Saturday, 24 September 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Czech Republic = Czechia

The Czech Republic should now be known as Czechia to English speakers, according to Government advisors on the proper naming of geographical places and features outside the UK.

It will also be known as Tschechien in German and Tchequie in French. All are translations ofCesko in Czech. 


£4.5 000 000 000/Year

The damage to Britain’s goods exporters of leaving the European Union without a new free trade deal in place would be at least £4.5bn a year – and in all likelihood many multiples of that – an investigation by The Independent has found.

Some trade experts are concerned that even if the Government tries its best to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU it could be impossible to complete within the two-year timetable for Britain to leave after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered.

Research by The Independent published today confirms that trading under WTO rules would have a serious impact on several important UK goods export industries, including car manufacturing, plastics production, machinery and clothing.
In 2015 official statistics show the UK exported £133bn worth of goods to the rest of the European Union, almost half of our global goods exports.
This included £10bn in food and drink, £16bn of fuel and around £10bn of motor vehicles.
The average EU tariff is 4.8 per cent and applying this to total UK exports to the EU implies a “cost” of around £4.5bn – which would have to be absorbed as lower competitiveness for UK exports or as lower profits for firms if they chose to reduce prices in response to maintain their competitive edge.
But the EU tariff is uneven, ranging from 0 per cent on pharmaceutical products and 11 per cent on footwear to as high as 45 per cent on tobacco, meaning that some UK industries are much more vulnerable than others.
Catch the full article at TInd- but it doesn't make pleasant reading.

Child's Play

Boris Johnson at UN meeting
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has made Britain’s presence felt at a UN summit on Syria by stridently demanding jelly and ice-cream.
“It was high drama, that’s for sure,” said a delegate.
“You had the Russians flat out denying involvement in air-strikes on aid convoys, and John Kerry was just getting in their face, refusing to accept what he considered to be flat-out lies.
“Then all of a sudden there was this violent banging on the table.
“The room fell silent, and everyone looked towards the British delegate, he looked a little startled for a moment but then regained his composure and calmly, but with genuine menace, he said ‘where, in the name of God and Mammon, is the jelly and ice-cream?’”
The Foreign Secretary declared himself pleased to have made his stand.
“That’s the bally problem with these jolly foreigner types; can’t be trusted,” he said while combing a small finch out of his hair
“They invite you over for a party, and there’s all this endless jawing on about all sorts of whatnot, and if you don’t watch out, you don’t end up with any jelly and ice-cream at all.”
It is understood that meeting went on for several hours, after which Mr Johnson was brought some jelly and ice-cream in the UN canteen.


August is the month when most babies are born.

A Step Above and Beyond- 4

Reddit user @robtwood asked for all the hotel clich├ęs he could think of, like rose petals, champagne, and a plastic toy dinosaur, and promptly forgot about it. When he checked in months later, it was all there and ready, prompting some confused head-scratching and then a delighted realization. Since the post went viral on Reddit and across social media, this simple bit of customer service and consideration was a huge boost to the hotel's marketing and reputation (CitizenM in New York City, by the way). (Source)

If you're being picky, this hotel couldn't really fulfill with its customer request. On another note, what's the deal with hotel guests and dinosaurs?

Red M&M's and Kevin Bacon are the perfect combination for a sleep over at your favorite hotel. (Source)

A man went on snowboarding vacation in Durango, CO and made this special request with his reservation to give his hotel mates a funny surprise. (Source)

A Step Above and Beyond- 3

A hotel worker was asked for a framed picture of Sterling Archer, from the American animated comedy series Archer, saying "Welcome to the Danger Zone" to be put beside their bed. (Source)

Some guests really, really wanna sleep next to Alfonso Ribeiro. (Source)

This guy asks for a picture of a horse saying “Hello” every time he is on a vacation. (Source)

A Step Above and Beyond- 2

When the Huntley Hotel in California asked guest Seth Freedland if there was anything they could do to make his stay more comfortable, he decided to have fun with them. Freedland, who was staying at the hotel for a wedding, asked for a "few framed photos" of actor Jeff Goldblum. Because, why not?


