That terrorism campaign is working then

Which part of whose campaign is a little more difficult to work out of course:

For a heart-stopping hour, it appeared a nation’s collective worst fears had come true.

On Black Friday on Britain’s best known and busiest street, packed with Christmas shoppers, commuters and school children, it seemed that terrorists had struck. At 4.37pm, hordes of people on Oxford Street were convinced they had heard the sound of gunfire and explosions.

It was a false alarm, but whatever they heard – or for that matter didn’t hear – prompted a stampede for cover. Shoppers ran for their lives, certain they were under attack.

But that is the point of a terrorism campaign. To strike terror into the heart of the population. Thereby gaining leverage as people fuck it up themselves without anyone having to do anything.

As I’ve pointed out before, Sharia marriage is not recognised in UK law

Getting married should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but for some Muslim brides the fairytale can suddenly come to a shocking end.
Rukhsana Noor and Habiba Jaan both found themselves homeless and hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt after they learning that their Sharia marriages were not recognised under UK law.
Both women’s stories are told in a new Channel 4 documentary, The Truth About Muslim Marriage, which exposes the plight of women who discover they have no legal rights after their ‘marriage’ falls apart.
Habiba, a mother of four, found out that she was never legally married to her husband because they’d never registered the marriage. When she begged him for a civil ceremony she discovered that he was actually legally married to someone else.

And thus, obviously, nor is polygamy.

This isn’t, either, some mark of the oppression of Muslims or anything. It is the civil marriage which is the legal part, not the religious one. The standard CoE wedding, when the five (? priest, couple, two witnesses) go off stage for 5 minutes is when the marriage, in the law, actually takes place. The rest is whatever we want to call it but it ain’t the legal part of it all.

I’m actually quite keen on the Portuguese system. Any ceremony you like, anywhere, why the hell not. But if you want the legal protections and rights of a legal marriage then you have to, without exception, rock up to the civil registrar and go through the same process as absolutely everyone else. The advantage being that everyone really does therefore know what’s a legal marriage.

I’m even happy with the idea of no legal recognition of marriage at all on absurdly libertarian grounds but agree that’s just not ever going to happen.

Umm?

Police in Germany were relieved when a call about a potential unexploded Second World War bomb turned out to actually be a monster courgette.

A worried 81-year-old called police when he spotted the 16inch (40cm) vegetable- also known as a zucchini – in his garden.

Police rushed to the scene in Bretten, near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, and quickly established it was nothing to be afraid of.

Officers who responded to the callout said the summer squash “really did look very like a bomb”.

The offending vegetable, which was very dark in colour, weighed about 11lb (5kg). Police believe someone threw it over a hedge into the garden.

Very like a bomb?

This is well known to be true

The Queen is merely ‘a countryside woman of limited intelligence’, the writer of hit royal series The Crown has claimed.
In remarks sure to raise eyebrows amongst the millions of fans of the hit show, screenwriter Peter Morgan has insisted the monarch ‘would have much preferred looking after her dogs and breeding horses to being queen’.
‘If you had told me I would be doing this, I would have told you it was mad, hallucinogenic conjecture’, Mr Morgan – known for his republican sentiments – mused in the Sunday Times magazine.
‘I wouldn’t have guessed there would be anything more to say about this countryside woman of limited intelligence who would have much preferred looking after her dogs and breeding horses to being Queen.’

No one really has said over the years that Our Brenda has a towering intellect. She’s not going to be extending Wittgenstein, nor Einstein.

She is canny though, as many have also noted.

There is though a certain amusement at Fritz himself, married as he was to one of the Princesses Schwartzenberg, having a pop at the system of aristocracy and monarchy.

I’m from the government and I’m here to help

Will be the third to befall this unfortunate woman:

A woman survived the carnage of the Las Vegas shooting to then suffer the further trauma of seeing her home burn down with most of her possessions a week later in the California wildfires.

As to the statistical likelihood – of course, we now know that it is 1. But even a priori it’s not that far fetched.

Country music festival out West. Will draw in fans from the surrounding hundreds of miles, more, Vegas has many flights in and out. – it was a big festival. Country music is, unsurprisingly, more popular in more rural areas. Richer rural areas are more likely to have people who can afford to fly off to festivals. Woman from rich rural area goes to festival…..it is indeed coincidence but it’s not a totally weird one.

You know, not like a lottery winner also meeting a decent Labour MP or something.

Sigh

While Vince and the Vegan Society welcome the new wave of plant-powered sports stars, others are less happy because many are giving up meat for personal performance benefits, not because they are in tune with the vegan lifestyle and compassion for animals.

They usual nonsense about intentions mattering, not actions. But, but, my intentions when shooting the kulaks were excellent…..

Not that odd

Humans accelerate pretty fast actually:

This adrenaline-packed video shows a top athlete going head-to-head with a fighter jet – with a very surprising result.

…..
As the end of the race nears it seems like a close call but the sprinter just edges into the distance and pips the aircraft to the post.

It’s over 50 metres. For 100 the jet would win easily. And a human can beat a horse over short distances too (and also long, over 25 miles). Usually beat a car for 10 or 20 metres too.

We’re actually pretty zippy off the blocks.

