero for greenhouse gas emissions’

Even though I no longer read these (and tend to refer them as ‘Moron areas’, my brief glances are enough to see that contributor ‘GeorgeH’ is some sort of single-issue activist who plays out like broken record, repeating the same mindless dogma time after time, as if constant repetition will either turn into facts, or convince people to believe.

Update

In a later article, there was some more info…

More than 10,000 bus users have signed a petition calling for a world-class publicly owned transport service across Glasgow.

Members of the Get Glasgow Moving campaign have asked councillors to call for an amendment to the Transport Bill, which is being finalised at the Scottish Parliament.

Petitioners want a publicly-owned system where operators can run both commercial and non-commercial routes.

They presented their case to councillors on Thursday afternoon before meeting with Transport Minister Michael Matheson at Holyrood.

This went on to give some insight into the strangely distorted working of the logic of campaigners’ minds…

Ellie Harrison, founder of the movement said: “We are a volunteer-run grassroots campaign set-up in 2016 to demand a world-class, fully-integrated and accessible, publicly-owned transport network for everyone in our city.

“I’m sure you’ll be aware, most people in Glasgow don’t have access to a car including nearly all of our campaign members.

Previously, their claim was…

A statement from organisers reads: “Most people in Glasgow rely on public transport to get around (only 49 per cent of households have cars), yet our public transport network is a total mess.

Note the careful, quiet, change from ‘households‘, to ‘people‘, and that they reveal ‘nearly all of our campaign members’ don’t have access to a car.

That suggest to me that they are a special interest group, NOT representative of the wider population!

It’s also amusing to see them cite a Munich bases system as their model – probably forgetting that Germany’s taxation and public funding regime is not the same as Scotland’s.

Perhaps this group thinks a wand can be waved, and the money for the bus system they want will appear by magic.

But…

I’m spending far too much time on this, so read the rest of the fun here…

Campaigners call on council for publicly-owned bus service

Full disclosure

In case anyone thinks I drive, I DON’T, the best I can afford now is good shoes, and a bike.

I rather like getting on a train two or three times a year, but have not been on a bus for about twenty years, or maybe more.

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

There’s still a few good people out there (try Istanbul)

Reading our media, it would be easy to get the idea that there aren’t many good or decent people out there, with tales of Jew Hating neo-Nazi type from as near as Coatbridge, to a city and its surrounding that seem to be full of violent people out to do serious harm to selected individuals, or just anybody unfortunate enough to get in their way, or upset them for some trivial reason.

I spotted some pics that have also been spotted by the media, and these simply relate to a man in Istanbul who is covering sleeping stray animals with blankets to keep them warm during subzero temperatures. Although Istanbul (Turkey) does not experience the harshest of winters, it can still get pretty cold there. There are days when it gets so cold snow can blanket the city.

Most of the stories are like this, and concentrate on the stray dogs.

A mall in Turkey opened its doors to homeless dogs to escape the freezing cold.

But…

I found one with pics that showed he helps ‘animals’, and that includes cats – which have a special status with the people, as we saw in this documentary film, ‘Kedi’.

Istanbul Blanket Man Cat Dog

Istanbul Blanket Man Cat Dog

 

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Damned activists – no sense of humour, and no credibility

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m really coming to the conclusion that activists are becoming increasingly desperate to protect their ‘jobs’.

While there was a place for them in the past, when the public was poorly educated about their issues, and there wasn’t the amount of information floating around that we now have thanks to the Internet, these single-minded agenda groups are becoming tiresome.

While it may be my opinion that many of them are almost redundant today, such has been the progress of the issues they were once able to campaign reasonably for, they are beginning to turn into the ‘Nazi Hunters’ of their chosen causes.

That’s NOT a derogatory comment about Nazi Hunters, merely a realisation that their time has come, and that the last few genuine Nazi war criminals are so old, and have evaded justice for so long, that there is no real point in pursuing them. Most have lost their minds, or are so ill that even if found completely guilty, no court will send them to jail (and have to look after them).

A couple of activist items in the news suggests they need to be viewed with care now, as their claims become increasingly dubious.

First was the calim of Greggs vegan sausage rolls being dumped daily…

Rumours are circulating on social media that a couple are buying up vegan sausage rolls from Greggs and binning them in protest – but staff are denying it.

A Facebook post by Vegan Glasgow states that a man and woman have been regularly buying a large quantity of vegan sausage rolls from Greggs in Buchanan Bus Station and throwing them directly in the bin.

The post reads: “Vegan Glasgow has been contacted today by more than one of our community of page followers about a man and woman who go into Greggs at Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow every day in the morning and buy 40 Vegan Sausage Rolls and put them ALL in the bin!

