Saturday, 31 October 2009

Häxan


Bonus Feature: The Satanic Rites of Dracula


Happy Halloween from Ephemeral Isle.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Why am I not surprised?


I am shocked, shocked that Ahmadinejad reneged on the nuclear fuel deal.

Reed Richards, call your service

Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett says that Mr Barack Hussein Obama "speaks truth to power".

Given that The One is the most powerful man on Earth, who the deuce is he talking to? Galactus?

Saving the children


Watford Borough Council has decreed that parents may not supervise their children on the playground because they are all potential paedophiles.

Before complaining, parents are advised to remember that all children are the property of the Party and contrary opinions constitute Thoughtcrime.

Norman Bates, call your service

It's official; showers are an abomination in the sight of Blessed Gaia.

The French greet the news with an indifferent shrug and carry on as usual.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A modest proposal

The amazing thing about the recent expense scandal wasn't that it horrified the British public so much, but that the public has become so numb from decades of Parliamentary behaviour so sleazy that the Palace of Westminster was often confused for a Limehouse opium den that said public responded with a resigned shrug rather than burning the place to the ground. Here were MPs lining their expense accounts like they were restuffing a mattress, their payroll looked like the invitation list for a family reunion, and legislation became less about due deliberation than who could get the biggest cut of whatever the scam de jour was and the result was that they didn't end up on a plane to Angola one step ahead of tar and feathering.

Now Sir Christopher Kelly is giving us incontrovertible evidence that he lives in an abandoned badger set in the Orkneys by crying in his beer that Parliament's expenses will result in a "Commons of the rich".

"Commons of the rich"? I have news for you, Sir Christopher. It already is. In fact, when someone can complain that their commute from outside the M25 is so hard that they need a second home at their employers' expense, then I'd say that it's become the "Commons of the disgustingly engorged plutocrats who have taxpayer-bought pate squirting out of their ears". This is the sort of situation where the word "reform" only works if coupled with "gelignite" because that's what's needed to pry their fingers off the cash box.

In fact, the current reforms don't go anywhere near far enough. If a proper reform is what is truly wanted, then Britain should look to her Victorian forefathers and how they ordered a House of Commons that ran an Empire. How to deal with expense abuses? Abolish them. Not the abuses; the expenses–including salaries. Until the last century, MPs were unpaid and the sort of scandals we see today were pretty rare because the job wasn't very attractive to anyone with an eye for a place at the trough because there wasn't a trough. Just a lunch buffet and you had to buy your own ticket.

Staff scandals monetary & sexual? That's also an easy one to solve. No staff. Each member gets a secretary (appointed by lottery from qualified candidates or paid by the member out of his own pocket) to handle his calendar. You may claim that this will prevent you average MP from getting anything done, but considering what they've been doing for the past twelve years I'd call that a feature instead of a bug.

But how will they live, you ask? Won't it indeed be a "Commons of the rich" because only the rich will have the money to serve? Nonsense. Parliament should go back to being a part time job with business conducted at night between February and mid-August. That will give members ample freedom to conduct their private affairs and earn an honest living. Better yet, take the whole of August off and a long break at Easter. See? I can be nice. If they can't find an honest living, I'm sure the Job Centre will scratch up an opening at McDonalds for them.

Granted, this is the 21st century and MPs do have to move with the times, so members will be able to cut down on their travel cost by equipping their homes in their constituencies with telecommunications suites for routine work and the House reserved for the opening of Parliament and extraordinary debates. Naturally, these teleconferences should stream live on the Web so the voters can see what their MP is actually doing. On second thought, scrap that idea and tell them to just go out and get a Skype account like the rest of us.

And as for those fact-finding trips to get the lowdown about the economic conditions on the beaches of Aruba? Unless you plan to hand out towels to pay for your ticket, I suggest you consider Skegness instead.

Meat is a Goldstein plot


"Climate chief" Lord Stern declares that the desire to eat meat will soon be classed as a thoughtcrime.

Please be advised that, like air travel, driving large cars, owning pets or having children, this will only apply to Proles and Outer Party members. In addition, the Ministry of Plenty states that livestock for animal sacrifices to Blessed Gaia will still be available in large numbers.

Robopathologist

Because Skynet is going to want to make sure Sarah Connor isn't playing 'possum.

Curry cancer cure

Curry: Is there nothing it can't do?

