Dept. Of Righteous Killings

This from Britishland:

Police were called in the early hours of Wednesday morning after reports of a burglary in progress and a man injured at an address in Hither Green.
Mr Osborn-Brooks, who was at home with his disabled wife Maureen, had found two men inside the address and a struggle ensued between him and the men.
It is believed that one of the suspects had a screwdriver and threatened the homeowner with it.
Vincent, from Kent, was found collapsed on the street and had suffered a stab wound to the upper body. He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a central London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3.37am.

So far, so good. To summarize: violent career criminal (it turns out) invades home, threatens elderly homeowner and gets killed for his efforts. [pause to let applause and cheering die down]

But of course, this is not-so-Great Britain, where criminals may not face consequences for their criminal actions — especially at the hands of the public, no matter what the cause. So Our Hero faced the wrath of the Fuzz:

He was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and further arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken to a south London police before being bailed.

[pause to let howls of outrage subside]

However, there is a happy ending:

[He] has now been told that no action will be taken following discussions between the Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Needless to say, the air is full of relatives (most of them career criminals as well) wailing about how the dead goblin had a heart of gold (a perforated heart of gold, as it turns out) and He Didn’t Deserve To Die because he was just trying to support his family (I’m not making this up; it was in an earlier report).

But this being Britain, there’s a sting in the tale [sic]:

On Friday, [Our Hero’s] house was being boarded up and metal shutters were placed over windows amid security fears. Two vans, one with a cherry picker on the back, arrived this afternoon to secure the empty house. Heavy duty security grills were also fitted around all the windows.

So in defending himself from two murderous intruders, he now has to live his life cowering behind boarded-up windows, in fear of reprisal from the dead asshole’s relatives; because while the Britcops are very efficient in arresting the law-abiding, they’re completely incompetent when it comes to protecting them. And of course, there is no way in hell Our Hero is ever going to be allowed to own a shotgun to protect himself.

This is not going to end well. You read it here first.

So when our local would-be gun controllers confiscators talk about “reasonable U.K.-style gun laws”, please note that this would be one of the outcomes for us law-abiding folks.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

Flight Of Fancy

Back in the day when I played in a band, the various members had some rather interesting hobbies: Drummer Knob collected sports cars (and still does), Guitarists Kevin and Donald collected venomous snakes (the idiots), Keyboards Player Mike had his private pilot license (PPL), Guitarist Marty had his chopper pilot’s license, while Bassist Kim… well, I did a lot of testing of the effects of alcohol on the human body. (The band was my hobby.)

Anyway, Mike also had a two-seater ultralight aircraft, and I went up with him on several occasions. It was great fun, and it looked something like this: essentially, a wing with a”pusher” (rear-facing) motorcycle engine attached.

While I was looking at pics of old planes last week (for the RAF’s centenary), I happened upon something which made me stop and think: “I’d love to have one of those and fly it around.”

This is the Airco DH.2, designed by Geoffrey De Havilland himself (PBUH), and while it’s a little more aircraft than an ultralight (with two wings and a substantial tail assembly), the principle is the same: a “pusher” engine mounted behind the pilot.

I’d just use a modern engine (Honda Gold Wing?) in place of the old underpowered 100 hp Gnôme Monosoupape rotary engine, which had a rather disturbing tendency to lose its cylinders in flight. (And yes, I’d very much like to keep the Lewis machine gun too, thankyouverramush.)

I know the DH.2 is only a single-seater, but then if I wanted to go the extra step and carry a passenger as well, there’s always the Royal Aircraft Factory’s F.E.2b:

…also with the machine gun, of course.

I’m too old for this stuff now, more’s the pity; but let me tell you, given half the chance, I’d do it in a heartbeat anyway — in either aircraft, even without the guns.

