Re: What a mess...
" I don't think May will be PM for very long but whoever takes over from her would be bonkers to call an election for at least two years."
In this sort of situation the PM can have an election forced on them without calling it.
16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014
Good question. Basically a fossil is a thing dug up. So if a bone is buried and subsequently dug up it's a fossil bone (although you wouldn't really apply that the bone your dog buried in the garden yesterday). As to physical state - it varies.
Some fossils can be simple casts of soft bodied organisms or plants where the entire organic material leaving a cavity which later filled up with a different type of sediment. I have a cast of a stigmarian axis (horizontal stem of a carboniferous club-moss). Fossil footprints are similar.
The object might undergo some chemical change. It might, for instance, lose most other elements and be reduced to a layer of carbon. A more thorough process might replace organic matter with other minerals.
OTOH in the right circumstances there might be little change. Amber is a hardened tree resin and, as we all ought to know by now, can preserve insects with little deterioration as it blocks out oxygen which would be needed for decay.
Pollen grains, or, to be accurate, their protective sporopollenin walls are very well preserved in organic sediments although we generally describe them as sub-fossil if post-glacial. I encountered one black layer in an archaeological context which consisted of little more than a binding of humic acid (dissolved away in NaOH) and oak pollen.
"They always seem to find primitive tools near the bodies"
They weren't that primitive. "Primitive" suggests hand axes. Blade tools like this extended well into the post-glacial. They look indistinguishable from Bann flakes. In fact somewhere I've got a knife very like G and a point very like K from Toome and Newferry in N Ireland.
"The various paramilitary groups had pretty much cornered the market on crime"
I was told that at least in the early days - presumably the late 60s and early 70s - most of those involved were already known to the police as local criminals. I sometimes remember that when I read accounts of those involved in the current outbreak.
"Although understandably there were very few foreigners that actually wanted to come to Belfast."
Just before I started work at QUB the department had had a Sikh research student (this would have been early to mid '60s). I often wondered what the population of rural South Down made of a turbaned Sikh peddling round on a cycle with a set of Hiller borer rods tied to the cross-bar.
"We can find out how many get arrested for terrorism related offences in the UK. Which is 255 for 2016 and 317 for 2015. Less than half of those even get charged"
Largely friends and family of the attackers. The paucity of the charges is a good indication of what's happening - they're just arresting bystanders and hoping a few don't prove to be innocent.
"There were several bombs left by the IRA in public places where they warned the police in advance of the explosion so people could get out of the way."
I assume that you weren't involved in trying to identify the appallingly burned bodies from La Mon House. I was. I assume you don't remember all the arbitrary killings of protestants such as the Darkley shootings. Or the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen. Or Omagh. This is not to say there weren't atrocities perpetrated in the opposite direction - Greysteel and Cappagh spring to mind as examples.
mine still has money to piss up the wall on public fireworks displays, music and poetry festivals, "LGBT history month" and many other crappy "cultural" services
Mine had several hundred thousand Euros to spend bringing the Tour de France to block the roads for several days plus more spent on various facilities around that. It must have totalled about £1m. Although they did mend a few roads as part of that so we got something back, even if they weren't the roads in greatest need.
"The PFI are a national scandel."
This (apart from the spelling).
Example from what I can glean from reports. Calderdale had a bright shiny hospital built under PFI. The costs of this are crippling. Calderdale and Kirklees health care was merged into a single trust which then has the PFI burden. The solution seems to be to close the slightly older but still post-war Huddersfield hospital (HRI) and sell off the site to raise money. HRI was far from centrally located within its area*; patients from outlying areas who were faced with a long journey to HRI are now faced with an even longer journey along the often congested Eland bypass.
TFA mentions patients doing more themselves. This already happens. That journey will be either in their own transport, via a friend or relative or in a taxi at their own cost. When they or their friend or relative has struggled along the said Eland bypass they'll have to park in the not really adequate car park and pay for the privilege.
And no doubt this PFI induced mess is replicated up and down the country.
*A slightly more central site has already been closed and looks likely to become housing and a supermarket.
"What the SANs do is up to HPE to maintain, as per contract."
And when it all goes wrong you have someone to point the finger at. But also, when it all goes wrong that's all you can do. Your staff can just sit there twiddling their thumbs hoping that somebody, somewhere is fixing it and all the while your organisation grinds to a halt.
You don't have your own staff dealing with it as their one and only top priority task as opposed to just another job, albeit a top priority job, by an outsourced supplier. There's a difference.
"it's not discretionary so Congress can't stop it."
Certainly in the UK Parliament ultimately controls the purse strings because they have to approve of taxation. If they really want to stop something they can, even if it means a revolt by MPs of the governing party against their leadership (i.e. the head of government).
