Saturday, 26 March 2016

welcome to Bling-On-Thames

The oligarchic class in the UK are a sparky
bunch of people. They have a lot of life in
The Tory government gives the oligarchs
tax breaks, funds the things that oligarchs
like, and life is just wonderful.

But they're not happy. Wouldn't you know
it. The Entitlement Class wants to have
even more, and they want the poor plebs
to pay for it.

They want something public,
something austentatious
something everyone will see
so that they'll say
"what oligarchs you have"
£60 million of public money ought to do it.

It's a bridge too far.
A bridge over the River. Why?

In honour of Sacha Baron Cohen,
I re-christen London as
In song. All together now:

Don't take my bridge,
my argy-bargy bridge.
Goddamn plebs don't understand
but if you take my bridge
my argy bargy bridge
Bo Jo might blow up and stop this span

The Thames has other bling, but it's quite dated.
[It's so 19th century]

You see, rich people grew up with this bling even in
their nursery rhymes, and feel driven to bling it up,
now that they're in power.

Garden Bridge is failing now
failing now
failing now
Garden Bridge is failing now
my fair Joanna Lumley
more later

checkit: Guardian

Will Self joins London ‘mass trespass’ over privatisation of public space
Author warns of ‘threat to national psyche’ as campaigners rally outside City Hall to protest at corporate takeover of streets and squares

Mark Townsend

Saturday 13 February 2016 16.52 GMT
Last modified on Monday 15 February 2016 11.34 GMT

The spiritual wellbeing of our cities is being eroded by the creeping corporatisation and privatisation of its public spaces, the author Will Self has warned.

Addressing the first “public space intervention” to protest against the fact that sizeable chunks of London are falling into corporate hands, Self said the trend was having a deleterious impact on the capital’s residents.
Public spaces in Britain's cities fall into private hands

“What people don’t understand is that it does affect you psychically. It constrains you in how you think about what you can do in a space, and it constrains your imagination. It’s like a condensing of time and money and space – it needs to be resisted.”

Self added: “The kind of ludic, playful potential of living in a city is being significantly impoverished by this kind of stuff.”

The author was one of the speakers at a growing campaign to preserve UK cities for their residents. Protesters on Saturday cited London’s Canary Wharf, Olympic Park and the Broadgate development in the City as public places now governed by the rules of the corporations that own them.

Privatised public zones are appearing throughout Britain and include Birmingham’s Brindleyplace, a significant canalside development. In Exeter, there is Princesshay, described as a “shopping destination featuring over 60 shops set in a series of interconnecting open streets and squares”. The spaces there are owned and run by property group Land Securities along with the monarch’s property portfolio, the Crown Estate. In addition, Land Securities owns a large waterside complex of shops, bars and restaurants in Portsmouth.
Comedian Mark Thomas talking at the same event.

Writer Anna Minton said that in London the proposed Garden Bridge was symbolic of the trend, pointing to the fact that despite using £60m of public money it would be plagued by corporate restrictions: cyclists would have to dismount to cross while social gatherings, playing musical instruments, making a speech, releasing balloons and many other pursuits would be banned.

Asked what he thought of the Garden Bridge, Self replied: “It could be great – it will be shit.”

Described as both a “public space intervention” and a “mass trespass”, the protest included a series of speakers defending the rights of urban residents as free-roaming citizens. Among them was comedian Mark Thomas, who attacked the coalition government’s introduction of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which allows councils to make illegal activities such as sleeping rough in an attempt to drive homeless people from town or city centres.
Analysis London's garden bridge: the end of the road?
It has seemed impervious to a barrage of criticism to date, but is the flawed fairytale plan to build a forest across the Thames finally beginning to wither?
Read more

Campaigners gathered on a patch of grass near City Hall on the banks of the Thames, chosen because it gives visitors the illusion of being a public space but is in fact controlled by private security, with its own set of regulations. Tourists can be admonished just for taking a photo, as Assembly Member Jenny Jones discovered while taking a picture of her place of work.

Gesturing to the surrounds, Self said: “How anybody can think this is one of the nicest parts of London. It can only be because they have been deprived of the capacity to make free choices of their own: you’re told what to do in a space like this, the very architecture tells us.”

Self added: “This is part of a gathering campaign to resist what I call ‘piss-pots’, Public Space Protection Orders which are a kind of extension of the law into the very psyche of the urban stroller. This is non-trivial.”