At least Caesar wrote his own books

Rocco Landesman, the new chairman of the United States' National Endowment of the Arts has this to say about Barack Hussein Gaius Julius Caesar Obama:
This is the first president that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt (!) and arguably the first to write them really well since Lincoln. If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists.
That's an interesting opinion. Since Abraham Lincoln didn't write any books and Mr Obama probably farmed out the writing at least one of his to "a guy who lives in (his) neighbourhood", one wonders what sort of "artists" this is supposed to be good for.

Probably not the sort who would commit this sort of sacrilege against The One.

Missile versus tank


Actually, this looks a lot like the final moments of a 1973 AMC Gremlin that I once owned. It had some problems.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

One of the joys of the Internet is that it allows one to stumble across little treasures like this 1910 book of American folklore that I had a copy of years ago, but I thought lost for all time unless I was willing to spend a fortune on ebay.

If you spend a lot of time in the woods, this book may save your life... In a bizarre and improbable set of circumstances.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The immigration lie

For twelve years New Labour has been telling us that it's been doing everything it can to get immigration under control but that, what with one thing and another, it's just been so gosh darn difficult. The laws are too tricky to write, almost impossible to enforce, the tide of incoming people is too large, and the EU just wedges the gates open. "Golly," they kept saying, "We'll solve it somehow, but until then everyone is just going to have to grin and bear it. Stiffer upper lip and all that."

Then a gentleman named Andrew Neather, a Labour adviser, publishes an article in the Evening Standard entitled "Don't Listen to the Whingers–London Needs Immigrants" in which he reveals that far from trying and failing to control mass immigration, New Labour was not only encouraging it, they were counting on it. In fact, Mr Neather isn't even reporting this as the revelation of a monumental scandal blackening the heart of government, but because he wants to brag about it.

According to Mr Neather, Labour's immigration policy was that mass immigration was
(T)he way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural... the policy was intended–even if this wasn't its main purpose–to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.
And by multicultural, Labour meant
(I)mmigration busted wide open the stale 1990s clichés about multiculturalism: it's a question of genuine diversity now, not just tacking a few Afro-Caribbean and Bengali events on to a white British mainstream. It's one of the reasons Paris now tends to look parochial to us
Hard cheese, Paris. However, Labour realised that this might not go down well outside of London:
(W)hile ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn't necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working men's clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland.
Not that that matters to Mr Neather or the rest of New Labour. After all,

The results in London, and especially for middle-class Londoners, have been highly positive. It's not simply a question of foreign nannies, cleaners and gardeners - although frankly it's hard to see how the capital could function without them.Their place certainly wouldn't be taken by unemployed BNP voters from Barking or Burnley - fascist au pair, anyone?
It seems that the party of the working man was awfully keen on importing a new servant class.

Immigration has long been one of the hot-button issues in Britain. Mostly because the larger waves of immigrants in the past tended to be fit young men between 18 and 30 carrying spears. It also didn't help that the first wave of postwar immigration was so amazingly botched by both Labour and Conservative governments. In an attempt to bolster a dying textile industry, Whitehall decided to import immigrants from the West Indies. These immigrants, while thoroughly decent people, were seen by working class Britons as unwelcome intruders who were being foisted on them against their will by a government who didn't give a damn what they thought. In the end, the textile industry died, the immigrants remained. As new waves of immigrants came for reasons of Commonwealth relations, asylum for refugees, or the trading block of the EEC becoming the empire of the EU, succeeding governments adopted a new policy of sticking their fingers in their ears and humming loudly. Small wonder that insane fringe groups like the BNP could gain so much traction.

Now we find out not only why New Labour couldn't control immigration, but why they are so terrified of the BNP. It isn't because the BNP's policies are any sort of threat. It's always been a joke party; more Roderick Spode than Sir Oswald Mosely. Rather it's because the only way to truly spike the BNP's racialist guns would be to have an honest discussion about immigration and that would reveal the dirty little secret that Mr Neather crows about: New Labour conspired against the British people as part of a deliberate plan to make freeborn Britons into lab animals for New Labour's social experiment intended to remove Britain's shared past, customs, mores, religion, and cultural identity. I have more truck with American businessmen and farmers who abet illegal immigration for purely economic reasons. At least they're honestly corrupt. This is borderline treason. It comes very close to making war upon one's own people by aiding and abetting a foreign invasion.

