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Squeezing in another!

I was supposed to make my final upload before the summer holidays on Wednesday morning, but the Internet was "down" at the library, so we have tracked down a place where I can upload from, and I can drop in another day's worth of binary logfiling!


Bouncy castle madness - sanity restored?

What is interesting was that I was under the impression that the boy who was kicked in the head was dead. The phraseology in this article, from BBC World, suggests that he is not.
Teletext article


Hammond sells out

You might know of The Hamster if you watch "Top Gear". If not, he's the one that crashed that car doing some insane speed (over 200mph / 320kph). He crashed it because Jeremy Clarkson (the egotistical co-host) was too chicken to drive that fast, and his other co-host (May) would have driven so sedately he'd never have progressed beyond first gear... oh, and let's not forget the British Leyland challenge where he managed to get lost on their own test track!

Anyway, there he was promoting Morrissons (a supermarket chain) saying that he was interested in fresh British meat, freshly cut from fresh cows kept on fresh pastures... well, not quite, but you can accuse Morrissons of excess use of the word 'fresh', especially in that advert with Denise Van Outen.

Good, I say. Keep British meat in Britain and stop trying to pass it off on Europeans who, while we have problems of our own, don't need British beef added to the list of problems.

Oh, sure I'm certain some farmers would be seething to read this, but they cannot deny that there have been some rather damning stories in the past decade or so. Put it like this, if a beef slab was in a European supermarket, would it be labelled as British or would it be labelled as "European"? Because as a consumer you have to ask, would people not buy it if it said it was British because of bad press, or is that an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes? Luckily our local supermarket prints provenance information for the meat that they butcher on-site. I can tell you were the critter was raised and where it was slaughtered. Meat and dairy products also carry a European tracing label (looks like a weird licence plate, you might see this on European imports - try a yogurt in Lidl) although that is less reliable as a chicken from Thailand could be transformed into kebabs in Belgium and therefore be marked with a Belgian stamp. There are many almost-scams like that, but we're generally getting wiser.

Which brings us back to British meat and... well... I'll let the teletext page below (from BBC World) speak for itself:

Teletext article

6000 cows are killed and "for security reasons" they won't say which farm was involved? That's probably so there isn't a panic as people try to see if their meat originated from this location.
6000 cows are killed and Defra say "the unofficial boycott was unjustified"? Have they got their heads so far up their asses they can't figure out why this boycott was put into place?
Okay, the 6000-odd cows put down (which is either Defra overreacting in foot-and-mouth style proportions, or a shocking indictment of how bad the problem really is) did not make it to Europe, but some did. Is testing for things like that not routine? Obviously the Europeans picked it up.

So, Richard (Hammond), you can have all the fresh British beef you want. In fact, you have my blessing. Perhaps there will be 6000 cows turning up as budget burgers near you? ☺


The last thought before summer holidays...

My uncle got me a watch many many years ago. I'm proud of myself for not losing it in... well, it must be a decade and a half by now? The problem? It is American so the battery used is not common in Europe. Many thanks to Mick and his friend Tank who brought back a battery last time he visited America.
My watch


Today's word...

Today's word is homogeneous (hoh-moh-jen-uss); which means consistent, monolithic, uniform; if you work in schools/hospitals, places where they get those big many-litre milk bags in the carton that slots into the specially-made little fridge, it will say "homogenised milk" on the side. This is milk that has been blended to death in order to make it homogeneous - the cream does not separate from the milk during the life of the product. It is always the same from bottom of the bag to the top (it comes up the bottom, under gravity, so the bag empties backwards).


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