* Posts by Graham Marsden

6049 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

Graham Marsden
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Pirate

Stop these oxygen theives...

They don't have a permit, nor are they paying taxes on OUR air!

- Signed: The Legislative Assembly of Alberta

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Oh no, startup Massive Analytic unleashes 'artificial precognition'

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

If the technology is even a fraction as good as advertised...

... then I quickly forsee a lot of El Reg and other online tech-savvy users doing their damndest to poison the database with spurious information, not to mention a massive new market for cookie blockers, script blockers, ad blockers and anything else that will ruin their business plan ASAP...

Signed - Ethel A Aardvark, aged 63, from Tunbridge Wells...

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Google's Chrome to gag noisy tabs until you click on them

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"This cool feature prevents obviously user annoyance"

And *how many* versions of the Browser did it take before they actually got around to *preventing* that annoyance??

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Ex top judge admits he's incapable of reading email, doesn't own a PC

Graham Marsden
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Devil

The "Deluxe" is the one with the real hair...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VgwxKW0J6I

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NASA names New Horizons' next target

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Maybe it's Russel's Teapot (or some other part of his tea service...)

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Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

Nice physics, but so what. The requirement in English Law for a vehicle to be stopped is that its wheels have stopped rotating. Full stop(!)

You can pedant this all you like, but that's it.

> Would you like to see a motorcyclist on heavy bike attempting the same feat in heavy traffic?

I have. It was a Class One Police Rider who was taking me on my Advanced Motorcycle Test.

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Graham Marsden
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@Destroy All Monsters - Re: @Dan Paul

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism

(And, yes, I know it's Wikipedia, but I can't be bothered to do any more searching now)

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> Foot doesn't touch ground? Vehicle not stopped.

I don't know what country you are in, however I was quoting from the article I linked to which was published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK. They *WILL NOT* put their name behind something which is not backed up by the law.

So, sorry, but in the UK, provided the vehicle comes to a complete halt, whether or not the rider puts their foot down, they have complied with the law.

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Re: @Dan Paul

Y'know, I find it fascinating (and hilarious) how Right-wing Libertarian Americans are *SO* against additional taxes that affect them, yet, somehow, when it's an issue like this, they're in favour of taxes for *other* people!

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Graham Marsden
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Headphones - Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

Many (many!) years ago I used to do a paper round on a bicycle and (back in the days of the Sony Walkman et al) I used to listen to music on headphones, but I kept the volume down to just above the ambient level of traffic noise, so I was still aware of what was going on.

Now compare that to the idiots who drive around with massive bass bins in their boot who would probably not hear a bomb if it went off outside their car...

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Graham Marsden
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@AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> It's not illegal for a car to stop in an advanced stop box,

Fine (this is El Reg I should have expected pedantry!)

*IF* a vehicle has *already* crossed the first Stop line under green and *then* the lights change after they have entered the marked area, but *before* they have crossed the Advanced Stop line then, yes, they are not stopped illegally, although they should not have proceeded across the first Stop line if the junction ahead is blocked.

Highway Code paragraph 178

Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 36(1) & 43(2)

However in the vast majority of cases, it is simply a case of an ignorant (or uncaring) driver stopping at the Advanced Stop line instead of the first one.

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Graham Marsden
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@ravenviz - Re: 15 gears?

> apparently you can weaken the chain links on some combinations

Bicycle chains have a degree of flexibility, but they are really designed to transfer energy in a straight line.

So if you go from, for instance, the left-hand front chainwheel to the right-most sprocket on the rear wheel, you'll be putting a hell of a lot of lateral strain on the chain that it's not meant to take and this will cause excessive wear on it and the sides of the sprockets too.

The point of 12 or 15 (or even 21) gears on a bike is to give a smooth range of gear ratios from low to high, but if you worked out the full range you'd find that, if you wanted to go through all of them, you'd end up having to shift front and rear sprockets repeatedly which is why nobody actually uses all 12/ 15/ 21 gear speeds in real life.

