Sunday 23 August 2009

Broken stuff and shoestrings

I was reading Conservative Home earlier, and came across the blog of Matthew Parris, who has a column in the Sunday Times. He has written a piece about the Conservative year of opposition.

"For them it’s about the future now: no time to linger over might-have-beens, no point in post mortems on opposition. But the rest of us are entitled to sneak a backwards glance."

He goes on to make several observations - You can read more here

His last point is that:
"We became a party of social justice. I'm biased (I count Iain Duncan Smith as a very close friend) but I'm proudest of this achievement. Iain was a rejected leader but by continuing work he began from 2001 until 2003 he has become one of the very biggest beasts in the Conservative jungle. More important than that - through his Centre for Social Justice - he has helped developed a policy agenda that can reverse the increase in deep poverty that has characterised the Brown-Blair years. It's going to be hard given the state of the public finances but there are things we can do without spending much money. "

I trawled through various links above, and came across a Telegraph article:

"In many voters' eyes, family breakdown is directly related to the rise in thuggery, drug abuse and street violence. The number of young people stabbed to death in the past three years suggests a street life reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. The casual intimidation and vandalism by groups of teenagers roaming around neighbourhoods terrifies residents up and down the country.

According to Conservative leader David Cameron, these are symptoms of a society that is broken; in which stable two-parent families are becoming the exception; where individual rights have blunted our sense of duty and responsibility; and where successive generations of children face a life devoid of hope or dignity."

- Broken Britain – can we fix it?

I think a answer is that there are a lot of things that can be fixed without spending lots of money.

Monday 17 August 2009

How maths lessons have changed over the years

I found this on a Proboards forum
I just had to record it.

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is 80% of the price. What is his profit?

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is £80. How much was his profit?

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. Your assignment: Discuss how the birds and squirrels might feel as the logger cut down their homes just for a measly profit of £20.

A logger is arrested for trying to cut down a tree in case it may be offensive to Muslims or other religious groups not consulted in the felling license. He is also fined a £100 as his chainsaw is in breach of Health and Safety legislation as it deemed too dangerous and could cut something. He has used the chainsaw for over 20 years without incident however he does not have the correct certificate of competence and is therefore considered to be a recidivist and habitual criminal. His DNA is sampled and his details circulated throughout all government agencies. He protests and is taken to court and fined another £100 because he is such an easy target. When he is released he returns to find Gypsies have cut down half his wood to build a camp on his land. He tries to throw them off but is arrested, prosecuted for harassing an ethnic minority, imprisoned and fined a further £100. While he is in jail the Gypsies cut down the rest of his wood and sell it on the black market for £100 cash. They also have a leaving barbeque of squirrel and pheasant and depart leaving behind several tonnes of rubbish and asbestos sheeting. The forester on release is warned that failure to clear the fly tipped rubbish immediately at his own cost is an offence. He complains and is arrested for environmental pollution, breach of the peace and invoiced £12,000 plus VAT for safe disposal costs by a regulated government contractor.
Your assignment: How many times is the logger going to have to be arrested and fined before he realises that he is never going to make £20 profit by hard work, give up, sign onto the dole and live off the state for the rest of his life?

A logger doesn't sell a lorry load of timber because he can't get a loan to buy a new lorry because his bank has spent all his and their money on a derivative of securitised debt related to sub-prime mortgages in Iceland and lost the lot with only some government money left to pay a few million pound bonuses to their senior directors and the traders who made the biggest losses. The logger struggles to pay the £1,200 road tax on his old lorry however, as it was built in the 1970s it no longer meets the emissions regulations and he is forced to scrap it. Some Bulgarian loggers buy the lorry from the scrap merchant and put it back on the road. They undercut everyone on price for haulage and send their cash back home, while claiming unemployment for themselves and their relatives. If questioned they speak no English and it is easier to deport them at the governments expense. Following their holiday back home they return to the UK with different names and fresh girls and start again. The logger protests, is accused of being a bigoted racist and as his name is on the side of his old lorry he is forced to pay £1,500 registration fees as a gang master. The Government borrows more money to pay more to the bankers as bonuses are not cheap. The parliamentarians feel they are missing out and claim the difference on expenses and allowances.
Your assignment: You do the maths.

Thursday 13 August 2009

It is good to see that there will be more improvements at Bracknell Railway station.

The new footbridge is already an excellent addition to the station. The new sighting has caught me/us out several times, though, and when retuning to Bracknell by train I used to know where to sit to be next to the bridge when the train arrived at Bracknell. I am having to re-learn where to get on the train. We had a minor panic the other day, running the wrong way down the platform to cross over to the reading side, when we suddenly realised that the old bridge was no longer there.

Bracknell Forest Council, is in a partnership with South West Trains and Network Rail in this project, and the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership has also donated a segment of land to enable landscaping of the site.

This will transform Bracknell station and forms part of the regeneration work taking place in Bracknell town centre.

More at BBC news. More at the Bracknell Forest Council planning online documents

Monday 10 August 2009

Khazi Tardis - Toilet Humour?

There I was was walking the dog.
I must have walked past thses thing several times without really taking any notice.

This time I noticed the name on the Tardis box.

It took me a while to find the OED spelling KAHZI.

It seems the the name come from the Italian for "house".
A brick one?
It would be handy walking the dog back from the pub, but being wild creatures they have to be kept in a cage.
Just a bit of toilet humor?

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Healthspace Bracknell

Bracknell’s Healthspace seems to be finally coming together. Bracknell was promised a hospital years ago, and local Conservatives have continuously campaigned for one. At least the Healthspace will address some of our needs. I have spent quite some time crawling through traffic to take friends and relatives to Wexham Park, and other treatment centres. An hour’s appointment can take up most of the day for the people involved.

The plans for a Bracknell HealthSpace complex were announced last year following NHS Berkshire East’s Right Care Right Place consultation.
More recently Bracknell Local Involvement Network (LINk) heard presentations from representatives of Berkshire East Primary Care Trust (PCT) and developer Ashley House on the latest ideas for the Bracknell Healthspace.
The space will cater for urgent care, GP services, and physiotherapy and specialist appointments with visiting hospital consultants. A whole range of scans and other diagnostic tests will be available.

It can’t come soon enough.