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* Posts by Graham Marsden

4742 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV

Graham Marsden
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@Radio was not overtaken by TV, as radio is better for listening

Given the distinct lack of content and excess of padding on many documentaries these days, I treat a lot of them *as* radio, listening to them whilst I'm working on other stuff since fancy (but pointless) screen-time filling graphics and tedious (and useless) "re-enactments" of historical events are completely unnecessary to actually understand and appreciate the actual facts.

3D? Dull, Dull, Dull!

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Has CERN made the VATICAN ANTIMATTER BOMB for real?*

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

"have publicly speculated..."

"...about planting an antimatter bomb in a government funding office"

Wow! It's a good job they didn't tweet about it!!

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US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"many times being on the phone has kept me awake"

Did you not consider, instead simply *PULLING OVER* and getting some *SLEEP* instead of driving in a state where you were not only distracted but tired as well making yourself *doubly* dangerous??

And, please, trying to use that Franklin quote to claim that using a cellphone on the move is an "essential liberty" would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

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Graham Marsden
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Stop

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic...

The real problem is that most people on the road have *no* idea how to drive properly.

They might know that the pedal on the right makes it go faster and there's another that makes it slow down, they might know that there's mirrors which let them look out for other road users and they may even know that there's flashing lights on each corner which tell other road users that they're going to turn or change lanes, but that's pretty much about it.

Unfortunately once someone has passed a test which says "You can drive" that is it, there is no compulsory requirement for them to subsequently demonstrate that they still can do more than just operate a vehicle.

Of course that's usually enough, until something unexpected happens and some poor sod is lying bleeding on the road, at which point the vehicle operator is thinking "OMG I didn't know that could happen, why didn't someone tell me?" which is, of course, too late.

Until Governments start requiring compulsory re-tests and encouraging people to do more than the most basic training, things are not going to improve.

Oh and insurance companies could help, I'm doing my IAM motorbike training, when I pass my insurers will give me a whole £15 off my insurance! (Pity that's less than the cost of a year's IAM membership...)

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Lincs authority lets schools decide on Pagan lessons

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

@copsewood

"the apparently intelligent arrangement of the laws of physics and early cosmology, leading to how the universe and nature came into being as disclosed by scientific enquiry, does lead to further metaphysical questions of the kind you ask which can neither be answered scientifically nor proven mathematically."

ITYM "can not *YET* be answered..." Of course they also cannot be answered by simply pushing the answer away and saying that "$deity did it" with the stipulation (implicit or explicit depending on your faith) that such questions should not even be *asked*.

As for the rest of your post, you keep claiming that atheism is "illogical" and "irrational" simply because it doesn't fit in with what *you* wish to accept, chucking in lots of unproven (and unprovable) "If's" as if(!) that makes your arguments valid, so I see no point in wasting more time trying to convince you otherwise.

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Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@copsewood

You quote Stephen Hawking (there's no 's' on the end of his name) as many religious people have done without understanding what he was talking about and instead jump on this statement and claim it as some sort of "proof" that the universe must have been "designed" and therefore that their "god" exists.

Your claim that "Atheists, it would seem have to assume the opposite, that the present causes the past rather than that the other way around" shows the fallacy of the above claim, it is those who profess to religion who swallow the myth that goes "we are here, therefore a god must have created the universe for us to be here in", whereas the atheist says "isn't it fortunate that the right conditions happened to come about for us to be here and observe these conditions".

And, please, don't try to convince me that because you didn't use the word "creation" you did *NOT* imply it in your words which I quoted in my previous post "The laws of nature are too finely tuned to allow life to exist for these to have believably (to me) arisen from blind chance".

If the laws did not "arise from blind chance", what other word would you use to describe this process??

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Graham Marsden
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@copsewood

"The laws of nature are too finely tuned to allow life to exist for these to have believably (to me) arisen from blind chance"

There is a story about a sentient puddle which thinks that "wow, this hole I'm in fits me perfectly. If it was smaller I'd overflow, if it had cracks in I'd drain away, obviously it must have been created for me, it couldn't have just happened by accident!"

Unfortunately that puddle (and you) make the error of getting things backwards, we can *observe* the "finely balanced" laws of nature simply because we have evolved in this universe where we *can* exist, but that doesn't mean that this universe was created for our benefit.