What all this boils down to is the most gobsmacking con game to have been perpetrated in Britain since the Vikings shouted "Oo! Look over there!" What I want to know is what the hell was going through Tony Blair's ivory knob when all this was planned? Making Britain "truly multicultural"? Even on its own terms this is a fatheaded goal. Did they truly think that their Third World army would quietly march to New Labour's orders? That the result would be nothing more than lots of good fusion restaurants, someone to mow the lawn cheap, a barista surplus, and newsreaders with unpronounceable names all making London more vibrant and interesting? Was it worth chucking eight thousand years of history into the dustbin so Mr Neather could have the excitement of having his drains cleared by a man who only speaks Polish? Didn't Mr Blair ever consider that such a large wave of immigrants might not include people who have priorities of their own? Priorities more in line with the Caliphate than the Huguenots? Or that for working class people immigration doesn't mean having a chat in Islington with that nice Mr Singh down the winebar, but having to cope with vicious Asian gangs laying claim to a neighbourhood changed out of all recognition? That they might have legitimate social and economic concerns other than indulging in some racist streak? And when was this wave of secretly orchestrated mass immigration supposed to end? When the Immigrant Problem became the Native Problem?

Immigration is a good thing. In the right numbers and with assimilation as the goal, it can revitalize and enrich a nation like a shot of cultural wasabi. Whole nations have been built on immigration and has resulted in one case in the greatest superpower the world has ever seen. But New Labour has put paid to that as far as Britain is concerned thanks to making people fleeing tyranny or just seeking a better life into their unknowing shock troops in Tony Blair et al's Kulturkampf. Beyond that, it has now become quite impossible to trust New Labour on anything ever again. ID cards? Devolution? DNA databases? Constitutional reform? The Lisbon Treaty? A new menu at the Little Chef? Before I sign on to any of this, no matter how innocuous it sounds, I'm going to be asking myself, "What are they really after? What are they really trying to do to us?"

Whatever it is, I'd rather not take the chance.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Found while browsing

I was surfing the net when I came across this blog entry by Frederik Pohl that includes a link to Tales of Future Past.

Demonstrating my innate maturity, my first reaction was, "Cool. Fred Pohl reads my stuff."

Walter Burns, call your service

While The One is distracted by his war with Fox News, he might want to consider restraining orders on others.

Future school

Presenting the school of 1989 as seen from 1969 courtesy of Shōnen Sunday magazine.

I don't know which impresses me more; the robotic thumping rods or those horrible shorts out out Invasion of the Neptune Men.

Espresso eggs


Remind me the next time I go into Starbucks to order the scrambled eggs.

Sinking the fleet

Demonstrating that it will succeed where Phillip II of Spain, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler, Hirohito, and the Argentinian Junta failed, New Labour is reducing one of the two aircraft carriers on order for the Royal Navy to a helicopter carrier and cancelling her JSF fighters.

Meanwhile, the US Navy is ordering more of one type of warship than Britain has for her entire combat fleet.

Pardon me while I open the windows. There's a stench I want to get rid of.

Update: Maybe they'd have the money for the fleet if they'd stop spending it on groups that openly advocates murder and treason.

Tea time

Scientists at the University of Lyon take a hard look at the physics of teapot dribbles.

They'll get on that cancer cure as soon as they've finished their chocolate digestives.

Friday, 23 October 2009

An incident in a farway land


The Taleban attack a check point near a Pakistani nuclear weapons facility.

That's hardly worth the attention of the Western media, so it's... WHAT?!?!

Opportunity knocks

Ken Holder is a man in a unique situation. He's the owner and sole full-time employee of City Cycle Couriers in Plymouth and holds a licence to deliver regular mail on his bicycle.

Given that Britain is facing a three-day postal strike, this means that Mr Holder will either corner the national market or be found dead of a heart attack at a roundabout outside Huddersfield sometime tomorrow noon.

Emilio Largo, call your service

Scubacraft: A 43 knot speedboat that converts into a submarine capable of reaches depths of up to 100 feet.

We're currently in negotiations with the makers to see if the extra passenger seats can be replaced with a pair of carrying racks that could hold, for example, a pair of NATO thermonuclear devices that we might have come across somewhere.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Would that it were

BBC headline:
Target pavement cyclists, say MPs
Literally, please.

Eat your pets


Rest assured, Wickerman burnings will remain safe.

Your dog isn't a boon companion and helpmate from a line that extends back into the mists of time. He's an evil carbon-generating abomination fit only for the table.

That's the wonderful thing about "carbon". Since carbon dioxide is a natural part of literally everything that lives and breathes, if you can class it as a "pollutant" you can justify a universal dictatorship that has the shades of Mao, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.

Via Watts up with that?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Trafalgar day

Happy Trafalgar Day from Ephemeral Isle.

Dubai no longer in Asia

From Dvice:
Asia's tallest skyscraper will rank second in the world
The tallest, according to the article is Burj Dubai in Dubai, which, last time I looked, is in Asia.