Other speakers at the event included comedian Mark Thomas and Sian Berry, Green party candidate for mayor of London, who pledged to introduce rules to ensure that new publicly accessible spaces in the capital were governed by the law of the land. Her modification of the London Plan would prevent controversial projects such as the Garden Bridge excluding the public at the request of its owners.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Football is about humans, not just gut feelings

If gut feelings were all you needed, GWBush
would be president of the world. but alas, no.

As John Cusack said in High Fidelity:
My guts have shit for brains.

Unfortunately, fans have to listen to pundits
just go with their gut feelings.
That can go wrong when you're trying to
bet on who will win the championship.

So, they go to the talking heads on television
for some words of wisdom, and what do they
get? They get the gut feelings of pundits
whose job is so easy that they don't even
have to use their brains, let alone do any
proper research.
They think they have all they need in what
Brits call their "nut." i.e. their brain

Gary Lineker is so famous due to his
World Cup expoits (10 goals), he would have
to "mistreat" some girl on the royal family
line of succession to lose his job as a football
commentator, and he knows that. What that
does is, it shuts off your brain.

Lineker rejected Claudio Ranieri as the new
coach of Leicester before the start of the season,
without even talking to the man, looking at his
stats, discussing how he works with people.
No research. Does Lineker even have a degree?
Sports Management? that's a real degree. I know
this. Loughborough Uni, in Leicestershire.
No, he doesn't have said degree.

From wikipedia:
"Lineker left school with four O Levels. One of his teachers wrote on his report card that he "concentrates too much on football" and that he would "never make a living at that". He then joined the youth academy at Leicester City in 1976.[7]"
-concentrates too much on football?
He must have obviously taken too many balls to the head.
[I never liked the idea, when I played as a kid]
You know about all that new research on
the long-term effect of concussions.

[Will and the writers must have taken too many
shots to the head. repeating same drivel. failing
to show human emotions. Can't tell a decent story.
Smith also played Muhammad Ali the boxer]

You also discover from Wikipedia that Lineker
grew up in Leicester and played for that same
Leicester City team. Still he had no desire to
investigate things. What does it take to motivate
this man?

When I was playing the hockey pools, during the
early days of computers, I used stats and watched
games religiously to try to win the season. I spent
most of the year in last place, but by the playoffs,
I had got into contention. I ended up losing the
finals 4 games to 1. Why? because I studied the
thing to death (perhaps too much, ok mom?).
Lineker doesn't feel he needs to do this.

For football, which has many variables, one of
the tools you can use is a Rasch table. It puts
all the teams on X and Y axes and shows how
the play against each other.

From Wikipedia, Ranieri's managerial achievements:

Serie C1: 1988–89
Serie B promotion: 1989–90

Serie B: 1993–94
Coppa Italia: 1995–96
Supercoppa Italiana: 1996

UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1998
Copa del Rey: 1998–99
UEFA Super Cup: 2004

Ligue 2: 2012–13

Premier League Manager of the Month: September 2003, March 2004, November 2015

Don't you think a guy like this deserves to be
given a chance to at least explain himself?

Update: with 8 games to go, Leicester is 8 points
ahead of Tottenham, a team that also should
not be there.

more later

checkit: Independent

Remembering what Gary Lineker said about Claudio Ranieri when he was appointed as Leicester City's manager
Posted 2 months ago by Evan Bartlett in sport

Leicester City sit top of the Premier League following their 3-1 victory over title rivals (yes, title rivals) Manchester City on Saturday.

The Foxes, under the guidance of manager Claudio Ranieri, have now taken 53 points and with just 13 games left in the season are proving to be an immovable force at the top of the league.

But when the Italian was appointed in the summer, just months after being sacked by Greece, his arrival was hardly greeted with optimism from the club's supporters.

Gary Lineker, former England centre forward and Leicester fan, slammed Ranieri as an "uninspiring" choice.

He said on BreatheSport:

Claudio Ranieri is clearly experienced, but this is an uninspired choice by Leicester.

It's amazing how the same old names keep getting a go on the managerial merry-go-round.

Here's a quick look at the Premier League table as it stands:

And Lineker's reaction on Saturday as the Foxes were beating City

Doesn't seem so "uninspiring" now, does he Gary?


Note: This post has been updated because, well, Leicester City just keep winning football matches