Saturday, 22 October 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Up to You

Since Google changed the way it tracks its users across the internet in June 2016, users’ personally identifiable information from Gmail, YouTube and other accounts has been merged with their browsing records from across the web.

An analysis of the changes conducted by Propublica details how the company had previously pledged to keep these two data sets separate to protect individuals’ privacy, but updated its privacy settings in June to delete a clause that said “we will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent”.

DoubleClick is an advertising serving and tracking company that Google bought in 2007. DoubleClick uses web cookies to track browsing behaviour online by their IP address to deliver targeted ads. It can make a good guess about your location and habits, but it doesn’t know your true identity.

Google, on the other hand, has users’ (mostly) real names, email accounts and search data.

Users that don’t want to be tracked in this way can visit the activity controlssection of their account page on Google, unticking the box marked “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services”.



Mail on Sunday racist lego
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Mail on Sundaythis weekend as they have an exclusive special offer of a free racist Lego set for your child.
With three different options to choose from, your free Mail on Sunday racist Lego will be a delight to kids of all ages.
Perhaps you’ll get the Lego racist thug. Which features an angry, racist Legoman with no hair and a Union Jack shirt screaming into the face of a terrified Lego Pakistani schoolboy in a provincial Lego shopping precinct.
You may get the Little Englander set, in which a middle-aged Lego figure is in mid eye-roll as he casts an eye down his street that used to be home to decent white, English Legomen and women, and spies an Indian family moving into their new Lego home. Probably given to them as a free state handout.
Or, finally, you might be lucky enough to receive the Lego UKIP politician set. Imagine the fun you and your children can having playing with an overweight Legoman as he convinces other, credulous Legomen that the reason for all the Lego unemployment is a fictional influx of Polish Legomen – it even comes with special, limited edition Lego pint and Lego cigarette.
With the free Mail on Sunday racist Lego, there’s sure to be good honest, white, English Lego fun throughout the day in your house.
Next week: the Mail on Sunday features special racist Chrysanthemum seeds.

What's to Argue?

"What do the British do better than the Americans?"

  1. They call a hamburger a beef burger because it's clearly made of beef.

  2. They call soccer football because it's clearly played with the foot.

  3. They use the SI (measurements) system because so does the rest of the world.

  4. Their sockets can be switched off because it's easier, safer and more energy efficient.

  5. They look at the day first, as in dd/mm/yy instead of mm/dd/yy because for around 30 days in a row, the month is the same as yesterday.

  6. They have the full English breakfast while we have the full sugar and preservatives cereal.

  7. They have portion control, resulting in higher life expectancy while we have supersized everything (because why not?), resulting in obesity (this is why not).

  8. They have nice relaxing afternoon teas with custard cream biscuits while we drown ourselves in Starbucks just to maintain functionality.

  9. Their native sports - football, rugby, cricket - are adopted internationally while our sports reside mainly in America.

  10. They have 20+ days of paid vacation by law, not including the bank holidays, maternity leave, sick leave, etc. while we have 10.

  11. They have free universal healthcare, praised as the best in the world, while we remain the only developed country (out of 33) that doesn't.

  12. They have Charles Darwin on their 10 pound note while 42 per cent of Americans still believe in creationism.

  13. They produced Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, Sherlock Holmes while we produced Twilight.

  14. They produced Adele, David Bowie, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse, Queen, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Smiths, The Libertines, The Who? (The British), The Faces, The Waterboys, The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Zombies, The Slits, The Stone Roses, The Cure, The Darkness while we didn't.

  15. Their national animal has a full head of mane while ours is bald.

  16. They know how to primly and properly queue while we mass frenziedly.

  17. They know how to primly and properly apologise, for everything.

  18. They know how to primly and properly drive on the wrong side of the road.

  19. They know how to appreciate the sun because though the sun never sets in the British empire, it rarely shines in the motherland.

  20. They make better and greater varieties of chocolates, cheeses, cakes, alcoholic beverages and dishes with questionable names (bubble and squeak, spotted dick, singing hinnies).