Perhaps what they mean instead of "Asia" is "Far East", but are too scared of the Thoughtpolice to use such an unphrase.

Former Gitmo detainee shot

A former Guantanamo detainee on an Al Qaeda operation was killed in a shootout at a Saudi checkpoint.

Yeah, that catch and release policy of those innocent little lambs is working out really well.

Wallace & Gromit, call your service


This Panasonic kitchen robot may look like a good idea,


but I'm going for this one from Bojan Nemec of the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia.

Sarah Connor in a carving knife fight or being chased down the slopes by skiing kilbots; that's what I call an embarrassment of riches.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

So, how's that Peace Prize working out?

Brezhnev Ahmadinejad lied to me!

Maybe it's just moral leadership at work. Just remember, he may appear to be a dithering, inexperienced ideologue who's in way over his head, but he's really a man of steel coiled to strike.

I enjoy a good laugh, too.

Burning tarmac

If you think you've got trouble, at least your road isn't on fire.

The future isn't what it was

Remember when the future was where we could look forward to technological wonders that would be servants and helpers to ease the burden of mankind? Not anymore. Why help people when you can nag and scold them through technology? Behold the glorious future; where park benches will dump you on the ground, rubbish bins will spit bottles back at you, and cars will slam on the brakes whether you want them to or not.

Welcome to the Age of the Busybody.


The Death Ray


Monday, 19 October 2009

Tales of Future Past update


I'm pleased to announce a major update to Tales of Future Past, including two new sections: Project Moonbase & Jonny Quest. In addition to this, there are over 80 new pages added throughout the site including a doubling in size of the Thunderbirds section.

Enjoy.

Mr. Szondy is not at all well.

In other news, I've been laid low by the flu, so I'm taking things easy today.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Working

Working on new additions to Tales of Future Past. Major update announcement very soon.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

EmoBraclet.

You know, whenever I get stressed, I always say what I really need is a big, gaudy bracelet that makes a bowl light up.

Chembot


Oh, great. Irobot, no longer satisfied with building Roombas, is branching out by developing shoggoths. That's it. I'm leaving.

Meanwhile, Sarah Connor starts brushing up on her Necronomicon.

Have you seen this man?

Over 2000 people claim to have seen this man in their recurring dreams.

This is either a viral film marketing campaign, a case of poor methodology, or the beginning of a really cool horror story.

Bunny power

Sweden provides worshipers of Blessed Gaia Environmentalists with a dilemma: Now that the Swedes are burning cute little bunnies to generate electricity, how do you find Vegan power outlets?

Now all we need are Internet servers that run on kittens and they'll be reduced to dusting off old mimeograph machines.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Carter and the Secret Service

It doesn't say much for the foresight of the man that he was willing to cheese off the armed men tasked with protecting him.

When the moral compass loses its needle

The fact that this nasty, unrepentant man is addressing Parliament instead of swinging on the end of a rope says a lot about what is wrong with Britain today.

If it's French, it must be art


Oh, Lord. Cue the overacting and the screenwriter who thinks the height of drama is screaming F***. Where's Mike and the 'bots when you need them?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Partying like it's 9/10

Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

Update: On the other hand, New Labour gets a well-deserved thumb in the eye.

Euro president

Is Tony Blair really going to be the EU's first president?

Sorry, Tony. It looks as though Barack Hussein Obama already has the job.

Interview

I have an interview with Republibot 3.0 about Tales of Future Past.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bedtime story


Once upon a time, there was a group of environmentalists who, never thinking that it would apply to them, decided to destroy civilisation and reduce their fellow men to serfdom. Their leader, Lord Summerisle, said...
On the other hand, when the BBC stops being a collection of true believers, then you're in real trouble.


Update: Instapundit has a post on Columbus that includes an interesting quote about environmentalists and other self-appointed elites:
This is primarily an effect of the Calvinist Puritan roots of American progressivism. Just as Calvinists believed in the centrality of the depravity of man, with the exception of a minuscule contingent of the Elect of God, their secularized descendants believe in the depravity and cursedness of Western civilization, with their own enlightened selves in the role of the Elect.

London to Brighton in Four Minutes


And now, an interlude before our next programme.

The Oldest Telly in Britain


I suspect the one in my first flat back in the '70s was slightly older. About the same vintage as the cheese in the fridge.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Why not?

Following the precedent set by the Nobel Prize committee, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have unanimously decided that the 2012 Oscar for Best Picture goes to Green Lantern, which hasn't begun filming.

In other news, Mr Barack Hussein Obama is asking impatiently why his face isn't on Mount Rushmore yet.

