#TrollingTheGuardian

Not really moving on from my angry rant about political hysteria comes the wonderful twitter hashtag #TrollingTheGuardian. An open opportunity to take the piss out of their columnists who, by way of their wildly lefty thinkpieces, have been doing exactly the same to us for years and years now.

People have been busy, and the results are hilarious.

Some examples of the genre:

And now, as if to demonstrate just how utterly bonkers some of the Guardian’s headlines are, let me tell you that several of those examples above are actual genuine Guardian headlines. Yes, including the poo one.

If there’s one thing that can be said for The Guardian, it’s that at least it doesn’t hide its left-leaning. Rather it celebrates it, like a little hammer and sickle pin badge on its beret; like something to be proud of. Compare that with The Independent, which still claims to be… well… independent, but is actually chilling alongside the Big G on the red side of the bed.

Twitter hashtags come and go, but #TrollingTheGuardian is one that I will be revisiting regularly.

Political hysteria

It’s election time in the UK, and I’m really glad I’m not there.

If the hysteria and hypocrisy on social media is anything to go by (and to be fair, it’s probably not), it must be an absolute crapfest over there at the moment.

Taking a step back 6000 miles… away from the situation, it’s always interesting to me what the combination of acute politics, access to the internet and a glass or two of wine can bring out in people. In an age when we are trying desperately hard to educate our kids as to the dangers of poor social media etiquette, people – parents! – really don’t seem to think before they share and post stuff online.

Take this hilarious meme, for example. Yes, yes, I see what they’re trying to say here, and of course they’re entitled to their political opinions, but in stating one particular party in the slightly altered heading (did you even notice?), for me, they’re implying that any other party’s propaganda is fine.

That definition of propaganda for you:

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

So if one party is lying, that’s [emoji poo], but for anyone else, it’s fine?
Ok then.

It’s another good example of the hypocrisy that is conveniently overlooked when shouting about these things. Because if you think that Labour or the Lib Dems (other parties are available) are going to deliver on their election promises, you really haven’t been concentrating on any election ever.
And yet the people posting this sort of crap are (mostly) well-educated, professional individuals who wouldn’t dream of saying something so clearly illogical in any other area of their life.

There’s some major sociological study just waiting for a suitable PhD candidate right here. (It’s probably already been done, to be honest.)

I’ve said it about sport:

…it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people…

The trouble is, much like sport, politics encourages this weird kind of behaviour as well. And, much like sport, it’s exacerbated by social media.

Take a look at your friends’ posts online now. And if you don’t see this phenomenon, you’ve either chosen good friends (well done) or you’re deep inside the echo chamber with them (oh dear).

Fall

The latest from Seafret, with a new album on the way in the new year.

This is Fall:

World War One video, popping into the present day from time to time for striking colour and narrative.
Decent.

Also, arguably even more decent: the acoustic version.

Giving me ideas

It’s time to register to fly your drone if you want to use it in the UK.

It’s because they’re nuts about Health and Safety there, and they want to prevent things like this.

I don’t have to register, but if I want to fly over there in the future, then I will have to register. It costs 9 quid a year and you have to score 80% or above in a 20 question multiple choice test.

There’s also a list of do’s and don’ts  on the site, including this one:

A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.

Of course, these are the rules for the UK, so they don’t necessarily apply here in SA.

All of which is giving me ideas for some fun with next door’s gerbil (whether or not attached to a parachute).

Hmm.

Back in time with #RBOSS

The Queen’s Pier in Ramsey in the Isle of Man is in dire need of restoration. First opened in 1886, 104 years later it finally closed and has been in a state of decay and decline ever since. But things are looking up – the Queen’s Pier Restoration Fund are slowly but surely making progress on bringing this impressive landmark back into use.

It’s painstaking, expensive work and you can help them out with some funding by clicking the link above if you so desire. And – if you’re local and feel the need – you can even volunteer to help with the ongoing work.

“Oh ya, and I also helped rebuild a 2,244ft long Victorian pier.”

Stick that on your CV and smoke it.

But there are some locals who are trying to assist in ways that you and I could only ever dream of: taking historic engineering from way back in time and dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century: rejuvenating the superstructure of the Queen’s Pier via the means of #RBOSS.

This incredible image appeared on Facebook yesterday.

Amazing. You can literally see some of the stabilising cross-bars between the Victorian cast iron piles (over 40 feet in height (with 18 foot piles) on a 6° pitch) glowing brightly as they are heated to around 1200°C in order to remove impurities which might weaken the overall structure.

You can usually only do this is a specialised foundry. For the metal on the pier, this heating was last done in Stockton-upon-Tees in the 1880s: the RBOSS technology to repair these important stabilising braces on-site simply wasn’t available until now yesterday morning.

This revolutionary technique is not without risk, however. Primary dangers in flinging the saturation slider all the way to the right, saving the image and then doing it again include literally burning right through the iron which is holding the pier up (you can see this occurring on one piece of cross member) and also turning the corona of the sun a weird grey-green colour.

But in the hands of an RBOSS expert (as we undoubtedly are in this case), this method is a quick and easy way of mending a Manx landmark. It’s surely only a matter of time until Peel Castle gets an evening* makeover. Sure – that’s made of stone, which will only melt at 4000°C, but with the right software and a desire to make everything oranger than it actually is, anything is possible.

In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying the seemingly almost unbelievable explosive colour of every daybreak in Ramsey via Facebook, while the Queen’s Pier gets rebuilt by whatever means are available.

* West coast, see?