Anyone Know What This Bug Is?

Saw this lovely little bug outside just a short while ago sitting on the lavender bush, so iridescent! It’s about the same size as a ladybird. Anyone know what it is?

UPDATE: It appears the little critter is a Rosemary Leaf beetle. And lavender is a favourite food!

Do you want to sit down on the Overground during rush hour?

Do you want to sit down on the Overground during rush hour? Then prepare for war.

Hmm, has this person got a complex or what? Lol. Seriously, something must be going in there if you are THAT desperate for a seat :-/

Trending Topics 26/9/2011

Ah, I love how obsessed and delusional Brits are. Here’s today’s trending topics on Twitter, as of several minutes of the time of this post…

It’s gonna be a SCORCHER! With temps into the HIGH…

 

Twenties! Lol

BBC – In pictures: Snow 2010

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Bruce the turkey says “you know what Lenny? The oven ain’t looking ‘alf bad right now.”

These turkeys don’t go ‘gobble gobble’, they go ‘brrrr’!

Griffin Bashing and #BBCQT

I did something that I rarely do and watched an episode of Question Time last night. It seemed a “must see” piece of television as earlier in the evening the BBC faced a brunt of protests outside Television Centre with the arrival of Nick Griffin of the British National Party to the studios.

There were about 1,000 people outside the TV centre protesting against the idea that the BBC would give a voice to Nick Griffin on a political platform.

I only took in bits and pieces in last nights programme as I found myself on Twitter watching the cascading flow of tweets on twitterfall whilst people around the country tuned in to watch old goblin face.

The BNP had come under criticism the previous day for using images of Spitfire air craft and Winston Churchill at their party conferences.

The first question posed to the panel, which included Labour MP and justice secretary Jack Straw, Conservative MP Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne and Curator of the British Museum Bonnie Greer, was whether it was fair the BNP had “hijacked” Winston Churchill’s image for use in their campaigns.

Jack Straw was first respond. He said that the BNP had no right to use Churchill’s image. He said the BNP has no moral compass and says that WWI and WWII was only won with the help of many black and Asian people. He also said a race-based party has no standing in the UK.

Nick Griffin’s response to defend his party’s use of Churchill’s image was that the party chose Churchill as an image because no other party would, due to some of his political philosophies. IE: that he thought there was a real threat of over-migration and that he was worried about the impact of fundamental Islam. Griffin went on to say “I’m not a Nazi and I never have been.”

Erm…really? Then what’s this?

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He also ended with a personal attack on JS saying “My father was in the RAF in the second World War whilst Mr. Straw’s father was in prison for refusing to fight Adolf Hitler.”

What relevance this had on proceedings was hard to decipher. When host Daivd Dimbleby asked why he made this statement he said “Jack Straw was attacking me and I have been being continually attack for the last week.”

Oh, grow up man! And as for Jack Straw attacking you personally, he did nothing of the sort! I dare ask who was the braver in that time, Griffin’s father for being in the RAF (he didn’t say what role he had – my uncle was in the RAAF, but he was a chef!), or Straw’s for being a conscientious objector?

Still on the issue, Bonnie Greer pointed out that Churchill’s own mother was American and her family had possible Mohican Indian descendants, therefore questioning the BNP’s choice for Churchill’s image being that of a “British white role model” that the BNP was looking for.

Chris Huhne chimed into the discussion with his personal views on what he thought the BNP as a party, represented. He said the BNP is “scape-goating” politics. Peddling hatred and fear. Churchill would be rolling in his grave (at having his image being used by the BNP, or being associated with them). He was never a fascist.

Huhne also quoted Nick Griffin as once saying he thought “Yes, Adolf went a bit too far.” He then asked Griffin what part of “too far” did he think Hitler had gone? Slaughtering millions of Jews? Invading Poland and France? Bombing innocent people in Britain?

Griffin amongst his replies says “I brought the BNP out of being a racist party.”

WHAT THE F**K??