What joy, eugenics all over again

The oldest of these died in about 2,000BC, at the start of the Bronze Age, while the latest was from the seventh century AD.

Comparing these against the DNA of 503 modern Europeans, the researchers found that the mutations linked to higher general cognitive ability (GCA), which enables people to solve problems across a range of different modes of thinking, had become more common as time went by.

The results were confirmed in a separate analysis of the genes of 66 more ancient people who had lived across 3,200 years.

Dr Woodley has previously argued that the genes driving intelligence may have become less common since the 19th century as advances in medicine and nutrition have allowed people with lower IQs to have more children who survived into adulthood.

As a result, his team suggests that the “millennia-long microevolutionary trend favouring higher GCA” may have gone into reverse over the course of the 20th century.

Well, OK, eugenics is trying to do something about this but still.

How to pay off your mortgage quick

The couple first bought their £160,000 one-bedroom flat in 2007, with a deposit of £15,000.
Together they earned £70,000 a year and managed to wipe their 35-year mortgage by 2011 – 31 years ahead of schedule.

Well, yes, being tight on £70 k a year should indeed pay off £145 k in 4 years. ignoring trivialities like taxes etc, that’s 50% of income on housing.

What they’ve left as disposable income is an exercise left to the reader but it’s not starvation rations, is it? (Note, no children).

I guess so really

Victims of a major ransomware cyberattack that has spread through the US and Europe can no longer unlock their computers even if they pay the ransom.

The “Petya” ransomware has caused serious disruption at large firms including the advertising giant WPP, French construction materials company Saint-Gobain and Russian steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft.

Infected computers display a message demanding a Bitcoin ransom worth $300. Those who pay are asked to send confirmation of payment to an email address. However, that email address has been shut down by the email provider.

“We do not tolerate any misuse of our platform,” said the German email provider Posteo in a blog post.

This means that there is no longer any way for people who decide to pay the ransom to contact the attacker for a decryption key to unlock their computer.

“This is not an experienced ransomware operator,” said Ryan Kalember, senior vice-president of cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint.

Top Tip – this is something not to do

When a tanker truck overturned on a road in eastern Pakistan on Sunday (June 25), hundreds of people rushed towards the vehicle to collect the leaking fuel.

Using buckets, bottles and cans, they scooped up some of the 5,500 gallons of fuel gushing onto the road. For about an hour, men, women and children from nearby villages, as well as some passers-by who pulled over in their cars and motorbikes, collected the “windfall”, despite attempts by police to warn them away from the scene.

Then, suddenly, the truck caught fire and exploded, killing at least 150 people and seriously injuring at least 100 others.

I recall at least one incident of this happening in Nigeria. What’s gasoline these days, $2 a gallon? (Untaxed, of course, not at European rates). $10,000 worth of gas, 150 deaths, these people were poor, no? Risking for that little each?

Didn’t he say his prize money would be going to Grenfell Tower?

Whether it was the heat, the anticipation, or the sheer novelty of facing an Australian opponent so far out of left-field that he had to look him up on YouTube, Andy Murray crumpled on Tuesday night at Queen’s Club to a shocking straight-sets defeat that threw his credentials to win a third Wimbledon title this summer into serious doubt.

So, not much of that then.

Bad taste product of the month

Later in the evening, west London came together in grief with a candlelit vigil.

Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze.

So, who is going to start making candles clad in nicely Green insulation? Candles which burn rather quickly?

The not very good spy

When Reality Winner got out of the US air force last December, she was despondent.

The 25-year-old vegan yoga enthusiast, who enjoyed adopting abandoned pets and sending shoeboxes full of gifts to Afghan children, was repulsed by the US president-elect, her polar opposite.

A passionate environmentalist, Winner grew heavy-hearted as Donald Trump quickly gave the go-ahead for construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

“I’m losing my mind,” she wrote in a Facebook post on 9 February. “He’s lying. He’s blatantly lying.”

As you read on you find that she was actually dobbed in by The Intercept. Not on purpose, or at least not as far as anyone knows. But by incredibly bad trade craft. They showed the NSA a copy of the document, he doc which had the unique identifying numbers on it which show which printer it came from.

Sheesh. Way to protect your sources, eh?

As for Reality herself, language specialist on intercepts. Right languages, easy to get a job. But zero tradecraft herself either. Like, printing from her own printer and sending a hard copy with those dots…..

This could actually be rather good

The film-maker Terry Gilliam has denied allegations that a famous Portuguese convent was damaged during the shooting of his long-delayed take on Don Quixote, telling people to get their facts straight “before howling hysterically”.

Well, OK, the location bit etc, but:

The new version features British actor Jonathan Pryce as the man driven out of his mind by tales of chivalric adventure.

Pryce and Gilliam? It’s unlikely to be moderate and you never know, it might all click and be glorious.

That shouting fire in a crowded theatre thing

About 1,000 people were injured in the Italian city of Turin after a firecracker provoked a stampede on Saturday night, police say.
Thousands of football fans were watching a live relay of Juventus’ Champions League final against Real Madrid in Cardiff when a bang was heard and rumours of an explosion spread.
At least two people, including a seven-year-old child, were seriously hurt.

There have been truly horrendous occurrences of this over the centuries. A crowd of human beings in a panic is a very dangerous thing.