Upon arrival at the Hotel Indigo on the San Antonio Riverwalk, this guest was sent a text offering assistance in any way. So, she made her boring work trip a little more delightful by asking for several pictures of Nicholas Cage. The hotel delivered all of her requests. (Source)

A Step Above and Beyond- 1

Sean Fitzsimons takes making "special" or "additional" requests on hotel reservation forms to a whole new level. The 28-year-old businessman from Denver has traveled to Salt Lake City every other week for the past four years. To mix things up, Fitzsimons started making the "weird, bizarre hotel requests." (Source)

Another one of Sean Fitzsimons' strange requests. (Source)

This couple requested a blanket fort for their anniversary trip. (Source)


God, No

Nearly 40 years after Star Wars arrived in theaters, it has become virtually impossible to find a retail category that hasn’t picked up the franchise’s valuable license. A Tauntaun sleeping bag? You can have one. A severed Wampa arm ice scraper? Sold out, but keep checking. A waffle maker that can make breakfast in the shape of the Death Star? Yours for $39.99.
Now you can show up for job interviews with OppoSuit’s line of Star Wars-inspired men’s formal wear. The first designs—“Strong Force,” a colorful multi-panel collage, and “Stormtrooper,” a sleek black and white number—are on sale now, with more designs expected to arrive between the December release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and May 2017’s Episode VIII.
“We have been big Star Wars fans our entire lives and are therefore extremely proud of these great additions to our range of suits,” Jasper Castelein, creative director and co-founder of OppoSuits, told
Each suit retails for $109.99. Consumers can help OppoSuits decide on future designs by signing up for their newsletter.

Viz Bits

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 11.33.21

SNN for Real- not a Spoof

A motorist has described his surprise after he received a parking fine for being ‘parked’ on Zig-Zag markings in Richmond Avenue, Shoeburyness – the only problem was that he was actually giving way to an oncoming vehicle at the time that he had his picture taken by the Southend Borough Council CCTV vehicle!
Richard Maxwell, whose age and home street are probably irrelevant here and therefore will not be reported, received the council notice in December 2015. Naturally he went through the appropriate channels to appeal the decision, and he received a standard letter to say that the fine has now been cancelled. However, Mr Maxwell is naturally disappointed that there has been no forthcoming apology from Southend Borough Council in light of the fact that the image makes it perfectly clear that the vehicle in question has stopped briefly to allow another driver to pass through.
Shortly after an image of his notice was posted on Southend News Network’s Facebook page, he commented: ‘I have just spoken to the council and apparently there is a letter in the post telling me that my appeal has been upheld. I wonder whether there will be any compensation included for my stamp, paper, ink, envelope and time? I doubt it!’ We contacted him to ask if he had a further comment, to which he replied: ‘Not one that you could post! I’m speechless at their incompetence.’
Within mere hours of our Facebook post going live, the letter was received to say that his appeal had been upheld. We spoke to a legal expert about this, and he informed us that this means that Mr Maxwell has ‘won.’ We have contacted Southend Borough Council for a comment.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council contacted the Southend News Network with the following response:
“The appeals process is in place for good reason, and it has worked correctly in this instance.”
“The driver made representations explaining the situation and the ticket was duly withdrawn following the appeal. We apologise for any inconvenience the issuing of the ticket caused.”
Appeal Letter

Well Said

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
e e cummings
US poet (1894 - 1962)

New Chrome Look

Only just noticed so it's subtle but modern and fresh.  I like it.


Kane out, but I am happy for Vincent Janssen to get a run of games and get his sights on goal.  And we have a normal KO time.

  • Middlesbrough's only defeat in the last 11 Premier League home games against Spurs came in April 2007.
  • Boro have scored 37 Premier League goals against Tottenham, more than against any other side.
  • However, Spurs have lost just once in the nine most recent competitive meetings, a 2-1 Premier League away defeat in August 2008 (W4, D3, L1).
  • Middlesbrough haven't gone three Premier League home games without a win from the start of a season since 2000-01, when they were winless in their first eight fixtures at the Riverside.
  • This will be their 250th Premier League game at the Riverside Stadium (W98, D74, L77).
  • They could register three consecutive league defeats for the first time in three and a half years.
  • All five of Boro's Premier League goals this season have come before half time.
Tottenham Hotspur
  • Spurs have gone unbeaten in their opening five league games of a season for the first time in 12 years. The 2004-05 season was the only time they have remained unbeaten after six matches in the Premier League.
  • A win on Saturday would represent the club's best start to a top-flight season for 51 years, matching their four wins and two draws after six matches in 1965-66.
  • They have the division's best defensive record so far this season, keeping three clean sheets and only conceding two goals.
  • Tottenham have fielded the youngest average starting XI in the division so far this season, aged 25 years and 208 days.
  • Harry Kane has only missed four Premier League games since the start of 2014-15, with Spurs only managing one point and two goals without him.


