Wednesday, April 20, 2016




Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have delivered their apology to Southport Court; Barnaby Joyce made his point, at one time threatening to off Pistol and Boo; God’s in his Heaven and all’s right with the world, well, with Oz anyway.

Was the apology sincere? The performances were certainly of a "I’m being forced to do this against my will” nature.  A leaked photo lends credence to the suggestion that the recorded speeches were hostage videos . . .


On the topic of apologies . . .


In case you missed it #1: Doris Roberts has left the building

Doris Roberts, who played Marie Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, died yesterday aged 90. The series ran from 1996 – 2005 and she won 4 Emmys for her role. Am I correct that everyone recognises some aspects of their own mother (or mother in law) in the character of Marie Barone? RIP Doris

Emails from Byters in respect of the post about Alan Turing:

From Sandy:

I’ve seen The Imitation Game and was appalled at the treatment he received. Why does it matter what sexuality a person is/ Every person’s own sexuality is their own business and not the world’s. Whatever happens behind any person’s bedroom door is their own business, and does not interfere in any other aspect of their lives, so what right do we have to contest their beliefs?

From David:

An excellent review of Alan Turing's life but I think anyone wanting to know more would be better directed to Andrew Hodge's book Alan Turing: The Enigma than to the film The Imitation Game which trades veracity for entertainment in many aspects of his story, especially the suggestion that his homosexuality was used to blackmailed him into concealing the fact that John Cairncross was a spy.

Turing worked at my alma mater - Manchester University, Department of Electrical Engineering - and the city has named a road after him, and erected a memorial to him

In case you missed it #2: Her Maj

The Queen’s former royal protection officer, aka as her bodyguard, recently revealed that on one occasion when he was guarding her body, she decided to go for a walk near Balmoral dressed in tweeds and a headscarf, looking very un-Queenly© (that word is copyright because I made it up). 

As she passed by a group of American tourists, one asked “Do you live round here?” She replied that she had a house nearby. When then asked if she had met the Queen, she simply gestured to her bodyguard and said “No, but he has.” 

From the same article:
Her trips to Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, are a time when Her Majesty famously enjoys a more low-key way of life, donning wellington boots and driving around the estate in a mud-spattered Land Rover. 
Last year, a story emerged about Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's visit to Balmoral in 1998. 
Writing in his memoir, Ever the Diplomat, Saudi ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles recalled that the Queen had asked her guest if he would like to go on a tour of the estate.  
'An initially hesitant Abdullah agreed,' he said. 'The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind.'  
'To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not - yet - allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.  
'His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.'


In case you missed it #3: a wee item . . .

In the above photo, passengers who exited a San Francisco MUNI streetcar walk past an outdoor urinal across from Dolores Park in San Francisco. A religious organisation is suing the city of San Francisco to remove the open-air urinal it calls unsanitary and offensive to the senses from a popular park. The San Francisco Chinese Christian Union filed a civil complaint on Thursday, April 14, 2016, demanding the city remove the concrete circular urinal from the iconic Dolores Park. 

From that article:
The City Attorney's office said in a statement that it will defend against the litigation and pointed out the 16-acre park is well-known for its "counter culture, immodest sunbathers, pot brownie vendors, spectacular city views, and famously irreverent 'Hunky Jesus' contest."
The office said residents advocated for the facility, called a "pissoir" (piss-WAH), to stop people from urinating on walls, bushes and sidewalks. 
"If I had to predict the top 100 things in Dolores Park likely to offend these plaintiffs, I wouldn't have guessed that this would make the cut," City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey said in the statement. 
The urinal is part of a $20 million renovation plan that now has put more than two dozen toilets in Dolores Park along with other upgrades. 
San Francisco has a long, sometimes creative, history of dealing with public urination. Last summer, the city painted nearly 30 walls with a repellant paint that makes urine spray back on the offender. In 2002, the city increased the possible fine for the crime up to $500, but that did little to deter the practice.

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