Another Small Catastrophe

This is just a quick post to remind you that I'm still alive. Sorry for the infrequent posting recently, but banks don't fix themselves, you know.

Since the last post we've had the phone-hacking enquiry (it's not hacking, it's maybe cracking, but more likely eavesdropping) and English riots (not even riots, just shopping out of hours with fireraising). We've even had the renewed prospect of our esteemed Miinister for the Envronment and Climate Change going to jail (please God, please) but apart from all that there's not much of note happening here.

But at last, we've had a real news story, in fact a catastrophe - a Shell Oil production platform has sprung a leak and dumped an enormous amount of oil (between 200 and 600 or so ton(ne)es of oil into the North Sea.

Judging by the amount of local press coverage, this is a serious event with serious consequences. Particularly, the effect on wildlife cannot be understimated, and will be very dramatic. So horrific, in fact, that we have hidden a quite distressing picture of an oily bird behind the Read More line below. If you feel that you are strong enough to be able to view the spectacle, please click through.

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Headline Of The Year

This headline beats even the fabled "Freddie Starr ate my Hamster", which was, of course, completely fabricated. This one really happened! (Allegedly.)

From today's Torygraph:

Paul Daniels injured in Sooty pizza-throwing accident

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Sooty Paul Daniels

It is of course entirely coincidental that they both have new shows opening soon. Isn't Sooty looking well for his age?

But there's one thing about the story I just don't believe.

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Our Thoughts Are With Norway

This weekend our thoughts are with the people of Norway, who are coming to terms with the sudden violent deaths of at least 92 of their number.

Flag_Norway

Here in Scotland we can remember some of the shock created by such an event, as we have had our own Dunblane tragedy to deal with. As in Dunblane, the incidents in Oslo and Utoya seem to be the results of a single sick mind.

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Sporrans At Dawn

One of my regular blog visits for the past year has been NewsNetScotland (NNS). For the past year or so it has provided a refreshing antidote to the unionist news media in Scotland, providing a more objective view of Scottish affairs, particularly political ones. It has always been unashamedly pro-independence.

Over the past few weeks I have made a few comments on their blogs complaining about an apparent deification of the SNP. I was worried about them losing their air of objectivity and becoming an independence version of the Daily Record but, even so, it was still almost the only place on the net where serious and objective Scottish political discussion could occur.

Something very odd happened this week.

On Wednesday a posting appeared that said that the site was moving to a new web address: same name, different TLD. On Thursday evening an email from "Online Ed" was sent to all registered users, saying it wasn't. 

The other URL was operational, and appeared to be nearly identical to the original. What was going on?

The story is "explained" here and it's worth reading. It appears that there is a bit of inter-necine war going on. At the time of writing the usurping web site is no longer available although, contrary to what NNS have stated, the server has not been taken down; the web site has just retreated behind an authorisation gate.

The explanation is fairly opaque and many things remain inadequately explained. In particular, the identities of those who are running the site remain secret.  It now appears to be a (semi) commercial concern, whilst still eliciting donations from readers. Little toy blogs like this one can get away with anonymity, but we don't ask for money.

In the meantime I hope that those involved can resolve their difficulties and return their site to the pre-eminent place it held in the Scottish news firmament. Keep an eye on it, it may yet become something great.

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It's Good To Be back

If you are reading this (and I suspect you are), you will have realised that our server problems have been resolved and a new server has taken the place of the one that succumbed to the unexpected load from this posting.

We don't really think that we were attacked by ScottishPower, but it should perhaps be noted that today has largely been taken up with repairing another computer that was damaged by the massive power surge that hit the ML10 post code on Tuesday.

Just saying...

The major post that we promised on the temporary emergency page has been postponed until the current media frenzy over Rupert Murdoch listening to everyone's phone calls dies away, so that might be a week or two. In the meantime we will continue to support the campaign by Communities Against Turbines Scotland against the menace of wind turbines and will carry update postings here.

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