Dialing Back The Pussification, One Race At A Time

Via Longtime Friend Knob, I see that the F1 grid girls will be on display at Monaco this year:

When Liberty Media announced it would be replacing grid girls with grid kids the owners of Formula 1 were applauded for tackling a dated and sexist tradition.
But not everyone was pleased with Liberty’s decision. Many F1 fans believe the grid girls are a big part of the sport – and the organisers of one of F1’s biggest races seem to agree with this viewpoint.
According to the report the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) has reached an agreement with Liberty Media for the grid girls to be at the “glitzy and glamorous” race.
In an interview with newspaper Monaco-Matin, ACM president Michel Boeri said: “The relationship is good with Liberty Media, because they understand that Monaco is not Spa or Monza.”

Actually, the real response should have been that Formula 1 isn’t the faculty lounge at Wellesley College, but I’ll take victory where I can, no matter how small.

On a related note:  I won’t be going to Monaco this year to watch the race with Knob because he won’t be in the country — some crap about he’ll be busy selling some property development off in South Africa at the end of May, like he has his priorities right (not) — so as far as Yer Humble Narrator is concerned, the glitz and glamour of the Monaco GP will have to wait till another year.

Ugh.


For newcomers to this here corner of the Internet, my earlier thoughts on Liberty Media’s stupidity can be found here. And here’s a small sample of what we’ll be missing in all the other F1 races in 2018:

 

I think those pussywhipped fools at Liberty Media need to get a swift kick in the balls… if they have any, that is.

5 Worst Song Performances

The song might have been a good one, but the rendition left a lot to be desired. In ascending order of tunelessness (and no links because projectile vomiting):

  • Whiskey In The Jar — Metallica
  • Danke Schön — Wayne Newton
  • Yesterday — every single person except Paul McCartney who ever tried to sing it
  • Tutti Frutti — Pat Boone

…and OMG, in its own special Hall Of Shame For One:

  • My Way — Frank Sinatra

Look up the performances at your own peril.

 

No Thank You

There seems to be a consensus that if driverless cars are ever to become universal, then the controlling system will have to be one single one — you can’t have competing, perhaps even incompatible systems fighting over the traffic. In other words, we’d need something like Europe’s Eurocontrol:

Eurocontrol’s Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System compares demand for flights in a particular area with the available capacity.
The system pulls together data such as flight plans, taxiing time, and flight position from numerous sources in multiple countries and collates them.
It can then track planes in real time to manage the number of planes in the air to make sure it doesn’t get too crowded.
Precise monitoring prevents the carefully balanced system from being thrown out by planes with delayed departures or arrivals.
Planes can then be herded into departure and landing slots at airports to keep the thousands of flights in Europe flowing smoothly.
ETFMS also helps plan flight schedules up to a week in advance to help airlines and air traffic controllers plan each day down to the minute.

Uh huh. Then something like this happens:

Up to half of all flights in Europe face delays today after a Europe-wide air traffic control system failed.
Eurocontrol, which runs the system, said that a technical problem means that as many as half a million passengers could be affected, disrupting travellers who went away for the Easter weekend.
‘Today 29,500 flights were expected in the European network. Approximately half of those could have some delay as a result of the system outage,’ Eurocontrol said. The agency said the system would be back up and running tomorrow.

The cause had been identified, it said, without saying what it was. The agency said ‘contingency procedures’ were in place to stop the system becoming overloaded but that these would be lifted later this evening.
Eurocontrol added that flight plans from before 11.26am BST were ‘lost’ and asked airlines to refile them.
The agency said it was a ‘technical fault’ and that the system had not been hacked, saying they were now ‘in recovery mode’.

“Lost”, huh? That’s comforting.

Here’s my takeaway. I am never going to submit myself to a driverless car. And I am certainly never going to board a pilot-less aircraft (which, incredibly, has been suggested by various airlines and aircraft manufacturers).

Systems fail occasionally — all systems fail eventually — and I’m not going to be a prisoner of this kind of happenstance, ever, if I can possibly avoid it.