If anyone's interested, they can work out the ratios by simply dividing the number of teeth on each front sprocket by the number of teeth on the rear sprockets. If you multiply those numbers by pi times the diameter of the rear wheel you'll find out how far the bike will move in each gear for a single revolution of the pedals.

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Graham Marsden
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@Alan Brown - Re: Track Stand? Bah.

> If the foot's not on the ground, the cyclist isn't stopped.

That may be the case in your country, however it is not the case in the UK.

To quote from the Institute of Advanced Motorists "Common Confusions" document:

26. Misconception: At STOP lines the rider must place at least one foot onto

the road surface.

There is no specific requirement for the rider to do so. The essential requirement is that a rider’s machine must come to a complete STOP.

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Graham Marsden
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@ElReg!comments!Pierre = Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

> Running traffic lights and stops would also allow you to move quicker and make more progress, I fail to see how it can be a justification for what is, in effect, dangerous behaviour

What on earth are you talking about?

Running traffic lights is not only dangerous behaviour, but illegal and, believe me, I have yelled at other cyclists for doing stupid things like that (along with "get some lights you pillock" and other such bon mots). Similarly, by the way, I have also commented to drivers that they must be riding a very nice bicycle because they're (illegally) stopped in the advanced *cycles only* stop area at traffic lights.

Track standing *behind* the Stop line at traffic lights is neither illegal, nor dangerous.

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Graham Marsden
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@LucreLout - Re: This situation would happen anyway

Yes, I'm aware of all that, as I said "Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules".

However where you say "Cyclists are responsible for their own safety" that doesn't mean that other road users shouldn't take equal care. As a motorcyclist as well as a cyclist, I'm very familiar with the words "Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You" uttered by a driver who simply failed to *LOOK*.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: This situation would happen anyway

Fleshbag drivers *should* be cautious when around cyclists, the Highway Code says exactly that:

212 - When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room (see Rules 162 to 167). If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.

213 - Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.

NB Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules, but they are not some sort of second-class road users who should get out of the way of those who "pay to use the road" (nobody has since the Road Fund Licence was abolished before WWII), they have as much right to use the road as anyone else and ALL road users should treat others with courtesy and respect.

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Graham Marsden
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@Hugh Pumphrey - Re: Track Stand? Bah.

I am also a regular cyclist. I don't ride a fixie (12 speed Dawes racing bicycle), but I do have toe straps on my pedals because they give me better efficiency when pedalling.

I also, where possible, track stand at lights because it allows me to move away quicker and make more progress which is the advantage of cycling in town in the first place.

If you feel the need to assault other cyclists, then perhaps it's you who should not be on a public road.

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Graham Marsden
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As Mythbusters demonstrated...

... Roundabouts are much more efficient than Four-Way stop sign junctions and this sort of situation would be much less likely to happen on one.

http://www.wimp.com/testroundabout/

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

Might I suggest that you contact your local IAM or RoSPA group and get yourself some Advanced Driving training so you can learn how to use the road in *co-operation* with other road users, rather than in competition with them.

Similarly I suggest that cyclists also remind themselves of the rules regarding red lights, pedestrian crossings, using lights at night etc.

That way the roads might actually become nicer to use for those of us who aren't prone to Tarmac Tantrums.

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Rosetta probe spots Comet 67P being buzzed by boulder

Graham Marsden
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Alien

It must be...

... Aliens!

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The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

Graham Marsden
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This reminds me...

... of the classic situation where the parents buy their kid some fantastic new toy and the kid ends up playing with the box because their imagination isn't fettered by the "this is what you do with it" mentality.

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Space paparazzo captures bipolar butterfly

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

Wow!

Just WOW!!

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Krebs: I know who hacked Ashley Madison

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Remind me...

... to change the combination on my luggage...

