Desperate celebrities

Davina might make a good cleaner

If she can clean, I have work for her

What is going on with British celebrities these days? It’s as if they know the gravy train is pulling into the station and are taking any old job to stay on our TV screens. David Walliams, for example, starred in Little Britain which has to be one of the most successful comedy series of all time. Yet this week he hosted a dire show on Channel 4 named Awfully Good showing crappy bits of TV from the past.

This follow Alexander Armstrong, of Armstrong and Miller, staring in Pimms adverts and a piffling quiz show named Pointless which has to rank lower than Jasper Carrott’s Golden Balls. Then there is Big Brother’s front woman Davina McCall pushing shampoo and fronting a forgettable rival to Who Wants to be a Millionaire named The Million Pound Drop.

I guess that, like the rest of us, with unemployment due to rise they think that they should just take whatever they can get. If their agents are listening then I need a cleaner for my flat and Ms. McCall may be suitable. As for the other two, if they are any good at plumbing then please Email their CVs to me care of  Talking Bollocks.

gerry rafferty dies aged 63

another crazy day You'll drink the night away And forget about everything

another crazy day You'll drink the night away And forget about everything

As I went to bed last night the radio announced that Gerry Rafferty had died at the age of 63. I can’t say I followed his career but Baker Street has rattled around my head since the days when I lived in London. An original song that is both concise and insightful; a song that makes you appreciate that you’re not alone.

The ludicrous urban myth that the television presenter Bob Holness played the saxophone solo on Baker Street was just the icing on the cake.

Windin’ your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold.
It’s got so many people but it’s got no soul
And it’s taking you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it had everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’
You’re tryin’ now
Another year and then you’ll be happy
Just one more year and then you’ll be happy
But you’re cryin’
You’re cryin’ now

Way down the street there’s a lad in his place
He opens the door he’s got that look on his face
And he asks you where you’ve been
You tell him who you’ve seen
And you talk about anything

He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he’ll settle down there’s a quiet little town
And forget about everything

But you know he’ll always keep movin’
You know he’s never gonna stop movin
Cus he’s rollin’
He’s the rollin’ stone

And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’
The sun is shinin’ it’s a new morning
You’re goin’
You’re goin’ home.

CPS prosecute man for warning drivers of speed gun

Prosecuted for flashing his lights

Prosecuted for flashing his lights

Open Email to Keir Starmer via CPS web site


I just heard on Radio 4 that the CPS have prosecuted a driver ( Michael Thompson ) who flashed his lights to warn motorists of a mobile police speed gun. They charged him with wilfully obstructing a police officer in the course of her duties.

This is an outrageous infringement of civil liberties. The speed gun is to catch people who are actually speeding NOT people who may be INTENDING to speed. By flashing his lights Mr Thompson could not have affected anyone who was actually speeding.

More and more the police are taking authoritarian stances and feeling that they are entitled to harass individuals. Often this takes the form of stopping ordinary people taking photographs in public by pretending that there is some terrorism threat.

From the point of view of the general public this clashes dreadfully with the police inability to prosecute their own officers even when they have been photographed in the act of assaulting a member of the public.

I have been critical of police tactics at various demonstrations but had been sympathetic during the recent student demonstrations because of the obvious violent intent of some demonstrators (fire extinguishers etc).

However, incidence such as the prosecution of Mr. Thompson, merely reinforce the negative image of the police as an oppressive organisation who take advantage of their position and are unaccountable to anybody.

I suggest that you remember that you are British officers in a country with a long tradition of civil liberty and not mindless officials from some soviet satellite state.

Stop harassing ordinary people and start effectively disciplining your own officers.



I understand from this What’s On Xiamen that the presiding magistrate was Jean Ellerton of Grimsby Magistrates Court.

Why not email them and register your disgust? You could use the text above as a template.

Capturing Colour: Film, Invention and Wonder

I visited the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in th Royal Pavilion Gardens today having been tipped off by the Brighton Flickr group that there was an exhibition named Capturing Colour: Film, Invention and Wonder.

Some may already know that the moving film began in Brighton, England and the exhibition traces it from original black and white, through a system using three black and white films stained in red, blue and green and combined to create colour images and then on to colour film and video.

There is a fantastic old movie camera on display as well as very informative video exhibits including one showing the paterns created by a Cromatrope. Also an excerpt of The Open Road, a 1926 colour film by Claude Friese-Greene.

The exhibition is upstairs at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE and run from 4th December 2010 to 20th March 2011. Admission is free.

The Love Police

This is a video by some guys called The Love Police who are highlighting the increasing restrictions on individuals in public/private spaces. e.g. the way the police claim powers which they do not possess to stop filming.

Big Think!

More perusal of the Big Think web site reveals some pretty incredible stuff. There’s an excellent video on stereotypes and why it is natural and potentially useful to use them.
There is an excellent article on language translation with a couple of vids which demonstrate some extremely good translation systems. One by Quest Visual, for the Apple iPhone appears too good to be true and translates text via the camera, displaying it on screen in English. Another by SRI International can translate audio.

Seems like the future is coming faster than we think!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 32,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 154 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 347 posts. There were 228 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 21mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 11th with 1 views. The most popular post that day was Iris Robinson vs The Abomination.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for iris robinson, abomination, airport x ray images, scarification, and the abomination.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Iris Robinson vs The Abomination August 2008


X-Ray scanners at airports – More big brother and a cancer risk too October 2009


Wonga – greedy and irresponsible lending January 2010
35 comments and 2 Likes on


Is The UK a “country of immigration”? April 2008


UK Election Results 2010 May 2010
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