Well, not quite, no

Woman Dies While ‘Laughing Too Hard’ In US
The tragedy happened just as her students were getting ready to return to school from summer break.

It wasn’t actually the Monty Python joke:

A US school teacher died after she accidentally fell off a rooftop balcony while laughing during a vacation in Mexico, according to a media report.

Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, a teacher at Charles A Huston Middle School in the US state of Pennsylvania, was with her daughter at a friend’s house in Mexico on Monday when she sat on a deck ledge that doubled as a bench.

“She started laughing very hard and when she put her head back she lost her balance and fell back,” her brother David Regoli was quoted as saying by the Fox News.

“She suffered multiple injuries to her body and brain,” he said.

She died from falling off a roof.

Still, at least she died happy*.

*This is my entry in the Rod Liddle Bad Taste Award for this week. No doubt that Sunday Times column is just about to be offered.

Err, no, Jay, just no

As a restaurant critic, my body is not entirely my own; I sacrifice it weekly in the service of your reading pleasure. And then, through either self-denial or ugly straining in the gym, I declare war on the calories I have just eaten in the restaurants I have just visited so you wouldn’t have to. But what can I do? I am cursed with the sluggish metabolism of a Mitteleuropean peasant designed, by natural selection, to get through a harsh winter on the Russian steppe. It just happens that this peasant has been misplaced to metropolitan London where the only hunger gap I will ever encounter is the one between breakfast and lunch. Such is my privileged life.

Mitteleuropean does not mean the steppe. Before, about and around, the 1880s, the steppe meant nomad still. The Mitteleurope, as the name suggests, means the next bit over, the middle. Which is where the agricultural peasants were.

As ever, Peter Simple a half century ahead of the times

Now, the discovery of a craigslist ad posted last Monday, almost a full week before the Charlottesville protests, is raising new questions over whether paid protesters were sourced by a Los Angeles based “public relations firm specializing in innovative events” to serve as agitators in counterprotests.

The ad was posted by a company called “Crowds on Demand” and offered $25 per hour to “actors and photographers” to participate in events in the “Charlotte, NC area.”

Well, they couldn’t call it Rentamob, could they, would make it obvious where the idea came from.

This is fun about Adani

A global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.

Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.

What happens in India with offshore invoicing wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest either way. But it’s worth pondering why the Guardian is running with this in such detail. It’s because that same company is trying to open a coal mine in Oz. Which will require “dredging near the Great Barrier Reef park” for the port.

This is an attempt at making sure that the operation doesn’t get financed, nothing more. Rather a political intervention for a supposed vanguard of speaking truth to power, no?

Err, no Daily Mail, just no

In keeping with centuries-old wedding customs in the Muslim-majority southern state of Johor, he also gave her a dowry of 22.50 ringgit (about £4), and the couple kissed the hands of their parents, aunts and uncles as a mark of respect.


Dowry is a share of her father’s assets which she then brings into the new household. The argument being that as part of the new family she’ll not share in whatever distribution there is in the will when the time comes. A payment by the new husband to the father’s family would be bride price. A payment by the husband to the wife would be what? A wedding present?

OK, but shall we be even handed here Zoe?

The urgent moral question is how to find the language and timbre to take on the tie Nazi as robustly as one would the boot Nazi, since they are, plainly, part of the same body politic. If one ignores or indulges the tie, the boot will always come as a hideous surprise.

Can we substitute communist for Nazi there and then do the same? Equal moral condemnation for someone who lectures on the elimination of the bourgeoisie as someone who actually puts the boot into an actual bourgeoisie?

Question in The Guardian

Don’t know how much of a response it will get:

A serious question here.

“Surely we can do better than this? When it comes to straightforward supply chain, eggs should be easy and yet the supply chain has been revealed to be fundamentally chaotic. Along the way, the humble egg became a cypher for a globalised food system where the opportunity for spectacular disaster is never far away.”

Can anyone point to a time and place when the food system managed two things together?

1) Feeding everyone, well. By this, in volume, with variety, without periods of dearth let alone starvation and at a less than extortionate cost. Say, perhaps, under 20% of household income.

2) Was locally based with short supply chains?

If there had ever been such a time then of course we could just go back and copy what they did. If there hasn’t then we’ve a bit of a problem really.

The true value of journalism

The minister’s comment came in response to a journalist who said there are journalists with postgraduate degrees who start their journalism career with only Tk8,000 a month.

That’s £80 a month, or at PPP perhaps about £240 a month. It’s also a 60% upgrade to those entry level jobs in the garment factories.

Perhaps it’s just a poor country, maybe journalism isn’t a highly paid occupation or possibly there’s very little value in advanced degrees in grievance studies.

This is an interesting attempt

In the Football Association brochure that sanctioned the breakaway Premier League 25 years ago at the dawn of the first pay-TV deal, no mention was made of the personal fortunes it would make for the owners of the bigger clubs. Led by the self-appointed “Big Five” of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, the First Division clubs had angled and threatened throughout the 1980s to leave the century-old Football League, so as not to share the new TV millions with the clubs in the three lower divisions. The FA’s culture had narrowed and curdled through that decade, which ended in 96 people being unlawfully killed at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final which the governing body itself had commissioned at Hillsborough.

The general tone seems to be that there’s a connection between Hillsborough and the Sky TV deals. Been taking lessons from Laurie Penny on how the patriarchy causes everything I fear.

Umm, ask the estate agent who he will send the money to?

It’s a spacious mansion in rural France – a highly desirable property.
So why it has remained empty since 1998 remains something of a mystery.
The stately building, located in the Nord-pas-de-Calais region, was abandoned nearly two decades ago and yet appears to be almost perfectly preserved.
Here, offering a rare glimpse inside, images from Vacant Photography reveal the remnants of human habitation scattered throughout the rooms; from music resting on the piano to soap products in the bathroom and slippers placed next to the bed.
Currently on sale by a local estate agent for the bargain price of £115,000, the house remains shrouded in unanswered questions.
The photographers, who wouldn’t reveal its exact location in order to protect it from ‘people with bad intentions’, noticed a calendar on the kitchen wall from 1998, but couldn’t track down any further clues as to its last owners.

Of course, it’s always possible that Hale Bopp came to get these peeps, not the Californians.

Shock horror, eh, shock horror

The most expensive parking was found at Luton airport, where a two-week stay in their standard on-site car park came in at £191, the online investigation by Admiral insurance revealed.
Exeter was the cheapest, where an equivalent space cost just £65 for the same amount of time.

Parking near one of the great global urban centres is more expensive than doing so in rural Devon.

Quite astonishing.


Here’s the rub. Zuckerberg has no right to pronounce on what the welfare state should look like while Facebook takes aggressive measures to minimise its tax burden. Here in the UK, Facebook paid just £4,327 in corporation tax in 2014, despite paying its UK staff bonuses of £35m.

It’s not despite you silly cow, it’s because.

Further, the income tax take from bonuses paid is higher or lower than the corporation tax take from profits retained?

Jeebus, the nonsense that people can make themselves believe.

They’re just so damn conservative these lefties

What happened when Walmart left
In West Virginia, the people of McDowell County can’t get jobs, and recently lost their biggest employer – the local Walmart store. They describe the devastating loss of jobs, community and access to fresh food

Walmart turns up, that’s terrible, it drains the community.

Walmart leaves, that’s terrible, it drains the community.

Nothing so terrible as not being exploited, eh?