Spaceballs: The Coat

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Your smartphone can be a 3D scanner, say boffins

Graham Marsden
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Holmes

"the lost art of efficient programming"

But when we've got all this memory and fast processors, *why* should we have to bother writing efficient code...?

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Motorola monsters Apple's swipe-to-unlock patent in German court

Graham Marsden
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Meh

Great...

... but *how many* years did it take...?

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'Web brothel' CEO, staff cuffed on prostitution rap – clue: the website is called Rentboy.com

Graham Marsden
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Facepalm

Based on this...

... there are two options:

1) They've won the War Against Terror

or:

2) Someone is desperately trying to draw attention away from the Ashley Madison hack.

Meanwhile, of course, all those sites with adults offering other services, such as actors, musicians, accountants, plumbers or even lawyers go on about their business because it's only SEX which causes the Yanks a problem.

"I'm just a musical prostitute, darling!" - Freddie Mercury.

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Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

Graham Marsden
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Meh

How long before other companies...

... start offering a bloatware free option...

... which is twice the price of the bloated version?!

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3D-printed robot hand grabs Dyson award for UK

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Up

A big hand for these guys!

(Oh come on, *someone* had to say it...)

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Graham Marsden
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Alert

Re: Wonder what the grip feels like

I offer you the cautionary tale of Howard Wolowitz...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScHKz_Hn38

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Mobile device screens recorded using the Certifi-gate vulnerability

Graham Marsden
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@DougS - Don't they have the ability to remotely disable apps

I don't know about you, but I would be more worried about the OS owner being able to control what apps can or can't run on *MY* phone.

Sure, they can *tell* me that such and such an app has a vulnerability, but if they can stop a "bad" app from running, it's not a big step to stopping a good app for political or "security" purposes...

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Boffins unwrap honeybee black box recorder project

Graham Marsden
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Joke

Black Boxes for Bees

It's a well known* fact that, aerodynamically, bees cannot fly, so obviously this is to find out why they're crashing...

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* Yes, I *know* it's a myth!

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Big trouble in big China: Crashing economy in Middle Kingdom body slams US tech stocks

Graham Marsden
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Re: Well.. there goes the 401k...

> It may be you have more than enough put away to get by on the dividends and state pension or other income,

In which case you've probably got other pension provision than a basic 401k. Most people won't.

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Graham Marsden
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Re: Well.. there goes the 401k...

If your pension plan doesn't move into defensive (ie low volatity) areas around 5 years before you're due to retire you either made a bad choice or got bad advice.

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FBI probed SciFi author Ray Bradbury for plot to glum-down America

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Re: Free country?

Yes, Free to agree with what *we* say is acceptable...

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@DavCrav - take the road network for the UK.

> How about we make that network neutral, by removing all rules for right of way, so that all road users are treated equally all the time.

You miss the point.

Imagine you're on a three lane Motorway and find that Lane 3 has been bought by the Ford Motor Company

That Lane has a 100mph speed limit but can *only* be used by people driving Ford Cars.

Meanwhile Lanes 1 and 2 have to take all the other traffic and have had their speed limits reduced to 60mph and even then you'll be lucky if you can do that because you've got "crawler races" with one HGV is trying to overtake another at 1mph faster.

*THAT* is what Net Neutrality is about, minus all the petty sneers about Arts Graduates and other such BS.

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Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

Graham Marsden
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@Ledswinger

> If you take a view about what price content rights-holders must sell for

You miss the point. It is not about what price they must sell it for, it's that they can (and do) charge different prices based simply on which side of an arbitrary (and imaginary) line someone lives on.

Imagine you went into a shop to buy an item and they said "Sorry, you live in XYZ area, you can't buy from us at this cheaper price, you have to go to our shop nearest to you and pay a more expensive price". Would you say "Ok, that's fine"?

I doubt it, but that's what these companies want to have enshrined in law.

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Swiss watch: Cuckoo-clock cops threaten Win 10 whup-ass can pop

Graham Marsden
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Meh

Cuckoo Clocks...