David Dimbleby quotes him as saying (not ver batim) “Let’s start out (the BNP) as being moderate to win votes/support. Then we’ll reveal our true agenda.” When asked about this and his involvement with David Duke he said “David Duke was the head of a non-violent arm of the KKK”. This statement had people in the audience and the other panel members in groans of disbelief.

Nick Griffin would shy away from responses to most quotes read to him of things he’d said. Jack Straw confronted him on this. He said (not ver batim) “When we give a quote of something you said you make a defence of saying ‘Oh, I never said that. That’s not quite right.’ But you are there on YouTube, in videos, actually saying these things. Time and again he (refering to Griffin, addressing the audience) wants to wriggle out of it…This guy is the Dr. Strangelove of British politics!”

A question came from an audience member asking why he believes the holocaust was a myth, Griffin said, “I cannot explain why I used to say those things, I can’t tell you (groans and shouts from the audience) any more than I can tell you why I’ve changed my mind, I can’t tell you the extent that I’ve changed my mind because the European law prevents me.”

This was dismissed as bunkum. He was asked to explain why he’d changed his mind about his denial of the holocaust and he gave some lame excuse about hearing radio intercepts of German recordings or something. Jack Straw said “Why would you need that? Were the images from Auschwitz not enough for you”?

Sayeeda Warsi revealed to the audience that he’d shared a platform with Islamic extremist Abu Hamsa after some time of discussing his views on Islam and what he thought of aspects of the Muslim faith. He said he didn’t agree with much of it. It’s treatment of women, etc.

Bonnie Greer said that Griffin starts his history at around 1700 to bypass Roman rule because it doesn’t fit in with the BNP’s “white agenda”. In Roman times there was an influx of many ethnicities, not just Romans.

Baroness Warsi says we need a cap on immigration. She also said she thought that why many people vote or support the BNP is not because they are racist but it is because they are concerned about immigration.

Jack Straw counters this by saying a party like the BNP has been in the British political system on and off since the 1930’s. That the BNP’s recent success in the European elections was NOT due to people with racist leanings voting for them, but it was purely votes gained from protests over the MP’s expenses saga.

On immigration Griffin said successive British governments were committing calculated genocide on the “indigenous white population” of Britain.

WWWHHHHHAAAAAAATT??

Bonnie Greer quoted Griffin saying the BNP are for the “indigenous Ice Age”. She replied, “But there are no people from ‘the indigenous Ice Age’ in the UK.” The UK was populated around 17,000 years ago from people from the south. They certainly didn’t come from the north. How could they get here? “We all know now that we (the population of the world) are all descended from Africa. You should know this Nick, you have a 2:2 in history. The only people who were here on this continent (Europe) 17,000 years ago, and I use the term ‘people’ lightly, were Neanderthals”. Then, speaking to Griffin personally, “You can come to the British Museum and check. We’ve got a lot of information on it. I wish you’d come.”

Then a man from the audience was offered to ask a question to the panel, he said “Yes, I have a question for Dick, er, sorry I mean Nick Griffin”.

That made all us twitterers have a little giggle. Pretending he was making a mistake with his name. It was childish, but funny.

I’m not sure if the programme itself really got anywhere. It did seem to descend into an hour of Griffin-bashing, but perhaps it was worth it just for that. It was certainly entertaining watching twitterfall for the hour the programme was on.

I’ll leve it to the man himself to finish…

It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot Mum. Heatwave Alert!

The UK is on Level 2 heatwave alert. I kid you not! This is really real!
Here is the guidelines for the alert levels from the Department of Health.

Heatwave Plan for England http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=16953929&access_key=key-1rzunppkhw94pbd69s8x&page=1&version=1&viewMode=

I was listening to the radio last night. A talkback programme with a guy Em likes to listen to called Clive Bull on the London station LBC. A lady called in talking about the heatwave warning levels. Clive wasn’t sure what the levels represented, so the lady was setting him straight…

She said “Well, level 2 is two consecutive days of temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and level 3 is death…”. At this point Clive, somewhat shocked interrupted and said, “Level 3 is DEATH?!”