  21. They have a greater grasp of sarcasm, irony, self-deprecating humour and also, the entire English language.

  22. They beat us at politeness and profanity at the same time.

  23. The English accent is more attractive than the American accent. This is just an indisputable fact of nature.


An Englishman's Home- 3

Malbork Castle: World's Largest Brick Gothic Castle

The Castle in Malbork was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Order as an Ordensburg. The Order named it Marienburg, literally "Mary's Castle". The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg, but since 1945 it is again, after 173 years, part of Poland and known as Malbork. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and is the world’s largest brick gothic castle. UNESCO listed the castle and its museum as World Heritage Sites in December 1997. (Photo byordensland)

Palacio da Pena: Oldest Palace inspired by European Romanticism

The oldest palace inspired by European Romanticism, thePena National Palace in Portugal stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon. First built in the 15th century as a palace, it was later reconstructed and donated to the church as a monastery. An earthquake in 1755 ruined most of it, until Prince Fernando acquired it in 1838 rebuilt it. The style of the palace is an eclectic combination of the original and subsequent styles, plus Romantic, Bavarian, and Moorish architecture, plus an English garden. (Photo by cm-sintra andMatt & Isabel)

Löwenburg Castle: The Disneyland of the 18th century

Within the Wilhelmshöhe Hill Park which sits on one end of the city of Kassel, there stands what appears to be a medieval castle. However, the Löwenburg or "Lion's Castle" was ordered to be built by the Landgrave Wilhelm IX from Hessen Kassel (1743 -1821), the Walt Disney of his era, over a period of eight years between 1793 and 1801 as a romantic ruin. It was carefully designed by his royal court building inspector Heinrich Christoph Jussow who had gone to England specifically to study romantic English ruins and draw up a plan for the Landgrave's garden folly. Today scholars regard Löwenburg Castle ruins as one of the most significant buildings of its genre, in addition to being one of the first major neo-Gothic buildings in Germany. (Photo byBen)

Prague Castle: World's Largest Ancient Castle

One of the biggest castles in the world, and according to Guinness Book of Records, the biggest ancient castle, Prague Castle is about 570 meters in length and an average of 130 meters wide. The Czech Crown Jewels are kept here, and it was the place where the Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. (Photo by liberato)

An Englishman's Home- 2

Neuschwanstein Castle: the Classic Fairytale's Castle

The most famous of three royal palaces built for Louis II of Bavaria, sometimes referred to as Mad King Ludwig, the Neuschwanstein it’s a royal palace in the Bavarian Alps of Germany. egun in 1869 and left unfinished at Louis's death in 1886, the castle is the embodiment of 19th century romanticism. In a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is set with towers and spires and is spectacularly sited on a high point over the Pullat River gorge. 

The construction of the castle was carried out according to a well thought-out plan. The castle was equipped with all kinds of technical conveniences which were very modern, if not to say revolutionary at that time. Running water on all floors. There were toilets equipped with automatic flushing on every floor. A warm air heating system for the entire building. American tourists are already familiar with Neuschwanstein; the sleeping beauty Castle in DisneyLand, was modeled on it.(Photo by grotsasha)

Matsumoto Castle: Japan's most fascinating castle

Matsumoto Castle, locally known as Matsumotojo, is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is also a good example of a so called "hirajiro", a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. Matsumotojo's castle tower and smaller, second turret were built from 1592 to 1614 and were both well defended, as peace was not yet fully secured at the time. In 1635, when no more military threats existed, a third, barely defended turret for moon viewing was added to the castle. (Photo by lpq)

Hunyad Castle: were Dracula was held prisoner

Now located in Hunedoara, Romania, the Hunyad Castle was part of Principality of Transylvania, and it’s believed to be the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (commonly known as Dracula) was held prisoner for 7 years after he was deposed in 1462. The castle is a relic of the Hunyadi dynasty. It was built in Gothic style, but has Baroque and Renaissance architectural elements. It is a large and imposing building with tall and diversely colored roofs, towers and myriad windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings. (Photo byctc)