Running out of jerky...


Historical British Facts 16

Good Choice

Seems like Ross likes the hotel we've booked for him so much he wants another another night on his way home.  Wifey nipped up yesterday to arrange the booking in 2017 and they still honoured their discount as she had reserved before the end of September.

All other dates and rooms are also confirmed, including our stay in Siem Reap at the City River hotel, so nowt left to worry about.

Friday Night Out

Our usual "crew" were sparse, Francois had an assignment he had to finish, Ryan was making up with his burd, Tommy was out on the town but we did have fun at the Corner and I think we stayed out rather later than intended.  No more beer until next week now.

Partridge Family vs Brady Bunch

Watched both pilots back to back yesterday afternoon and they were so bad they were almost good.  Today we will have Mannix vs the Saint.

It's such a hard life...


Seems like disabling "wake laptop on moving mouse" has worked and the computer sleeps blissfully like a baby again.

Friday, 23 September 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Rightly at the Top

This week Mastercard released its Global Destination Cities Index, which provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world.
Measured by the number of international overnight visitors, the study, now in its seventh year, predicts which countries will be the most visited in 2016.
From the AsiaPacific region to Europe to the Middle East and Africa, here are the 20 cities set to see the most visitors this year:


20) Prague, Czech Republic - 5.81 million international visitors
Prague (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

19) Shanghai, China - 6.12 million international visitors

18) Vienna, Austria - 6.69 million international visitors

17) Osaka, Japan - 7.02 million international visitors
Osaka (Getty)

16) Rome, Italy - 7.12 million international visitors

15) Taipei, Taiwan - 7.5 million international visitors

14) Milan, Italy - 7.65 million international visitors
Terrace suites at the Mandarin Oriental

13) Amsterdam, Netherlands - 8 million international visitors

12) Barcelona, Spain - 8.20 million international visitors

The University of Barcelona, which welcomes a large number of Erasmus students every year (Getty iStock)

11) Hong Kong, China - 8.37 million international visitors

10) Seoul, South Korea - 10.20 million international visitors

9) Tokyo, Japan - 11.70 million international visitors
Tokyo's Shinjuku district

8) Istanbul, Turkey - 11.95 million international visitors

7) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 12.02 million international visitors

6) Singapore - 12.11 million international visitors
Singapore (Alamy Stock Photo)

5) New York City, USA - 12.75 million international visitors

4) Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 15.27 million international visitors
Rosemont Hotel and Residences Dubai

3) Paris, France - 18.03 million international visitors

2) London, England - 19.88 million international visitors

1) Bangkok, Thailand - 21.47 million international visitors

Capital Takeouts


Another Nice Canadian

Last week the Independent's David Usborne pointed out the double standard of people accusing Hillary Clinton of lying about her recent bout with pneumonia, when Donald Trump is teeming with untruths all the time. 
Well, Canadian journalist Daniel Dale, who writes for the Toronto Star, is listing all the lies Donald Trump spouts.

Every. Single.  Day. 

indy100 spoke to Dale about the undertaking of such a monumental task:

What’s the record number of lies Donald Trump told in one day?

I counted 18 false statements on Tuesday. That's the record so far. But I just started doing this.

How do you gather all the information/how long does it take?

I get the information by watching video and reading transcripts of all of his public remarks. It can take a couple of hours, depending on how much he has spoken in a given day.

He doesn't get called out on his lies nearly enough - why do you think that is?

He does of course get called out by many others, all the time. There are a long list of reasons why he doesn't get called out even more: the sheer volume makes it hard to keep up; it can be hard for TV interviewers to check him in real time; they and other media have a traditional reluctance to call a lie a lie, or a false statement a false statement; it takes time and research to do this.

How long do you plan on doing this?

I'll probably do this until the election. Maybe not every single day. We'll see how it fits in with my other responsibilities.

What sort of reactions have you been getting? 

The reaction has been mixed, as always, but mostly very positive. For the most part, readers seem to be pleased that someone is providing this information in handy form. And the ardent Trump opponents are happy that he is being held to account in some small way. I've also had many Trump supporters insult me or insist that some of his claims are actually true.
Dale wouldn't speculate on whether or not Trump would become president and how he might behave, but he did say:
The data show that he certainly has a chance to do it!