Meanwhile your comments about the "creation" of natural laws and comments about Shakespeare are simply Straw Men which show *your* lack of understanding of the subject rather than the invalidity of the arguments.

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Graham Marsden
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Coat

From an old BBC radio series "Poems and Pints"...

The old druids who ruled over Anglesea

Did things that were dubious in taste.

They sacrificed virgins for breakfast.

Barbaric...

... and think of the waste!

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Europe questions move to block child sex abuse images

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

So what is a child?

Given the widespread disparity about definitions of when someone ceases to be a child (age of consent? Age of voting? Age of marriage?) let alone the nonsense we have in the UK about whether someone simply *looks* like a child or that child porn is anything that shows someone under 18 (unless it's a picture owned by someone who is in "an enduring relationship" with a 16 to 18 year old) trying to harmonise this across the EU is going to be a tricky job!

Then, of course, there's the small matter of the nonsense of being able to block *ANYTHING* on the internet...

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Cyber cops crush plod-snapper site following Millbank riot

Graham Marsden
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Perjury...?

Or just Presumption of Innocence?

The only thing I would have worded differently is "That isn't me" which should, of course, be "Prove that *is* me and not some other bloke who looks similar to me.

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Calls for US nudie perv scanner 'opt-out day'

Graham Marsden
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@Tony Barnes

"If on the off chance one of these machines does stop some plum walking through with 1/2lb semtex gaffa taped to his belly"

The operative word in that sentence is *IF*. And even *IF* it does manage to detect someone with Semtex gaffa taped to their belly, will it pick up the Semtex lining of his briefcase or some other method that any inventive person can come up with to get explosives onto a plane?

The answer is probably not, so please don't be suckered by the nonsense of Security Theatre which is simply aimed at making our leaders look as if they are Doing Something to deal with the threats that can only really be fixed by a change of policy in the Middle East.

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Graham Marsden
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@Sniffer dogs

One reason why sniffer dogs aren't used is AIUI that some Muslims consider a dog's saliva to be "impure" and thus to have one sniffing you (and thus breathing over you) is unacceptable.

(And I wonder what would happen if you had a packet of aniseed balls in your pocket...!)

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No hiding place - facial biometrics will ID you, RSN

Graham Marsden
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You have no control over what pictures of you other people post on the Internet.

And you certainly have no control over someone photoshopping your face onto someone else's body...

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Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

@thank F

Unfortunately whilst certain events and clubs do have a "No Cameras" policy, that doesn't mean there's no CCTV outside the venue or someone sneaking in a hidden camera...

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3D printers, one-dimensional enemies

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"the creation of replacement parts without a licence"

And gods forbid that you can create a little plastic connector or whatever that will fix your washing machine instead of having to fork out £50 for a whole new sub-assembly and then probably pay someone else another £30 to fit it...

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Chicago officer beats off dildo-wielding bill-skipper

Graham Marsden
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Go

"the officer fearlessly knocked the device out of the way"

You mean he *didn't* use a Taser...?

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Google sacks Eric Schmidt memo leaker

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

"Within hours...

"... Google notified its staff that it had terminated the leaker, several sources told CNNMoney."

And then they terminated the "several sources" who had leaked that fact to CNN Money and then...

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Steelie Neelie calls for 'every vehicle digital'

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

"Fleets of empty cars...

"... driving about awaiting a recall from their absent owners might become a serious irritation."

Besides, does anyone else remember Maximum Overdrive?

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Graham Marsden
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@AndrueC

"Brakes are for stopping and correcting mistakes. Not for adjusting your speed".

The advice these days is "Gears to go, brakes to slow".

Of course driving efficiently (hypermiling) will also help matters as you mention.

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Counter-terror review to consider net jihadis

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Was I the only one...

... who read this as "PREVERT"?

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Burglar cuffed after crime scene MySpace blunder

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Epic fail!

Title says it all!

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Small biz doubts red tape claims

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

"A depressing 89 per cent said...

"... the reason for this likely failure was that politicians have no idea of the impact of their laws on the business community."

+1

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Caravan-swiping suspect spotted on Street View

Graham Marsden
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@oliver 8

Good work on protecting your bike, but, from one biker to another, I'd recommend adding DataTag or similar to it as well.

