So many corduroy trousers, Wisdens, mince pies and cans of tomato soup in one place…

I’ve had a few days where I have had four “I’ve never seen so many……..in one place before” incidents.

On Friday it was with cans of tomato soup. I must have seen about 300 cans all in one place. Then I noticed about ten pairs of pristinely laundered corduroy trousers in a free clothes store.

On Saturday, not only did I see more mince pies than I have ever seen before in one place, but I also opened more boxes of mince pies than ever before.

I thought that would be it for a while with “Never seen so many…” experiences. Then, blow me down, this morning I saw more Wisdens in one place than I have ever seen before! Yes, Wisdens.

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Police helping vulnerable people

We often regard the police as being the ones who are there to boss people around and arrest people.

However, there are many policemen and women, and Community Support Officers, who carry out a very caring role with the most vulnerable in society.

I’ve seen at first hand a police person who knows the names and the stories of the vulnerable, and who talks with them and tries to help them very sympathetically, involving other agencies where necessary. It takes great patience.

This Christmas we should be thankful to our caring police.

The spirit of Scrooge in West Berkshire

We live in one of the wealthiest parts of the country. I think most decent local people expect the local authority to use their taxes to ensure no one sleeps rough here. Yet, people regularly sleep rough in Newbury, even in the severest of weather.

West Berkshire Council were to be applauded when, on November 1st, it put aside petty-fogging rules and subsidised the opening of the doors of the Two Saints hostel. However, its reversion to the old bureaucratic rules on December 5th will mean that, when local people hang up their stockings in the warm on Christmas Eve, there will be more people sleeping rough on our streets.

That is not the spirit of Christmas.

That is the spirit of Scrooge.

Tim Farron hits the surveillance nail on the head

My favourite article from this week, nay this month, possibly even this year, is this one from Tim Farron. It’s frameable.

It is very outspoken but bang on the button. I applaud Tim Farron to the rafters for publishing it.

What I was particularly impressed by is that it was published on politics.co.uk and also Yahoo News UK, where I first saw it. So, it was an article that came to the eyes of many UK internet users who don’t normally frequent the rarified environs of political websites.

I’ll leave you to read the piece in full but it is nicely summarised by the title “Only a fool could trust the ‘oversight’ provided by the intelligence commitee” and the photo caption quote:’Our democratic oversight has rescinded to the point of extinction’.

The 20 dumbest questions on Yahoo answers

273956623_19e0a02264Plenty of amusement for those long dark winter evenings…

1) “I sold my only car to help pay for gas money, but now gas has come down in price. How do I get my car back?”
2) “HOW DO I TURN OFF CAPSLOCK? I ACCIDENTALLY TURNED IT ON YESTERDAY AND I DONT KNOW HOW TO TURN IT BACK OFF.”
3) “I wanted to see if my computer would read my credit card so i put it in the cd rom and it got stuck, how do i get it out?? I tryed toothpics but lost them in the process?? also the drive is making noises”
4) “My mouse stop working every time i lift it up from the table why is this? this is not just OS .i have linux and vista both same thing so its not drivers”
5) “I’ve been asked to write an application in my own handwriting….? is there a computer programme that will do this for me? they also want original ideas. do you know any?”
6) “I have an assignment about computer.. What is unimportant details about computer?”
7) “Am i married in any state? have i been divorced?”
8) “Where can i buy a really big jar of peanut butter?”
9) “I have ate two whole tangerines in about two hours what will happen to me?”
10) “How do i become obese fast? I want to look good by the end of the year.”

and my favourite:

11) “I thought cantelope was an animal!? i always thought that a cantaloupe was that animal that has the horns and they live in Arizona and stuff, but i was shopping for groceries yesterday and i saw they had cantaloupe meat on sale. so i was like yeah sure i’ll try it, but what i saw, wasn’t a cantaloupe. it was some white and green fruit thing! whats up with this?”

Read the rest on PC World.

Scientists get a little too honest

3291457329_0b82b71fc4Full version here on Imgur

We didn’t read half the papers we cite because they were behind a paywall

This dye was selected because the bottle was within reach

Sample size was smaller than planned because I had been in grad school for 10 years and my advisor wanted me to graduate

…and my favourite:

We don’t know how the results were obtained. The postdoc who did all the work has since left to start a bakery

Photo: Some rights reserved by !/_PeacePlusOne