Confusion over claims Glasgow Greggs’ customers ‘binning’ £40 of vegan sausage rolls every day

While I’m not touching Facecrook to check, there seems to be no evidence in the form of pics or video to support this.

If there is, it’s certainly not mentioned in the articles, so Vegan Glasgow loses any credibility for not providing evidence, which would b easy enough to provide from any mobile phone nowadays.

Then there was the silly reaction to a bit of fun from Poundland…

It’s the thought that counts when giving presents – or is it?

Discount retailer Poundland has caused controversy with its latest Valentine’s Day gift, a heart-shaped package with nothing in it.

The Gift of Nothing, naturally priced at £1, is intended as “a bit of fun”, says the retailer.

But Friends of the Earth and other campaign groups have complained that whatever Poundland was thinking about, it certainly wasn’t the environment.

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth’s lead campaigner on plastics, criticised its use of “wasteful plastics”, adding: “Let’s hope folly like this goes unloved and doesn’t reappear.”

Another campaigner, Sian Sutherland of A Plastic Planet, said: “This product is designed to go straight into the bin, but will last for 500 years.

“It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world.”

Poundland ‘gift of nothing’ sparks criticism

Their logic is so badly flawed I’m tempted not to point out that…

Had there been ‘something’ in the packaging, then packaging would have been binned.

As it is, the packaging IS the something!

So I suspect less of those will go in the bin as people keep the joke item as a fun memory or keepsake.

In fact, if you think about it and apply the activist’s logic, this is a product they should be ENDORSING…

After all, it actually has NO PACKAGING AT ALL!

So…

Like I say…

SAVE US FROM THE ACTIVISTS!

Poundland Gift of Nothing Pic Credit @KimxPxPA

Poundland Gift of Nothing Pic Credit @KimxPxPA

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Could Glasgow make a bid to top the Scottish TV licence evasion table?

Pity this story doesn’t seem to come with enough detail to list evading city in a little league table.

Be interesting to see if it was one that Glasgow could top.

Scotland has the highest proportion of households failing to pay the BBC licence fee in the UK, research suggests.

An estimated 10 per cent of premises north of the Border are evading the £150.50 annual charge which funds the public media giant, compared to six per cent in England and Wales.

The licence fee and how it is spent in Scotland has proved a controversial issue in recent years, with claims the BBC was failing to commission enough Scottish content and not accurately reflecting the increased powers of the Scottish Parliament in its news coverage.

The issue has been a source of tension between the broadcaster and the Scottish Government, which has repeatedly called for more money raised in Scotland to be spent in the country.

Analysis by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (Spice) last year found the BBC raised just under £324m last year from licence fee payers in Scotland, but spent £223m – 69 per cent – in Scotland with the remaining £101m directed to headquarters.

Such criticisms were one of the driving forces in establishing a new BBC Scotland channel, which is due to begin broadcasting next month.

Scotland has highest rate of BBC licence fee dodgers in UK

Oh dear, another gem for the Moron Comment section after this Scotsman article.

Pity it’s another subject that gets hijacked – it would be nice to see some sensible debate or comments, not abuse.

But, I really just wonder about the breakdown by city, and if the Weegies could top the list 🙂

I wonder what Saint Clare would say about the language used by the ‘anti’ types?

Saint Clare Patron Saint Of Television

Saint Clare Patron Saint Of Television

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Judges not fooled by sham claims

Not much to say about this other then ‘Thank goodness’ as this sham of an appeal was thrown out by Scotland’s senior judge.

I always find it intriguing that the very people who would seek to take away freedoms from others if they got a whiff of power are usually the first to claim rights to free speech to further their nasty campaigns against they would seek to oppress.

Or, that they completely fail to grasp (or more likely choose to ignore) any concept of ‘Responsibility’ that come along with ‘Rights’.

It’s just a shame that people like this have such powerful backing from their ‘kind’.

While this unmentionable seem able to get something in the order of £75 k thrown at him to further his cause, I recall a story in the past few weeks when someone made an online appeal to help pay for some specialised medical treatment, and only raises a few thousand pounds. His disgusting fund came to mind when I read of that appeal, and I should really have noted it, but didn’t, and can’t remember any details to let me go find it again.

A man who was fined for posting an online video of a dog carrying out Nazi salutes has failed in a bid to challenge his conviction.

Mark Meechan recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as “Sieg Heil” by raising its paw.

He was fined £800 at Airdrie Sheriff Court and had hoped to challenge the case at the highest court in the land.

But this has now been blocked by Scotland’s most senior judges.

Meechan, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, has raised more than £75,000 through an online appeal to help pay for the challenge.

The 31-year-old denied committing an offence under the Communications Act during a trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court last year but was found guilty of breaching it by posting the grossly offensive film.

