Showing posts from April, 2013


I wondered why fiery is spelled as it is, bearing in mind that it is an adjective from fire. So why not, firey?

I learned that fier is an old Middle English spelling of fire, and that it came about in a time of the re-rendering of 'foreign' words - in this case from the Old English word - fyr.

In A Courtyard In Edinburgh

There is a long street in Edinburgh that runs from the castle down to Holyrood. In a quite courtyard, I came across this that made me think of somewhere in Europe - Germany perhaps.

86 Environmental Academics Attack UK Government For Reneging On Marine Conservations Zones

At the beginning of March I wrote an article on the Quillcards Blog about the UK government's reneging from its promise to set up 127 Marine Conservation Zones around the UK.

Instead, the Government proposes just 31 zones, and none is fully protected.

I wrote the article in support of the work of the protest group at Fish Fight.

Now, as reported in the Guardian, scientists have attacked the government climbdown on marine protection.


Now 86 environmental academics have written to Benyon, David Cameron and the environment secretary, Owen Paterson urging them to beef up their plans for protection. "We have seen spectacular devastation in the Irish sea in the last 20 years, for example, due to scallop dredging and prawn trawling. As fish stocks get ever more squeezed, the use of ever more destructive gear is spreading. This is happening now and protection is long overdue," said Professor Callum Roberts, at the University of York and one of the experts. "Ev…

Business For Britain Is Concerned With Business For Britain

This report in the New York Times today

LONDON — Is British business fretting about the risks of the country drifting out of the European Union? Or does it crave a looser relationship with Continental allies, one free from meddlesome regulation?
The answer to that question remained unclear Monday after a newly formed group of business leaders argued for a renegotiation of Britain’s membership terms — echoing the policy of Prime Minister David Cameron, who in January promised voters a referendum on whether the country would remain in the Union.
The new group, called Business for Britain, is intended to counter the intervention of pro-E.U. business leaders who have warned of the dangers of Britain slipping out of the 27-nation bloc and its single market of 500 million people. A statement released Monday to announce the group’s formation was signed by about 500 executives.
I think this opinion in the New York Times article is interesting:

Never much attracted to the idea of European unity,…

Rich Brown Leaves In The Hedge

I think they are beech leaves. The hedge was neatly trimmed and because it was winter, the leaves were all dry and curled.

They were a lovely rich brown colour and densely hung like so many chrysalids in a network of thin twigs and branches.

Inadmissible Whistleblowers

The High Court in the UK has ruled that leaked embassy cables are inadmissible in evidence because they breach diplomatic privilege.

Article 24 of the Vienna Convention states that the archives and documents of the mission shall be inviolable at any time and wherever they may be.

Presumably the leaked cables contradicted the 'archives and documents of the mission' - but because the archives are inviolable, anything that contradicts them attacks their inviolability, and so is inadmissible.

I cannot help but wonder whether the Counsel for the Foreign Office felt smug when he slapped that in the face of the court?

Be that as it may, it was a gutless decision by the court.

The court may have intended to sidestep the decision, believing that an appeal would be made to a higher court.

But equally, the court could have decided to admit the evidence and let the defence make the move to appeal to a higher court.

Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

Useless Oil And A Solution

The lead article in the Guardian today cites a report published today that says that carbon fuel reserves are overvalued.

The reason is that if environmental policies to reduce carbon emissions are implemented, most fossil fuel will be unable to meet the standards and will be 'unburnable'.

The report says that most industries are banking on the environmental policies not being implemented and are spending 1% of global GDP chasing more fossil fuels.

The good news is that according to the report commissioned by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown in 2006, the cost if transitioning to clean fuel is also 1%.

So if political leaders had the will, now is the cost effective time to transition.

Bringing Google+ Comments to your Blogger blog

Just read this article on the Google Blog that 'Starting today, you can bring Google+ Comments to your Blogger blog. Once you've enabled the feature through your Blogger Dashboard, you'll enjoy a number of important benefits:"
Then it says "To get started with Google+ Comments, just visit the Google+ tab of your Blogger Dashboard, and check “Use Google+ Comments.” (Older comments will continue to appear in the new widget.) You can also visit any post on the Official Google Blog (like this one), or on Blogger Buzz (like this one), to see Google+ Comments in action."
Blogger Buzz? Is that still around? I thought buzz had buzzed its last?

I checked the 'Use Google+ Comments' - so we should be in business. I did it for this and for my two Google+ Pages for Quillcards and Pelican Cards. 

Should I have checked off all three? 

Who knows.

So I took a look at the front end after I published, and I see that whichever of the profiles I check off last is the …

In Space, Everyone Can Watch You Squeeze Out A Wash Cloth