Practically every part (down to the mirrors!) can have a code unremovably acid etched on it meaning it's virtually not even viable to break it for parts, plus there's a couple of transponders which can be fixed such that if it's recovered the Police can determine the legal owner :-)

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Cameron promises a 'right to data'

Graham Marsden
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"Right to data"?

'The government, while ensuring national security, "information propriety" and "personal privacy" are protected'

In other words there will probably be a whole host of exceptions put in at the bidding of special interests especially rich businessmen who finance the Tories and every Police Force, Security Service and anyone else who doesn't want people to know that they're pi$$ing public money down the drain whilst doing nothing to justify it...

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Police get ready for body parts audit

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"the original owner of a hand or leg...

"...may still be around to lay claim to the detached limb"

Why FFS? As a memento???

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Plastic plod used police database to find dates

Graham Marsden
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Stop

@Am I missing something?`

Yes, you're missing the fact that a Police Officers have powers that PCSOs do not.

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Disguised impostor clears international flight

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Well...

... so much for Security Theatre!

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Google in shock 'we serve ads' claim

Graham Marsden
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In other news...

... oh I really can't be bothered...

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Shut up, Spock! – how Battlestar Galactica beat Trek babble

Graham Marsden
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ST was about...

... how wonderful Truth, Justice and the Starfleet way was, when stuck in Gene Roddenberry's "Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice" universe.

At least in BSG the characters developed and changed because of their experiences, rather than pretty much every episode in every version ending with a big "reset button" being pressed that restored the status quo ante.

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Graham Marsden
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BSG = "Hard SF"

For me the new version of BSG fits in the category of "Hard Sci-Fi" where the emphasis is (with a few "hand waving" exceptions eg FTL) on getting the science right which means that you can then concentrate on the story without having to worry about Treknobabble.

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DDoS attacks take out Asian nation

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Critics of the government say it launched the attacks...

... in an attempt to manipulate the outcome. Others have blamed external forces. The data flood began 10 days ago, according to The People's Daily in China, which borders Myanmar.

And the Chinese Government provides the Military Junta in Burma with military aid, as well as economic support.

So which nation do you think has the capacity to launch such sustained attacks without anything being done to shut them down...?

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DARPA, NASA team on '100-Year Starship' project

Graham Marsden
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Well...

... at least the second of the three Arks needs to be finished...

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ICO U-turns on Street View

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Oh ye gods...!

So the ICO thinks what Google did was ok (just a bit naughty) but then goes on to lecture photographers who are not breaking *any* laws on what the ICO thinks is "good practice"!

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Graham Marsden
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@Stealth Godwin!

I was going to make a very similar comment about the Chamberlain quote, however not to call anyone a "nazi", but simply to point out the ironic co-incidence.

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Sexy Hustler honeys unlikely to corrupt Croydon yoof

Graham Marsden
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@rules about using the US flag as a garment

Those "rules" are simply a set of statements made up by people who think that the US Flag should be venerated as some sort of sacred object.

They'd love to be able to introduce them into US law, but the Supreme Court has decided that Freedom of Expression trumps their wishes.

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London Stock Exchange investigates IT 'sabotage'

Graham Marsden
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See Hanlon's Razor for more details...

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

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Oz journo pokes PARIS

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

LOHAN

Look Out Humanity, AI Next...?

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eBay Meg bitchslapped by Governor Moonbeam

Graham Marsden
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@Wasting money...

Have a look at some of the election episodes of the West Wing and you'll find that, yes, it really *is* that expensive to run for office in the USA, you need to pay huge amounts for "media buys" (ie advertisements) pay lots of staff to phone (and irritate) lots of people to find which issues you need to campaign on, have lots of advisers, do lots of travelling and much more besides.

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Google defies Turkey, reinstates Atatürk insult videos

Graham Marsden
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Joke

A ban on YouTube...?

Exactly whom will that inconvenience?!

(PS Yes, I know all the arguments about censorship etc, it's a *joke* ok?)

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Commission to revise rules on rivals' agreements

Graham Marsden
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Don't forget...