He claimed that the video was only intended as a joke to upset his girlfriend.

Supreme Court appeal blocked for man in Pug Nazi salute case

A man who was fined after putting footage of a dog giving a Nazi salute on the internet has lost a bid to challenge his conviction at Britain’s senior court.

Mark Meechan was prosecuted after the video entitled “M8 Yer dug’s a Naazi” featuring his girlfriend’s pug raising its paw to the command “Sieg Heil” and the expression “Gas the Jews” appeared on YouTube.

The 31-year-old UKIP member, from Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, denied committing an offence under the Communications Act during a trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court but was found guilty of breaching it by posting the grossly offensive film.

He claimed the video was only intended as a joke to upset his girlfriend.

Nazi pug YouTuber loses bid to challenge conviction

You have to love what he thinks is a ‘joke’.

I wonder what he would think is ‘serious’?

Wonder if he and his £75 k worth of lawyers will try something else?

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Dippy the Dinosaur was noticed

I’d hoped to get along for the odd look at Dippy the Dinosaur being installed, but luck was against me, so the job is done and the show has started.

I was intrigued to see that this did not go unnoticed, and a number of sources covered the event…

Dippy the Dinosaur has had his grand Glasgow unveiling.

All 292 of his bones have been assembled and the impressive 21.3 meter long diplodocus cast is now on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for members of the public to visit.

Dippy the dinosaur has his grand unveiling at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Dippy the dinosaur has gone on public display in Scotland for the first time as part of a UK tour.

The replica diplodocus skeleton, whose home was London’s Natural History Museum for 112 years, was unveiled at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum.

The replica is 70ft (21m) long and has 292 bones.

Dippy was commissioned by Scots-born industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who owned the original fossilised skeleton, and had a copy made from plaster.

Experts have spent five days painstakingly unpacking and assembling the dinosaur, ready for the public opening.

Prior to the UK tour, Dippy had never been on public display outside London, but has since attracted record-breaking visitors numbers for exhibitions in Birmingham and Belfast.

The skeleton arrived in Scotland from Northern Ireland in 16 special crates, with Glasgow being the tour’s only Scottish stop.

Dippy will be on display until 6 May.

Dippy the dinosaur goes on public display in Glasgow

He has delighted generations of museum-goers in London since first going on display in May 1905.

Now Dippy, a plaster cast skeleton of a diplodocus dinosaur, has found a temporary home in Glasgow as part of a UK tour.

The impressive 292 bone structure will greet visitors to Kelvingrove in the museum’s central hall until May 5.

The fossilised skeleton from which Dippy was cast was discovered in Wyoming in 1898 and bought by Scottish industrialist Andrew Carnegie for his newly-founded Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. The bones were subsequently recognised as a new species and named Diplodocus carnegii in honour of the Dunfermline-born philanthropist.

King Edward VII, a trustee of the British Museum, saw a sketch of the bones at Skibo Castle, Carnegie’s Scottish estate, in 1902 and the industrialist agreed to donate a plaster cast of the skeleton to the Natural History Museum in London.

Dippy, ‘the UK’s most famous dinosaur’, arrives at Kelvingrove Museum

While the weather was (or is at the moment) only one of a number of problems keeping me indoors, I was impressed last night, seeing a number of bikes at the shops.

To be fair though, the main roads are fine, but it’s pretty bad on our streets in the burbs.

Ice and frost is maybe the least of the hazards (which I know is not good for cycling on, having been caught by frost landing while I was out once). Many of our paths are currently covered with frozen snow/slush, which feels like it would quickly destroy bike tyres, or throw a rider on the roughest patches.

It’ll be a while before I can try to get to Kelvingrove again.

So, this is my view for the moment 😦

Kelvingrove Entrance Hall Occupation

Kelvingrove Entrance Hall Occupation

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s Fossil Grove, Victoria Park (Part 2)

See also Part 1

It took forever to make something of the test pics I shot inside the building, they weren’t meant for show, just to work out how to shoot in the small, dark, interior. But, it saves waiting until April, or later, to finish this version of a visit.

It ended up better than I thought it would, given the random nature of the pics I took.

There’s a nice historic intro just at the door.

Fossil Grove Welcome

Fossil Grove Welcome

A small model shows the floor plan of the site, and highlights the fossil remains of the trees.

Fossil Grove Model

Fossil Grove Model

An exhibition with displays documents the history of both the grove and the building housing it.

Fossil Grove Display Left

Fossil Grove Display Left

Display cases show things as they were back in the days when the forest was still alive.

Fossil Grove Display Case

Fossil Grove Display Case

I hadn’t really planned to try stitching up a proper wide view of the interior, but since I had a collection of images decided to try anyway. Although they weren’t all necessary, I just lumped 24 pics together since they had all been taken from the same spot. The distortion isn’t easy to correct, but I did manage to produce a useable image.