The question for Congress would be whether it has the power to make something discretionary; as the elected body should it be able to make that decision. It might be something of a constitutional crisis if push came to shove but there seem to be reasonably frequent reports of Congress holding the government's feet to the fire by threatening to withhold the entire budget so it doesn't seem impossible.
"But how would that go down in your neck of the woods, or any other pleasant rural location?"
Probably about the same as all the roads that would be needed to carry all the extra traffic for ever-growing commutes.
In my neck of the woods we had mills. When they were built there were also extra houses built because there was an influx of workers (it's not a new problem). The mills have closed. A few have been re-purposed for new businesses but on the whole employing rather less people per loom-space. The rest have been built over with houses. And a few more houses in in-fills. So local population has gone up, local employment has gone down. Public transport has got worse. The unimproved roads have to take the strain of commuting by car and, to be fair, it's not easy to see how the roads could be improved given the constraints topography imposes. What we've suffered from has been a lifetime's planning which has adopted the principle of separating places of employment and dwellings into different zones; the mess we have was actually planned. The situation being what it is I can't see how more work-places could be slotted into the area - topographical constraints again. If, however, it were possible to move some urban jobs into rural areas then the office space they occupy could be re-used for housing for the remaining urban workers. What we have now is the concentration of jobs into ever-growing urban centres which then need the towns and villages of over 1000 sq miles of surrounding countryside to house many of their workers with all the accompanying transport problems. It's not sustainable but it's yet another problem that government won't think about tackling. And that's without bringing increasing population into it.
"The M25 may be much maligned but it gets people from one to the other rather quickly"
Not always in my admittedly limited experience but your point is well taken. There is a study going on about new tunnels for Manchester-Sheffield. I can only imagine they surveyed one of the routes some time ago when Winscar was drained to repair its leaks because one route seemed to run underneath it. Or maybe through it.
"I don't think anyone can built any large-scale infrastructure in Europe by simply waiting for all involved private parties to sell their lots at their own convenience."
OTOH we don't really think it was right when some C18/19th landowner decided to relocate a medieval village because the peasants were spoiling the view from his new house.
The problem with your 1h15m flight is that (1) etc.
Some of these would apply to your Hyperloop. The taxiing is replaced by vaccing down and re-pressurising the airlock. I assume that if you have luggage it'll have to be stowed properly so as not to be a hazard under acceleration and deceleration so you wouldn't just be allowed to trundle it on board yourself.
For 3) I prefer my solution.
After the call dial something like 1477 or some vacant number in the 14x range. Your telco debits a couple of quid, and double that if you're on TPS, from the caller's account and credits it to your own and for good measure takes a handling fee. The caller wasn't on their network? No problem, charge it to the network it came from; they can pass the charge on with their own fee added. Rinse and repeat as required.
It'd take a certain amount of policing to establish the caller is a nuisance caller and it wasn't just the recipient trying to score a couple of quid from any bona fide call; the potential charges could be recorded until that's ascertained and then put through. Telcos providing connections for call centres would have to put some effort into credit control to make sure they weren't left with the bill if the call centre folded.
The children of those retiring now will already be in mid-career. It's our grandchildren we should be warning off. Why did I just give grandson/apprentice my copy of Unix The Book? (I just looked inside the cover. Publication date 1982. 35 years I've been doing this stuff. Where did they all go?)
"The poster going on about lack of training & unwilling to invest on talent inhouse is close to the mark."
This is where freelancing scores. You make your own decisions about training. Clearly it means loss of billable hours as well as fees and travel and accommodation if you don't live near enough to the training centre. But a client unwilling to train up their own staff is going to have to take in a freelancer to fill the skills gap.
"You make sure you have an overview about what kinds of data are stored and when they are supposed to be deleted."
In the UK you'd need to supplement that with making sure data are actually deleted according to schedule (will this finally bring the DNA and ANPR data to heel?) and making sure marketing don't spaff customer lists to their chums in spamming businesses.
My experience was somewhat different. I was staying in an hotel on one gig whilst I had a watching brief on another. The idea was I would dial in (this was a long time ago) and check the logs on a daily basis. Because I had no signal at the hotel to do this on the phone I plugged the laptop modem (yes, a long time ago) into the hotel room socket for which I had to enter a card number. Every few days my card was blocked as this was a favourite test for a stolen card. This continued for the duration despite frequent calls to unblock it it and explanations that this was going to keep happening -and from the same hotel. The fact that someone would actually use the legitimate facility to use a card to make calls seemed to be beyond them.
"'d suspect the general voting reaction to you is less based upon what you said, and more based upon the insufferably c*ntish way you went about saying it."
Or both. The likely outcome with a credit card would be penalties imposed for going over the limit and hours of phone calls over the next few weeks and months getting those and the damage to her credit rating rescinded.
My experience of banks' handling of what should be routine settlement operations is such that I haven't used my current bank's card from within a few months of having it.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019