An Englishman's Home- 1

The Potala Palace: Tibet's greatest monumental structure

Perched upon Marpo Ri hill, 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, the Potala Palace rises a further 170 meters and is the greatest monumental structure in all of Tibet. In 637 Emperor Songtsen Gampo decided to build this palace on a hill, and the structure stood until the seventeenth century, when it was incorporated into the foundations of the greater buildings still standing today. Construction of the present palace began in 1645 during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama and by 1648 the Potrang Karpo, or White Palace, was completed. The Potrang Marpo, or Red Palace, was added between 1690 and 1694; its construction required the labors of more than 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman. The Potala Palace was only slightly damaged during the Tibetan uprising against the invading Chinese in 1959. Unlike most other Tibetan religious structures, it was not sacked by the Red Guards during the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, all the chapels and their artifacts are very well preserved. (Photo by MC)

Mont Saint-Michel: a Medieval Castle on a Small Island

Mont St Michel France is situated on a quasi-island on the Normandy coast, near Brittany, which at high tide is almost entirely separated from the mainland. Only a narrow causeway, constructed in the 1880s preserves a link to the coast. Beware: the tide comes in quickly - many tourists have drowned attempting to cross the sandy bay. Unlike other castles in France, which began as defensive structures or pleasure palaces, Mont St Michel had its beginnings as a monastery. Today, the Castle attracts over four million visitors a year, far more than most castles in France and has been featured in numerous movies, cartoons, and even videogames. (Photo by citiesXL and lct)

Predjamski Castle: Integrated in a Cave

Every castle in the world is unique in some way, no two are the same, but this one --even though it's rather small and humble compared to some-- is probably the only one in the world who is integrated in a cave, precisely the second largest cave system in Slovenia. Its name, Predjamski Grad, literally means "Castle in Front of the Cave." 

The castle wasn't built in one go; first written records exist from 13th century, though the first part (left wing) was probably built in the first half of 12th century. Middle part was added in renaissance, and the right wing was build around 1570. Some things were added and changed later, but since 1990 renovation work is in progress, restoring it to the original 16th century look. (Photo by visitareslovenia)



Motorists and business owners have been celebrating today after the announcement that the Dartford Crossings are going to become FREE OF CHARGE for all users. The news broke after the costs of building the tunnel and bridge became fully paid off.
The magic moment arrived when a 2009 Toyota Avensis passed through the exit on the Kent side at 3.26pm.’
‘The owners £2.50 toll pushed the all-time takings counter for the Dartford Crossing past the all-important £435bn point – bosses were left with no alternative other than to follow-up on their original promise of making both crossings free once the construction costs were paid off in full. 
DartCros CEO Sir Roger Shaft told Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter that he was ‘begrudgingly’ left with no option once the toll had been paid. 
He added: ‘Unfortunately, the general public is aware of our original promise to make both the tunnel and the bridge free to use when the construction costs were paid off. 
‘We tried to cook the books on this one but our accountants said that anything more than £435bn would be difficult to justify.’
‘We’ve already mugged everyone off on multiple occasions when the toll barriers were in place by saying that we would open the gates when traffic tailbacks got too severe  – that was basically a big steaming pile of bollocks on our part but everyone let us get away with it somehow.’
‘From this point forward, it will be free to cross in either direction between Essex and Kent. All of the existing number plate recognition equipment will be listed on eBay so we should make a few quid back at least.’
‘Once the third crossing goes in we may be able to start charging again, but every time someone comes up with a place to build it some other tossers put in an objection. Anyone would think that we are the bad guys here.’


She's the Amazonian superhero who changed the world when she first emerged in late 1941. Shirking the passive portrayal of women as typists, librarians, or young girls in love (at least most of the time), she was a butt-kicking, take-charge champion of justice who very quickly became a star and holds her place next to the likes of Superman and Batman as one of the longest running superhero characters of all time. This month marks the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman, somental_floss asked DC Comics to dig deep into her history for some fascinating facts about the warrior goddess who deflects bullets with her gauntlets, wields the golden Lasso of Truth, and fights all manner of man and beast in her globe-spanning adventures. The woman who left her Amazonian home on Paradise Island to look after military officer Steve Trevor and aid him in his fight against the Nazis has grown through some amazing adventures since then.