There’s very little missing, as the viewing platform handrail (just visible as a triangle on the right) marks the lower edge of the visible floor area.

Fossil Grove Wide Interior Stitch

Fossil Grove Wide Interior Stitch

I tried an alternative combination – still gave a long view, but pulled in handrail on the left as well, and gave a more level view. Couldn’t really decide which was better, so…

Fossil Grove Wide 2

Fossil Grove Wide 2

Some more views of the interior.

Rather than extract the fossils and move them to a store or museum, the decision was made to leave the artefacts on the floor of the quarry where they had been discovered, and construct a building over the site.

The pics show how the walls of the building rise from the ground of the quarry floor.

Fossil Grove Interior

Fossil Grove Interior

This pic shows one of the fossil stumps together with the stratified layers reveal by the excavation of the area behind.

Fossil Stump And Quarry Detail

Fossil Stump And Quarry Detail

The building is now over 100 years old, and in need of renovation, or more.

The pics show the walls are discoloured, and the pic below shows how water is gathering in pools amongst the fossil remains.

Fossil Grove Wate rIngress

Fossil Grove Water Ingress

West end of the building showing the walls (and discolouration) as they meet the quarry floor.

Note the screen which is paired with projectors mounted at the east (entrance) end, for presentations.

It should be noted that the interior is actually much darker than it appears in these images, all enhanced to compensate for the lack of illumination. As can be seen, the area is only illuminated by the uplighters (not all lit) seen on the walls, and a couple of detail spots.

Fossil Grove Walls And Floor

Fossil Grove Walls And Floor

Further detail, to the left of the above view.

Fossil Grove Wall And Floor Detail

Fossil Grove Wall And Floor Detail

And finally.

What is Fossil Grove?

Eleven fossil tree stumps from the Carboniferous Period (330 million years ago) preserved where they grew in a Victorian Museum.

It has a dedicated web site.

Welcome to the Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park.

You can also…

View or download a leaflet pdf

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Handwriting Day

23 January is Handwriting Day.

I mention this day as someone who doesn’t have handwriting to be proud of.

In fact, it’s terrible.

I started off by learning to write in a school where cursive handwriting was the standard.

But, not long after that start, we moved.

The new school didn’t seem to bother much about teaching handwriting of any sort, provided you could be legible, the teachers seemed indifferent, if my recollection is anywhere near accurate.

However, the move to secondary education totally screwed with my writing. There, the English teacher mandated some sort of non-cursive handwriting, meaning we all had to write individual letters, be that upper case, or lower case.

If I recall correctly, he expressed some sort of logic for this in that it was easier for EVERYBODY to do this, as not everyone could handle cursive, and I suspect it made his life easier too, as what amounted to ‘printing’ rather than writing meant standardised letters, rather than individual writing styles.

In other words, he ‘dumbed down’ any potential writing skills in his classes.

It ruined my handwriting. By the time I was done there, I ended up with a weird mishmash of cursive writing and individual letter printing as I wrote – some bits came out joined up, while others came out with individual letters, and it was never the same twice.

I’ve sometimes tried to make up fo this by playing with calligraphy on occasion, but that doesn’t really work.

I take ages to form characters or words, and just get depressed when I see true calligraphy expert, whose words and letters just flow from their pens in real-time, as fast as they can write them.

Oh well.

It’s probably becoming less relevant anyway, nobody really cares, and various electronic gadgets mean most writing is declining anyway.

As a tiny, I can say having these floating around in my head, being told by two different sources that one or the other was ‘Right’ was no help at all. Maybe if just one, or even both (properly integrated), had been taught, I wouldn’t make such a mess today.

I used think graphology was a ‘Good Idea’, until I looked at my own handwriting, and that blew the whole concept out of the water!

Actually, I still find the subject interesting, and sometime accurate, provided it is used wisely, as a guide, and not an absolute ‘truth’.

Cursive and Print Alphabets

Cursive and Print Alphabets

 

 

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Pie Day

23 January is Pie Day.

While we’ve noted many specific pie days throughout the year, dedicated to individual favourites, it’s nice to see there is one day which just celebrated the simple idea of the pie, regardless of its type, filling, or its savouriness or sweetness.

I almost wish I was someone who was sufficiently motivated to bake stuff from scratch, but despite the occasional impulse to do this, it really never quite happens.

I really wanted a pic with an assortment of pies, but have to be honest, nearly all such pics were horrible, and either looked too posed, or artificial, probably due to being set up as studio shots, and ‘enhanced’ to look better under the lights.

So, this classic will just have to represent them all. Yes, it’s apple, but you could have anything you like in there.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

   

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