... very probably originated in the Black Forest in Germany.

Blame Orson Wells and The Third Man for spreading the Swiss origin myth.

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UK.gov: Size matters, and we like it SMALL but MORE

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

How to win a government contract...

1) Make sure you've spent enough on wining and dining MPs and Civil Servants

2) Make sure you've offered enough Directorships which pay six figures for 24 hours work a year

3) Offer the moon on a stick whilst claiming it will only cost peanuts

4) Get your people to write a nicely vague contract with ambiguous terms that give you lots of get out clauses and golden lifeboats when you fail to deliver what you've promised

5) Profit!

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More deaths linked to Ashley Madison hack as scammers move in

Graham Marsden
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Mushroom

@Triboolean - Re: Meeow

So what you're saying is that because people don't fit in with *your* ideas of how they should organise their relationships, they deserve to have their privacy invaded and have society pile opprobium on them?

What a wonderfully tolerant person you are.

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Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn

Graham Marsden
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@Super Fast Jellyfish - Re: John Lewis

John Lewis is a Partnership (hence the full name). All employees are *partners* in the business, hence they get a share of the money, unlike many (most?) capitalistic businesses where any profit dividend is only distributed to share holders, not the workers.

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Graham Marsden
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Alert

@Tim Worstall - Re: Where next?

> JL and Co Op are owned by, respectively, the workers and the consumers. They're not capitalist organisations.

True. They have this crazy idea of giving money *back* to the people who make it for them and keeping prices down for people who pay for their goods instead of keeping it all for those at the top of the tree or giving it to shareholders whilst keeping wages as low as possible!

Lunatics, eh? Such a business model would never survive since 1844, would it?

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Graham Marsden
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@Doctor Syntax - Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

> This needs at least two terms to clear up the mess, trying to get rid of the crap,

I think you mean flogging off the family silver to their rich mates (and give them tax breaks) whilst meanwhile screwing the workers and get them fighting amongst themselves and then retiring with lucrative directorships.

Trebles all round!

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@The Axe - Re: At least you declared an interest this time

> . I don't find any of Tim's articles abusive in any way. This one is not either

In which case, why does Tim spend so much time in it debating the *man* rather than his arguments?

I suggest you look up the term "ad hominem".

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Graham Marsden
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Holmes

Did anyone else...

... try to read this piece, but get deafened by the sounds of Axes grinding?

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Graham Marsden
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Re: whereas ...

Apparently, it's Maths, not Economics. See Another Angry Voice for more about how "qualified" he is to be Chancellor...

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Riddle solved: Do bears crap in the woods? No – they're stressing out over drones instead

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Re: Escalation needed

Don't forget, in America you have the right to keep and arm bears...

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Labour Party website DDoS'd by ruly democratic mob

Graham Marsden
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Re: @DavCrav - Can someone answer this question?

> As far as I can tell, My Corbyn is exactly like anyone else on the Left, which is to say, all talk no trousers. When it comes down to it, there's never any detail as to how exactly all this will come about.

And yet we have the neo-liberal Right still claiming that they can cut their way to prosperity and make everyone "on average" better off by concentrating all the wealth in the hands of a few, whilst everyone else gets screwed.

Oh and, as someone said "As a member of the electorate, it is not up to me to make suggestions as to what he will do, but up to me to decide whether his policies are sound."

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Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters

Graham Marsden
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Re: Marsbarbrian @Esme - AC If you only watch Faux News and CNN....

"requested proof" != "proof that Matt Bryant will accept"

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Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Re: Marsbarbrain @Matt Bryant - XonEarth Would you believe?

Taxi! Follow those goalposts...!

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Cheers, Bill Gates. Who wouldn't want drinking water made from POO?

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Huh huh huh, we said Poo lots of times, heh heh heh...

How many bladders and bowels do you think all the water in the world has been through in the last four billion years or so?

What a pathetic article.

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