I’m not sure where this lady got her facts from, but level 3 is NOT death! lol She went on to elaborate that she meant “potential of death” – still incorrect. Clive’s reaction to the lady’s interpretation of the meaning of level 3 DID make me giggle though!

It *IS* making me laugh that there is a contingency plan in place for the weather to get hotter than any Brit is used to. Coming from a country where the average summertime temperature is rarely BELOW 30 degrees Celsius, makes the Brit contingency plan seem somewhat alarmist.

LEVEL 3 = DEATH!!!!!!

Be warned people!
LOL

Recipes From Scratch.

I saw a story on the BBC that showed from research carried out by the UKTV Food channel that Briton’s can make 10 meals “from scratch” – IE: without the use of a recipe or cookbook.

Number one on the list was spaghetti bolognese. PER-LEASE! If you buy the sauce ready made, as I’m sure most people do these days, the recipe has three ingredients – sauce, pasta and mince. Ooh, hard!

Second on the list was a traditional roast dinner. Erm, again. What recipe *IS* there for that? Get a big slab of meat, or a chicken, whack it in the oven. Roast some potatoes, boil some vegies.

Third on the list was pot noodle. Forth was beans on toast.
LOL – NO! I’m kidding! But it might as well have been.

Some of them do get a little complex down the end of the list. Some people claim to be able to do a cottage pie from scratch with no recipe. That’s fairly bold.

At the end of the list was curry. I can’t help but think for some people who said “Yeah, I can make a curry from scratch.” that their list of ingredients would read:

1. One jar of korma sauce.
2. 500gm of chicken fillets.
3. 75gm of uncooked rice.
4. 15ml of olive oil.

Method:
Cook rice to instructions on packet.
Place oil in frying pan, heat. Add chicken, cook to brown, approx 8 minutes. Add korma sauce. Serve with cooked rice.

If they actually can make the sauces from scratch with no recipe to reference, they are better than I could ever be! I suppose if you’re Asian you might be able to do it, as it would be second nature to know what the sauces are made with and they’d be making them regularly.

Another was stir-fry. Well blow me down with a feather! That’s hard. Fry some meat, and a variety of chopped vegetables to your liking, then add some soya sauce, a bit of honey…viola!

Still, if people ARE cooking at home, and regularly enough not to need recipe guides, it can only be good.

Click here to read the story from the BBC.

White Valentine’s Day?!

http://www.facebook.com/v/75244359744

Here’s the scene in Luton this morning. Yet more bloomin’ snow. I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s lovely really, and it doesn’t inconvenience me like it does many others. It’s just that it’s so FREEZING cold! But I’d much prefer it to sitting in 43 degree heat, like my family and peeps in Sydney are.

I did some online grocery shopping for my mum the previous day. She had it delivered this morning, Oz time and she was telling it was already in the 30’s, and that was at 8am!! Lord almighty!! So glad I don’t have to suffer Oz summers any more.

Was That A Kite?

Yes, but not THAT kind of kite! It was one of THESE kind of kites!

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I saw it as we got near to our place. We’d just been shopping with Em’s dad, and were in the last half a mile home and I saw it circling around. Not THAT particular kite mind you, but one just as spectacular. What a sight to see.

It was HUGE!

Personal (and general) Musical Pinnacles.

I wanted to write a post about what, for ME, are/were the pinnacle points in music. But not just generalized, but in my life, my musical taste.

I’ll start with 1972, the height of Glam rock. Glam is a genre of music I still love to this day. One of my favourite albums of all time is The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, released in 1972. I suppose Glam rock really started in around 1970 with Marc Bolan and T-Rex of which there are songs I do like. I like Cosmic Dancer, Metal Guru, Children of the Revolution, among others. Most of the songs and groups I love though for me, Glam rock peaked around 1972. If it hadn’t been for Glam, we probably would not have had David Bowie. He’d been around for several years already and had a modicum of success with Space Oddity, but it was very much a one-hit wonder thing for him until Ziggy. So for me the first pinnacle year is 1972. It gave us Glam and it gave us Bowie.

