Archive for February, 2014


Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Photos

I do not know exactly what Heaven is like. But it definitely has one of these…


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Photos

I did not know whether to laugh or cry when Rich posted this.


Super Bowl XLVIII

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 | Distractions

Well, that was the most boring game ever.

43 – 8. The Seattle Seahawks dominated from the start and never let go. The commentary team quickly began to list reasons not to go to bed in an attempt to keep people watching. Because that is what we were all thinking by the end of the first half.

Luckily one of them said “eat clock” and we got a good 15 minutes of laughter out of that. Very much needed as the half time show did not provide much entertainment. The Red Hot Chili Peppers barely played one song. I am being generous with the term “played” because they did not even plug their guitars in.

Of course the Denver Broncos are used to being humiliated at Super Bowls by NFC West teams. They hold the record for the biggest losing margin when the San Francisco 49ers beat them 55 – 10 in 1990. But it did not make the game any more enjoyable.

Still, I think my buffet worked quite well. Including my Super Bowl Yorkshires…


I’ll be honest with you – they are a lot like regular Yorkshires…

20’s Plenty for Us

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 | Events, Foundation, Humanism

For the January meeting of Leeds Skeptics, Anna Semlyen spoke on why Leeds should have a blanket twenty mile an hour speed limit.

I thought it was a fascinating topic as it is one that really challenges us to think about our views (as opposed to Big Foot, that is just us basically laughing at stupid people). She made some great points about safety, though the other points about public health benefit (people walk more when the speed limit is lower) remain unproven. It invoked some engaging debate and I really enjoyed the event.

You can find out more about the campaign on their website.

Leeds Tornadoes practices

Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Foundation, Sport

Leeds Tornadoes is gradually gathering steam. We’ve been working on plays for a while now but this week we finally got the flags out and started practising flag pulling as well. We even have a playbook, of sorts.

I have not taken any photos recently, but here are some from a month ago:

IMG_3669 IMG_3671 IMG_3674 IMG_3677 IMG_3679 IMG_3696 IMG_3774

If you are interested in playing some flag football, then why not give it a go? We are open to everyone – men and women – and no experience is necessary. It is faster paced that full-contact american football and comes without the fear of serious injury. Most of all, it is super fun.

We train every Sunday, 1pm, Woodhouse Moor. Give it a go!

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Books

I was rather disappointed when I first started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. Because they were rubbish. However, as time as gone on, the writing has become better and better and each story is more enjoyable. The collection of short stories that form Memoirs continues this trend.

That is until the last book, The Final Problem, in which Watson recounts the death of Sherlock. Professor Moriarty appears from nowhere, having never been mentioned before. Then Sherlock mutters to himself that he would really like to catch Moriarty for a while. Finally Watson goes for a walk and when he comes back he assumes Sherlock and Moriarty have had a fight and plunged over a waterfall.


Rocksmith Diary: Day 60

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 | Music

I’m done! Check it out:


More of a review is coming up later.

How dare you lie on national TV

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Thoughts, Video

I keep coming back to this video:

To my mind, this was a crushing defeat for Vanessa Vine.

I had not formed an opinion on fracking before I saw this video. But after watching this I went away and read the report by the Royal Society. They say that with the correct regulation, it is safe.

In the debate, she puts forward anecdotes and slurs Peter Lilly’s character. This makes for great sound-bites but intellectually means nothing and in fact actually significantly reduces her credibility.

Peter Lilly counters her arguments and provides hard evidence from the Royal Society.

The argument from vested interests does not even stand up either. Peter Lilley is a dick. An absolute shit human being. Here is his voting record. But Vine is unable to make any of these things stick. Meanwhile Lilley correctly points out that Vine does have a vested interest because she is is anti-fossil fuel and lives near a potential fracking site.

The end result of this is that I am siding with a man who owns shares in an oil company. I do not see how that can be considered a win for the anti-fracking side.

Galileo Day 2014

Saturday, February 15th, 2014 | Foundation, News

Happy Galileo Day!

We’ve received a record number of inquries about the Galileo Day download packs this year. It is great to see so many people embracing the holiday. Where ever you are and whatever you are doing – have a good one.

Is there any difference between having tuition fees and not having them?

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 | Thoughts

I, on the whole, support tuition fees. Why? Because I do not think that poor people, with less earning potential than myself, should have to subsidise my education. If someone is working really hard driving a taxi every day, why should they pay for me to go to some fancy-pants university and get a piece of paper that entitles me to earn more money than them?

But I am not entirely decided on the issue. There are lots of good reasons to support not having tuition fees. For example, it probably puts people off going to university (I have not checked the stats, but I imagine this is the case). That argument in itself has factors that both support and oppose tuition fees.

The alternative, as well as realise though, is not a free education. I cannot be “free”. It has to be paid for in a capitalist economy. The alternative is an education paid for by the state, and thus reclaimed from taxes.

Either way, some one pays.

You could argue though that in a progressive tax system, the same person pays. Imagine these two scenarios:

Scenario 1, tuition fees. I pay £20,000 to go the university, except I do not pay it, because it is a student loan, taken by PAYE when I start earning. So I pay nothing up front to go to university. I go, do my degree and then graduate. Then I get a job and if I earn plenty of money I repay my student loan via the PAYE tax system. If not, I do not pay it.

Scenario 2, no tuition fees. There are no tuition fees so I pay nothing up front (just like above). i go, do my degree and then graduate (just like above). Then I get a job and if I earn plenty of money I pay a higher tax because the government has to fund all the education (as above). If not, I do not pay it (as above).

The scenarios above are basically the same. Either way, university is free at the point of access and funded by reclaiming the money using taxation. What difference am I missing?