The dangers of a soggy August

No danger here in Cape Town, of course. We need that rainfall.

But if you live in Bristol in the UK, then a soggy August so soon after a warm Spring is a frankly terrifying prospect. Not because your kids will be bored, stuck inside during the long school holidays (although I accept that that isn’t great), but obviously because of the invasion of super fleas with giant penises that those conditions will inevitably lead to.

Super flea with giant penis infestation isn’t something that I had ever had to deal with personally, although I have first hand experience of half of the problem. Unfortunately, it’s the first half of the problem, as the beagle had a bout of fleas a couple of years ago. These were normal fleas though, not super fleas with giant penises. I have very limited experience of giant penises.

It’s important to note here that the penis size that they are referring to (which is ‘giant’) is expressed relative to the size of the flea. And fleas aren’t huge. Their penises, however, are:

The August damp weather so soon after a hot spring has created the ideal breeding conditions for fleas with penises two-and-a-half times the length of their body.

Just for the record, I’m 188cm tall. Hello! [winks suggestively; overbalances]

But how… how does that even work?
Ag. Never mind.

Anyway, in the event that your pet and home become overrun by superfleas with giant penises, what measures (not measurements) should you take? It’s not rocket science, folks:

The British Pest Control Association recommends regularly treating pets with flea treatment and removing infested bedding to prevent the pests returning.

Who knew?

I know that I have some readership in Bristol, and I’d be deeply indebted if that readership could let me know if it has seen any super fleas with giant penises in the local area. Or any giant fleas with super penises. Or any super giants with flea penises.

These are the dangers of a soggy August.

Mind the gap!

Early days (well, day) in the Championship league of English football, but the gap between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday is just about as big as it could be. And we’re the ones out in front*.

A Billy Sharp header 39 minutes in was enough to dispatch Brentford, and we’re now unbeaten since January 24th. Wendy lost at Preston.
You crow about these things while you can, because who knows what the future may hold.

Other, related stuff:
The original 6000 miles… Mind The Gap post.
Still none the wiser over my Fantasy League selections.

 

* obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. 

Schtop! It’sch not ready yet!

I’m thoroughly wiped out after a really tiring, physically and emotionally draining, and then wonderfully fun, day.

Too much to explain, so please enjoy this ad from several (or more) years ago.

That Dutch guy butting in and helping the film crew do it properly is Ronald Top. I had no idea who Ronald Top is or was, until I recognised him on one of the kids’ series on TV this evening.

You can see another of his Grolsch “Schtop” ads on his website, along with a lot of his other, less important work.

Drones are bad, mmmkay?

Look, I’m not stupid. (Careful now.)

There’s no doubt that some people will use drones illegally and will do bad things with them. Just like some people have done and will continue to do bad things with basically everything else that exists: shoesvans, turtlesfixings, sports equipment, cutlerybits of musical instrumentsdogs, diggers – even fruit.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get my point.

But this BBC article – ostensibly about how criminals using drones can or could be detected and brought to justice – does seem to go out of its way in order to portray drones in an extraordinarily bad light. (Which, incidentally, makes for less than ideal flying conditions.)

I mean, just look at the image they chose to illustrate it:

That’s exactly what I look like when I fly my drone.
Furtive. Disguised. Illegal. Determined. Criminal.
(And with a jaunty tilt on my remote control.)

Still, an excellent demonstration of VLOS. Well done.

And then there are words, like these:

Whether it is flying illicit goods into forbidden places, spying on people, interrupting the work of the emergency services or worrying wild animals or aircraft, the threat they present is growing.

Spying on people? Have you any idea how absolutely amazing your drone equipment has to be to “spy” on people? My Mavic has a 12MP camera. It’s half as powerful as the one on my cellphone. And a lot noisier.
My DSLR and its telephoto lens though? Silent and powerful, like a beagle fart. Amazing for spying on people, and yet its ownership is wholly exempt from any legislation. Hmm.

Sure, someone managed to get some cigarettes and a DVD player (actually quite impressive) into a prison using a drone. And that’s not good. But then, naughty people put mobile phones into chocolate bars to get them “inside”, so should we…  should we ban the sale of Mars bars or something? No. No, we shouldn’t, because they’re delicious and most people just eat them, completely legally.

For the article to then go on and use a quote from a “drone expert” suggesting that drones could be used to disperse bio-weaponised anthrax does seem to be just a teensy-tiny bit scaremongery. Because yes, while it is technically possible, the issue there is not really the drone, but rather the bio-weaponised anthrax, no?

All in all, this does seem to be a disappointingly one-sided article. Yes, it’s about crime and drones, but in telling us about those things, it does seem to suggest that crime is all that drones are going to be used for, tarring all drone pilots with the same sticky brush, and conveniently ignoring the many thousands of us who are operating wholly within the law.
But then of course, we must remember that it’s ever so cool to hate these new-fangled tools of annoyance and terrorism – and their users – at the moment, so maybe it’s just trying to tap into the Daily Mail-created zeitgeist.

I completely understand the need for some legislation around this hobby (both flying drones and production of bio-weaponised anthrax), but I’m growing increasingly tired of the incessant anti-drone rhetoric I seem to be seeing everywhere these days.
I just hope that the individuals charged with making the rules are a little bit less alarmist and blinkered than journo Paul Marks and… well… everyone else, actually.

Worth reading

This blog post fell onto my twitter yesterday, and it’s worth a read.

Public debate on highly contentious issues is now careering out of control. Tragedy is being hijacked by political agitators. Facts are being junked for ignorance, misrepresentation and misleading hearsay. A culture of hyperventilating emotion and licensed resentment means that those trying to articulate dispassionate judgment, justice and compassion are being vilified as unfeeling brutes.

It might seem – it might even be – harsh to speak out like this now, in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Fire and in the midst of the tremendously emotive Charlie Gard case, but there’s never going to be a easy time to bring this unpopular but necessary sort of viewpoint forward. The longer it’s left unspoken, the more accepted and acceptable it becomes. And it’s clearly already a problem.

These are faint cries in the wind. Reason, objectivity and disinterestedness are now being howled down by an angry and resentful mob. Emotion and ignorance now rule instead. Observe, and shudder.

There are some difficult truths spoken and some very good points made in this post.
Do go and read it.