The next pinnacle year – 1977. The height of new, electronic music. It gave us Kraftwerk and a newly directed Bowie, giving us in that one year two of his three Berlin Trilogy albums, Low and “Heroes”, whilst also producing and co-writing on Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and Lust For Life. A very prolific period for him indeed and gave us electronic gems like A New Career In A New Town (Low) and Sense of Doubt (“Heroes”). This sound would pave the way for New Wave and later, dance music in general. Many groups point to Kraftwerk and 1977 Bowie as inspiration.

From there, we go to 1981. Two musical genres collide here to make a very exciting time musically. New Wave and New Romanticism clash to make one of the best periods of modern pop music history. The acts are just rich! The songs as well. Human League’s Don’t You Want Me, Soft Cell’s cover of Tainted Love, Ultravox’s Vienna, Duran Duran’s Planet Earth are just some of the songs and acts swilling around. Basically, from this point until 1984 is probably my most loved era of music. It probably mostly coincides with my being a young teen and getting my own defining taste of music, but I just love this period of music. I don’t love ALL 80’s music, I don’t love ALL of the 80’s! There is a marked, audible decline in music by 1985 as far as I’m concerned, which has lead to the predominance of the over-manufactured pop we get now. I lay the blame solely at the hands of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. These men should be hung, drawn and quartered for their “contribution” to music. We do have things to thank them for, Kylie Minogue, Mel and Kim and Rick Astley. But also they gave us The Reynolds Sisters, Sonia, and changed Bananarama’s career for the worse as far as I’m concerned. There was amazing music from 1981 to 1984. It was if not the best period of modern musical history, then it’s definitely in the top three!

I must mention in this gap, there was the break-up of The Smiths. A group that sadly escaped my attention until the late 80’s at the earliest. I was definitely into them by the early 90’s though. Just had to mention them.

Next, a little detour around 1991. We get the first wave of dance music with things like Dee-lite’s Groove Is In The Heart. And we also get…Nirvana! And grunge. But no-one ever thinks of grunge without Nirvana. But of course there were other pioneers. Sonic Youth, Beck, The Breeders, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, and even a few “harder than grunge” acts like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. A good little beginning for what is now probably labeled EMO music.

Next, 1995 – the second Brit invasion with Britpop. LOVED this period too. Before the invasion though, and me discussing it, I have to make a mention of Bjork. She came in the wave of the rave scene of the early 1990’s with her Debut album in 1993. A pinnacle album for me. Just had to mention it as it’s sort of between timelines. Anyway, on to 1995. A Brit wave began. It must have been odd for some groups as they’d been around for some time before really breaking, like Pulp. They had formed way back in 1978, but didn’t really make mainstream impact until Common People and the Different Class album. Blur had been around a few years, had a minor hit with There’s No Other Way in 1991, but it wasn’t until 1994’s Park Life did they really come into prominence. Other acts of note were of course, Oasis, Supergrass, Suede and The Verve. Loved, LOVED Britpop. Being such a musical Anglophile, I found it fab.

Penultimate of the musical pinnacles for me is around 1999 when I moved to the UK and found myself in a resurgence of dance music and chill-out stuff. I bought several “chill-out” albums in the early Naughties. Mostly all Ministry of Sound produced. There was stuff like Alice DJ, DJ Spiller, Armend Van Helden, Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx, Avalanches, The Chemical Brothers (although around for some time), Goldfrapp, Royksopp, Air, William Orbit, all making an impact on my listening taste. I very much enjoy this genre of music.

Last of the pinnacles is 2005. Lots of new indie bands make their way to the mainstream. Two of my current faves, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers come to prominence then. As well as the Kaiser Chiefs and groups like The Futureheads. Also to come on the scene a little later was The Feeling.

Well, that’s it. My musical pinnacles. Let me know what you think.

My next topic for music will be my list of Scottish acts I like.