Linguists please

The name of the company is well known in German-speaking countries as a starter to humorously construct even longer compound words. Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsmütze is such a word, which potentially might even have been used, but probably never actually was. It means a “DDSG captain’s hat”. Another common example is Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajütenschlüssel which means “DDSG captain’s cabin key”.

An Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge’s, grandpa:

“Oh there he is!” said Dame Margaret Hodge, approaching a portrait she has never seen face to face before. “It is my old grandad … how amazing!”

The sitter, with a distinctive white moustache and blue eyes, was Wilhelm Hollitscher, a former chief engineer of the Danube Steamboat Shipping Company who fled the Nazis and was soon interned by the British in camps with many thousands of so-called enemy aliens.

The chief engineer of the company would be what as one single compound word?

They’re just being Puritans, aren’t they?

A full month’s diet plan would be a better illustration, given that the daily ration of red meat stands at 7g (with an allowable range of 0-14g); unless you are creative enough to make a small steak feed two football sides and their subs, you will only be eating one once a month. Similarly, you are allocated little more than two chicken breast fillets and three eggs every fortnight and two tins of tuna or 1.5 salmon fillets a week. Per day, you get 250g of full-fat milk products (milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese): the average splash of milk in not very milky tea is 30g.

And then you fill up on beans.

One interesting problem here being that if we don’t eat meat, consume diary, then we can’t even have the beans. Because there is this insistence upon going organic, not using artificial fertilisers. The problem there being if we’ve not got the animals we’ve not got any shit to put on the fields…..that is, the recommended diet doesn’t make internal sense.

Yep, uncertainty is damaging

Uncertainty about the date of leaving the European Union is more damaging than a no-deal Brexit, the new deputy chairman of the Conservative Party has said.

Not that I’d want to predict this as being true right now but it’s possible and also certain at some point. Solving the uncertainty will cause more of an economic boom than whatever the actual terms of leaving are…..

Business Opportunity Of The Day

The steam train enthusiasts should team up with coal-mining enthusiasts. There are bound to be a few near-surface deposits that could be mined by chaps in Victorian clothing, using pit ponies.


Forest of Dean might be a good start. Maybe Newcastle coast? Sea coal?

Update. So, checking on this. The mine in the Viscount Ridley’s land – not operated by him – cultivates the steam trains as an interesting market…..

I dunno, do you?

The comforting chug of a steam train may be left in the past under government plans to crack down on coal, heritage railway operators have warned.

As the country moves towards a carbon-neutral future, officials plan to shut down every coal plant in the UK by 2025.

Members of the £400m steam train industry have said they face an “uncertain future” and have asked for government help, as they fear the coal price rises that will be caused by the plant shutdown will put them out of business.

I’m under the impression – but don;t know – that steam trains and power stations use different types of coal. Not just different sized lumps, but stuff different on the bituminous to anthracite spectrum. The reason I think this is true is that a few years ago there was some fuss about the steam enthusiasts not being able to get British coal any more, it wasn’t good enough for them what was being produced…..

As has been pointed out around here

A very large number of plots used in the past simply don’t work these days because cellphones. You’ve got to start inventing batteries dying, no access to electricity, wandering into an area with no coverage. Even, in a recent novel, the holding place of the good guy being built as a Faraday Cage.

That is, you’ve got to stretch credulity into order to make many plot points work:

Disney has announced that it is to remake Home Alone, almost three decades after the original version hit cinemas. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, said the film would be revived as a result of the company’s $71.3 billion (£58.7bn) acquisition in March of 20th Century Fox, which made the Macaulay Culkin original.

Mr Iger said Disney was “focused on leveraging Fox’s vast library of great titles to further enrich the content mix”, adding that his company planned to remake popular Fox films including Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper by the Dozen for “a new generation.”

The news was greeted with dismay by many fans of the original. Vice published an article headlined: “Disney Is Trying to Remake ‘Home Alone’ and Must Be Stopped”, and film executive Franklin Leonard tweeted: “Prayers up for the writers who have to solve the cell phone problem in a rebooted Home Alone.”

Well, yes.

This is how you deal with oiks like Aer Lingus

Take it away Squander Two.

An open letter to Aer Lingus on the occasion of their quite dreadful service.
Dear Sir or Madam,

I was unfortunate enough to be on your delayed flight EI937 from Heathrow to Belfast City on 19/7/19, so am writing to complain about the delay itself, the way you made the delay worse, and the way you treated your passengers. I fly twice a week and have very low expectations of airlines, generally putting up with the whole awful experience that you all offer without complaining. That Aer Lingus have managed to do so much so badly in just one flight that I am prompted to write this letter is some sort of perverse achievement.