When Wonder Woman debuted in All-Star Comics #8 (dated December 1941, released in October 1941), she took the comics world by storm. But her then-publisher All-American Publications knew that they had something great. Her next appearance followed just a few weeks later inSensation Comics #1 (dated January 1942), and she was one of the first superhero characters to get her own book, in the summer of 1942. "Superman was first, Batman was second, and Wonder Woman did it in less than a year from the moment she was first created," DC Comics archivist and librarian Benjamin LeClear tells mental_floss. "It's just mind-boggling." She initially had psychic powers like telepathy and astral projection, and she became invulnerable to electric shocks.


Image courtesy of DC Comics
While several images make it look like she is wearing a skirt, they are actually culottes, split pants that vary from thigh to knee length. "It was never a skirt," LeClear says. "But it's so flowy and loose on the bottom that it flows in the early versions very much like a skirt." Over time, and on more than one occasion, the garment was shortened. "Sometimes it's because of taste, and other times because it's a lot easier to draw. It really did start out as a form of elaborate shorts," LeClear says.      
LeClear adds that the original costume design "had a fully Grecian look with sandals" that was rejected by both the character's creator, William Moulton Marston, and his wife Elizabeth, upon whom she was based. She thought a skirt was impractical for combat, and he insisted on boots over the sandals that had been suggested. Interestingly enough, sandals eventually showed up on the cover of a 1951 issue when she got an image makeover.


William Moulton Marston invented one of the first “modern” lie detector tests after realizing how people's blood pressure changed when they were lying. He constructed the first version in 1915 and published his findings in 1917. Beyond his involvement with the police and government, Marston was also an early champion of women's rights, so it's no surprise that he created Wonder Woman while pulling from his extensive knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology.


Image courtesy of DC Comics
Originally, Wonder Woman was made of clay by her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and then brought to life. Later writers would add that the Olympian deities gave her powers reflecting her original description: "Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury." In the post-New 52 era of the past few years, Wonder Woman became the daughter of Zeus proper, but as part of the ongoing Rebirth storyline she has learned that her past is a lie and is setting out to discover the truth.


In the early days of superheroes, before the Comics Code Authority and censorship hit the comics industry in the mid-1950s, Batman had guns and Superman was hanging criminals by their ankles over the edge of buildings. Wonder Woman's creator felt that his beloved character was made of sterner moral fabric. She also was not going to kill people. (That would change many, many years later.) "She had this thing that other superheroes didn't do in her era—she was looking to reform them," LeClear says. "Especially [with] the female super villains, she takes them over to Reform Island [also known as Transformation Island] and tries to get them rehabilitated back to their true nature of women, which Marston believed was a superior nature and, like many suffragettes, thought was the only recipe for peace—women being in charge of society."


DC Comics Wiki

Back in the 1950s, DC Comics decided to tell some teenage stories of Wonder Woman, much in the same way that Superman's early years were explored through the Superboy series. The Wonder Girl idea was so well received that the company receded another generation and createdWonder Tot. "She's adorable," says LeClear. "It's Wonder Woman as a baby, just a little kid in a costume. They wanted to show all three of them together, so the writer Robert Kanigher came up with a weird idea where her mother was able to splice film together and show all three of them at the same time. It was an imaginary tale as if all three ages of Wonder Woman had an adventure together."
This triage actually confused other DC writers, who assumed one of them was Wonder Woman's sister. "The later Donna Troy was created from that internal misunderstanding about who the first Wonder Girl was," LeClear explains. "Wonder Girl had a skirt, but Wonder Woman did not. It's much later that she gets that armored skirt that she has in the [recent Batman v Superman] film, which is starting to become her new predominant look. It does throw back to the flowiness of the original costume, but has this other military strength aspect to her that we've come to expect out of her in the last 30 years."