Mission Accomplished


Nasa has announced that their LCROSS probe has destroyed the secret Dalek base impacted on the Moon.

A Nasa spokesman was quoted as saying "Oh, what a give away!"

War is Peace, Freedom is...


Mr Barack Hussein Obama has won, wait for it, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Let that sink in for a moment like the tea I spilled in my lap. I can only assume this means the Nobel Committee will be giving Peace Prizes away in breakfast cereal packets next.

The astonishing thing is that not only has The One been given the prize despite the inconvenient fact that he's achieved absolutely nothing during his brief term in office, but that by gratuitously insulting and shafting America's allies, gutting Western defences, apologising for his country's existence, embracing dictators, literally bowing to tyrants, treating human rights as a "distraction", green lighting a Third World nuclear arms race, and dithering on the Afghanistan campaign while indulging in a Macarthuresque feud with his own hand-picked military commander, I can only assume that "Peace" is being used in the Orwellian sense.

Of course, I may be unfair in this view. After all, the nomination deadline for the prize was February first, which was a mere eleven days after Mr Obama took office. So maybe the new criteria for the prize is excellent penmanship while signing his W2 form.

Update: Quote of the day from Mataconis:
How can Obama win the Nobel Peace Prize on the same day that he’s becoming the first POTUS to bomb the Moon?
Update: Biggest laugh line of the day:
Nobel prize win 'humbles' Obama

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Moon bomb


Nasa to bomb Moon on Friday.

Moon threatens retaliation.

Update: Well, at least they aren't using nukes this time.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Up the passage

Great story. Pity it's a load of fetid dingo's kidneys.

Money quote:
Is it so hard to use Google?
Update: And on the other side, we have this revealing little gem:
Personally I cannot see any alternative to ramping up the fear factor.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Happy Birthday, Le Corbusier

On this day in 1887, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, AKA Le Corbusier, was born.

To commemorate his legacy, we thought this would be an appropriate display of how his works and those based upon them should be treated.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Forty years of Monty Python

Terry Jones is Welsh, and what Terry has never been able to accept is that the Welsh, a subject people, were put on earth to carry out menial tasks for the English. I think that’s why we had a few arguments.
John Cleese

Friday, 2 October 2009

Roman follies

I haven't commented on the Roman Polanski story because the rest of the seems to be doing a good enough job of heaping opprobrium on the Hollywood Community for its standing four square behind a child rapist with such intellectual gems as it's not being "rape rape" (I'd love to see that defence put before a judge) and acting as though arresting Polanski while attending a film festival in Switzerland is the equivalent of frog marching Solzhenitsyn to the cells after he's granted church sanctuary.

As regular readers know, I am very much of a believer in hierarchies–in fact, if you asked my political affiliation I'd have to say Feudalist, but I have nothing but contempt for artificial, self-declared elites who imagine that because of status, wealth, beauty, or celebrity they have the right to demand restrictions on the general population that do not apply to them and that they are, in the end, above the law. It's particularly bad in the entertainment field where people can act in the foulest way possible with the smallest, if any penalty. I know of no other business where you can commit gross public indecency, assault, pedophilia, theft, drug abuse, sexual perversion, drunkenness, defamation, blackmail, treason, and, yes, rape, and then stage your "comeback" in six months rather than doing a Profumo and slinking out of the public eye to do good works in the East End for the rest of your life.

The attitude of Hollywood reminds me of nothing so much as a load of Ancien Régime aristocrats sputtering as the low-born police put the braclets on Polanski, "But... But... How dare you! Don't you know who he is?"

Six words that show that the speaker is unworthy of being part of any elite of any sort.

None of this, however, was enough to get me to write anything. That was left to Harvey Weinstein (producer of such classics as Superhero Movie and Spy Kids 3D) who said this in the LA Times:
Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion.
Mr. Weinstein now owes me a new keyboard and monitor. Mine are hoplessly compromised by porridge.

MTV-1 Micro

This takes me back. I used to have one of these in my rucksack as I wandered from archaeological dig to dig in the early '80s. Typical Sinclair design: Brilliant in concept, complete rubbish in execution, a pain to operate, and a dismal commercial failure.

Well done, Sir Clive.

Power Loader


Looks like someone has dusted off the old Hardiman plans.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Central Heating day

Happy Central Heating Day from EI.

Brought to you by the Council for People With Too Much Spare Time on Their Hands. Oddly, we have central heating at Chez Szondy, but we haven't used it since the first winter we moved in because it's rubbish and costs the Earth to run. Roll on fireplaces!