... that it is perfectly legal to buy a video or DVD from a European supplier (and have them post it to you here) which would be illegal to buy in the UK if it wasn't for sale in a licenced sex shop.

Film "Classification" is, of course, as you say, merely a form of censorship, it seems that our "powers that be" simply don't trust us to look at adult content without turning into rapists or murderers etc, so anything that is "too nasty" for our delicate sensibilities should be restricted to sale in sex shops or cut entirely.

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Child porn victims seek multimillion-dollar payouts

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@neb

'an alcoholic can say"no more booze for me", a drug addict "no more cake", and i assume a paedophile can control their urges and say "i'll not rape a child today nor will i look at kiddy porn on the old pc"'

What a wonderfully simplistic world it is that you live in! With a wish or a wave of a magic wand, suddenly everything is put to rights and we all live happily ever after. Unfortunately if you'd actually bother to *think* about matters and do a bit of research, you might find that it's not that easy.

Sure, anyone can say "no more", but that doesn't make the desire go away. Saying that "it's wrong" as if that is a solution in-and-of itself just shows that you have little or no idea of what addiction (physical or mental) actually entails.

What is needed is proper counselling/. support/ rehabilitation structure in place to reinforce that "no more", but who wants eg a drug clinic (let alone a rehabilitation centre for paedophiles) in their "back yard", especially someone who thinks that some crimes "cannot be forgiven nor forgotten" and who thereby forever damns anyone who *wants* to try to do something about their addiction!

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Graham Marsden
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Well said!

I agree entirely with what you say, too much "law" in cases like this comes as the result of political grandstanding (especially in the USA where legal officials stand for election, so have to go for judgements which are media and public friendly) or greedy lawyers who have now gone from chasing ambulances to chasing the victims of abuse and exploiting them in another way.

The argument that looking at an image means "'the victim is abused again" and that, as such, the viewer is participating in the abuse makes as much sense as saying that watching video of the planes crash into the Twin Towers means you're guilty of participating in those attacks!

Also, as you say, in the USA, released offenders are effectively at the mercy of the mob because with their "Megan's Law" their names and addresses are published for all to find out to "protect" others. Unfortunately the upshot of this is that some estimates reckon that over a third of all released "sex offenders" in the USA have absconded, changed their names and moved without informing the authorities, whereas in the UK the Police know where over 97% of convicted offenders live.

It would be nice to have a sense of proportion brought into this debate, but whilst the Courts and the Media and the Politicians pander to the "evil paedos must be made to suffer and suffer again and again" no matter whether they actually abused a child or just looked at a (second hand/ third hand/ nth hand) image, that seems most unlikely.

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Graham Marsden
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@"Supply and Demand"

You claim that "the people who view them ARE the reason that they're distributed" but you miss the point that the original "demand" is from the person who *creates* the image, I think you'd find that most child pornographers don't do it for any financial gain, but to fulfill their own desires and they may then publish the images freely simply for kudos from other people with similar desires.

Of course, subsequently, others can collect those images and put them in paid websites, but that's separate from the original creation.

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Shuttle Discovery set for final liftoff tomorrow at 7:52pm

Graham Marsden
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Coat

podules...?

I sense an incoming lawsuit!

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Airport screeners go for the groin

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

You have a choice...

... let the perve at your kiddies with a scanner or let them be touched up by someone who could be a paedo...

Bet you feel safer travelling already!

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Strange, blobaceous 'alien pod' lifeform found in Virginian lake

Graham Marsden
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Don't forget...

... being just a few days away from retirement if you're a law enforcement official

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Gentlemen, start your engines – with your phone!

Graham Marsden
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@and also...

... It's not illegal to sound the horn in a stationary (or even parked) vehicle if a) it's on private land instead of the public highway or b) to alert another road user of a hazard (eg some idiot about to reverse into you)

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Alien Earthlike worlds 'like grains of sand', say 'wobble' boffins

Graham Marsden
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Alien

Ullaaa....

Uuuuullllaaaa......

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Frenchman cuffed for naughty lip-slip email to MEP

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Charges of "displaying contempt towards a public servant"???

If we had a law like that in the UK most of the population would be guilty!

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Daily Mail rails at Street View in women's refuge wrongness

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

This is the Daily Mail...

... since when did the facts have anything to do with one of our rants?

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