In an unusual narrative twist, Wonder Woman surrendered her powers in 1968. She wanted to stay in Man's World and look after Steve Trevor (who, ironically, was killed off), rather than join her Amazonian sisters in traveling to another dimension. She opened a mod clothing boutique, dressed in the fashion of the time, and learned martial arts. "The mod years have some great looks for her, but no real fixed costume," LeClear says. "She had a white jumpsuit with a W on it, but she wore all kinds of glamorous clothes in that period." The Cathy Lee Crosby TV movie, which aired in 1974—one year before the Lynda Carter series—was inspired by this incarnation of Wonder Woman.


Image courtesy of DC Comics
The famed feminist grew up loving Wonder Woman, and after she got Ms. magazine rolling in December 1971, she got permission from DC to put her favorite childhood icon on the July 1972 cover with the tagline "Wonder Woman for President." (She had previously run for the Oval Office in a storyline set 1000 years in the future, published back in the 1940s.)
"Gloria Steinem put her on the cover in her classic bathing suit and tiara look and asked DC what was going on with Wonder Woman at the time," LeClear recalls. "She was horrified to find out she had no superpowers. She said that could not stand. Girls and women needed to know about the strength and power that was Wonder Woman as a superhero, so based on that we put her back [into her classic mode]." The classic costume also returned with the emergence of the TV seriesstarring Lynda Carter in 1975.
Steinem also gets credit for collecting all of Wonder Woman's Golden Age adventures into a book many years before the graphic novel trend set in. She commissioned and paid for it.


Image courtesy of DC Comics
As the Wonder Woman/Diana Prince storylines and continuities have mutated over the years, she has held a variety of different positions, from being Steve Trevor's assistant to being a spy to being a romance editor in the 1950s. She also worked in fast food and as a singer. (In real life,Lynda Carter has successfully toured in recent years as a jazz and pop vocalist. She recorded an EP of songs for the Fallout 4 video game soundtrack last year.)
Perhaps the most notorious gig was Wonder Woman herself serving in the Justice Society of America as their secretary, which reflected the sexism of the time.
"There was a great questionnaire in the back of All-Star Comics #11," according to LeClear, "and it said: 'Should Wonder Woman be allowed, even though a woman, to become a member of the Justice Society?' So they put it up to the kids to vote, and what's crazy is that by an 8-to-1 margin they all voted in favor of it. And of course they put her in as secretary."


While Diana is the Wonder Woman, there have been other stand-ins during various phases throughout her history. Orana challenged her for the title in 1978 and won, but she later died "because of her brashness," says LeClear. Artemis later challenged Wonder Woman for her title in 1994, won, took her power, then also passed away. "So the lesson is don't beat Wonder Woman in a contest; it doesn't work out well for you."
Donna Troy, the most famous Wonder Girl, filled in for Wonder Woman at a certain point "because there have been points where Wonder Woman has disappeared through death or Multiverse transformation or travel," says LeClear. Another replacement was Nubia, "a brief character who was a sister of hers who'd been raised by Mars instead, who really had an equal claim and challenged her for it," LeClear says. "She died and has been erased by later Multiverse continuity changes." Nubia first emerged in 1973.
In one storyline, Diana died and was granted divinity as the Goddess of Truth. While her daughter served as a god in Olympus, Diana's mother Queen Hippolyta actually became Wonder Woman for a time, and DC liked the idea so much they had her travel back in time to join the Justice Society of America in the 1940s. It was after "that whole Multiverse trick that we did where they put the original Golden Age comics as just existing back [in] another world," notes LeClear. "She was able to travel to that and fill in the part as Wonder Woman."