Those who have their own blogs, or Tweet and all that, are invited to spreads this little missive.

Well, yes….

Police in Texas have apologised after photographs emerged of two white officers on horseback leading a black man down the street by a rope.


Melissa Morris, a lawyer for Mr Neely’s family, said he was homeless, mentally ill, and suffered from bipolar disorder.

Doesn’t matter, skin colour.

Galveston’s police department said leading a suspect by a rope on horseback was something officers were trained to do.

It was an accepted law enforcement technique, and even “best practice” in some situations.

Doesn’t matter, skin colour. Doesn’t even matter whether skin colour should matter, it does.


Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, said: “These are two white police officers on horseback, with a black man, walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that’s doesn’t make sense, period.

“Stay there with him instead of humiliating him, and now you’ve humiliated the whole city of Galveston. And I do understand this, if it was a white man, I guarantee it would not have happened.”

Advice to Galveston. Search those archives for a white arrestee being led on a rope behind horses. Search real hard and publish, publish, publish.

Strange that we’ve not heard from the Senior Lecturer on this

The Treasury is to review George Osborne’s controversial tax rules on pensions amid concerns they are stifling the delivery of public services and pushing up NHS waiting times.

Higher earners are restricted from putting more than £10,000 annually into pensions without facing punitive taxes. The rules have been blamed for consultants and GPs turning down work, undermining patient treatment.

It was also suggested the rules have led to entrepreneurs losing faith in corporate pension schemes, reducing the attractiveness of plans to employees.

We’ve had much over the years about how tax relief for pensions is a very bad thing. How it should be restricted. About how it’s all a waste. And why give all that relief to the already well off anyway?

So, restrict it.

Funny that we’ve not – I’ve not looked today as yet – had a rethink as reality intrudes upon such plans. You know, maybe an “Ooops!” or something?

Et Tu Telegraph?

Arson killed found guilty after 16-years on the run

Apparently the people killed by the arson have now been found guilty.

A man who spent 16-years on the run after petrol bombing a family home during a bitter feud has been found guilty of the murders of eight people including five children.

Ah, no, rather we’ve the work experience kid writing the headlines.

So, so, stigmatising

President Donald Trump described a weekend of two mass shootings — one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio — as a “mental illness problem.”

“We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment but when necessary involuntary confinement,” Trump said during a public address on Monday.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

Yet mental health experts, including representatives from the American Psychological Association, have called it “unfounded” to blame mass shootings on mental illness in place of considering other possible factors, such as hate, bigotry and access to assault weapons.
Calling every mass shooting a mental health problem is “inaccurate and it’s stigmatizing,” said Arthur Evans, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

You know what? It might indeed be stigmatising. It’s even true that not every nutter pulls the trigger, but it’s still nutters pulling triggers, isn’t it.

People are just so unfair!

But, then again, it isn’t that simple. In addition to being a performer, I’m also a trans person in a culture that seems to only understand gender through appearance. My being seen as the woman I am is almost entirely dependent on my ability to perform femininity as its been established in our culture—namely, to be beautiful. Here is how I feel most of us have been taught to process gender: if a person looks female, she’s a woman; if a person looks male, he’s a man. Those of us who don’t always look perfectly female or perfectly male are subject to being misgendered and misunderstood; we are often the subject of ridicule, judgement, and scrutiny. There is an unfair assumption made about each of our gender identities based on how we look, but gender identity and appearance are two completely separate things. Looking like a boy or looking like a girl doesn’t mean that you are one.

Isn’t that unfair? People associate a certain look with being female because being female presents as a certain look. People are using their vision to identify the world around them. Quick, make them stop!

This is something new for me

Sure, and I occasionally get to write for the Times. And they’ve even, once or twice, rung up for a bit of advice – rare earths I recall one time. But this is the first time I know of that a piece elsewhere has been used by them as a source – a proof perhaps – for a contention being made by someone else.

The state should leave obese people alone as their early deaths would save the NHS money in the long run, the BBC presenter Michael Buerk has said.

He said overweight people should be allowed to indulge if they wished, and that they were “weak, not ill”.

Well, quite so. The end of the piece?

Tim Worstall, of the Adam Smith Institute, has called warnings that obesity poses an NHS funding crisis “nonsense on stilts”. He wrote: “When you add in the costs of the state pensions that those who die young don’t get, smoking and gorging save the government vast sums of money. Having us all slim . . . would cost the NHS very much more money than the current level of topers, smokers and lardbuckets does.”