Image courtesy of DC Comics
When she originally emerged, Wonder Woman wore a tiara that doubled as a boomerang-like weapon, had gauntlets that could deflect bullets, and wielded the golden Lasso of Truth. The Invisible Plane first emerged (powered by an invisible propeller) in Sensation Comics #1 and it was later changed to the Invisible Jet as real-life technology evolved. She first gained the ability to glide on air currents in Wonder Woman #98 (May 1958), and in 1985 her origin was rebooted and she has been able to fly ever since. In recent years, the Invisible Jet has taken a reduced role given her natural abilities—although, depending upon the writer, her flight skills vary.
"When I worked on Superman: For Tomorrow, in which Wonder Woman played a pretty big role for several issues, she went to the Fortress of Solitude," says Jim Lee, artist, writer, and publisher of DC Comics. "When you show her flying, it begs the question: what is the Invisible Jet for? I wanted to draw the Invisible Jet and thought it was a cool part of the mythology. It looked a little more militaristic and futuristic, then she dropped out of the jet and kind of flew in on her own powers. In my mind as creator, she had the power of flight for short periods of time. So the jet was for more long-range purposes."


While Steve Trevor has been the perennial love of her life, DC shook things up when they rebooted their major heroes with the launch of The New 52 line in 2011. Wonder Woman got a more super powered paramour. "One of the interesting things about New 52 was that it allowed us to nullify the marriage between Superman and Lois Lane and restore that classic love triangle between Superman, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane," explains Lee. "That also allowed us to do some different creative material that had never been more fully explored. That Superman-Wonder Woman relationship was well received, and we were able to build a little franchise out of it." But with the 2016 DC re-launch of the Rebirth line, the classic Wonder Woman-Steve Trevor relationship is back on.


For some reason, Wonder Woman had a slow start making it to television. Unlike Batman or Superman, who appeared in 1940s serials, the first attempt at a Wonder Woman series was a botched attempt in 1967 to portray her as the young daughter of a traditional matriarch who does not understand why she does not want to just settle down with a man. Watch the teaser; it's awkward.

Cathy Lee Crosby starred in the 1974 TV movie, which took its lead from the power-less Wonder Woman of the mod era, giving her a star spangled jumpsuit and sending her after villain Abner Smith (Ricardo Montalban), who stole code books from the American government. The special actually did decently, but ABC decided to retool their approach, which paved the way for Lynda Carter and the well-known series of the late 1970s.
The original pilot in November 1975 was a success, followed by two one-hour specials in the spring of 1976. Then 11 episodes comprised the first full season in 1976-1977. While a ratings success, the show switched networks to CBS, who reduced the period piece budgetary costs by shifting it from the WWII era to the 1970s, where Diana Prince—now a full-fledged government agent—was working with Steve Trevor's lookalike son. The show lasted until 1979.
Since that time, efforts to bring Wonder Woman back to TV or the movies have not been so valiant. A 2011 TV series created by David E. Kelley starred Adrianne Palicki in the titular role. Diana Prince was CEO of Themyscira Industries (a nod to the renamed Paradise Island from the comics), her privately run, crime-fighting organization. Her identity was not so secret, her plane was highly visible, and her lasso was used as a normal weapon, not as a truth-telling device. The pilot was never aired and the show never got its wings.       
Finally, the goddess superhero is getting her own movie after appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The Wonder Woman movie arrives in June 2017 and stars Gal Gadot in the title role. Many fans are hoping this will be the kick butt portrayal that they have been waiting for.


The DC series Wonder Woman '77, which is a comic book recreation of the famed TV series, pitted the two women against each other when the Carter version developed amnesia and found herself in the alternate universe of the Crosby continuities. As she started to sort out all of the craziness, the two engaged in an urban rumble. This is probably the only time the two TV characters have officially crossed paths. "That's a nod to the past that's done in a very entertaining, clever, innovative way," says Lee.


Image courtesy of DC Comics
The re-launch of Wonder Woman is a biweekly series that alternates between a retelling of her origin and a more modern storyline that starts with a jungle adventure involving her, Steve Trevor, and her old nemesis Cheetah. "I think the aim [of the current creators] is an abnormal one, which is to take all the disparate takes on Wonder Woman and try to synthesize them into a whole," explains Lee.