Random: December 2008 Archives

Moray - the final frontier.

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scotty.jpgAll the parties make shameless bids for Christmas coverage when the standards are lower, but the most absurd this year is a supposed bid by the SNP to get Richard Branson to fly his"spaceships" from Lossiemouth. 

I have to hand it to the Nats, purely in media terms. Space is always good box-office, and the bearded one has provided a massive archive of absurd promo shots. Angus Robertson is probably still sniggering about the word "serious" in his quote. 

The whole thing is genius, except for the fact that it's as real as Scotty from Star Trek. There's the slight obstacle of having to get MoD permission, and they tend to object to everything that moves.

It also seems less likely that people will pay $20,000+ for up to six minutes of weightlessness nowadays. Even counting the getting there, that's a lot of money for a two and a half hour holiday. Ain't happening.

Thank god, too. As if the prospect of getting the very rich to fly here for brief stops in Trumptown was not financially unsound or unsustainable enough, do we really want to burn gargantuan amounts of fossil fuel getting rich nobodies into the lowest of low earth orbits?

The whole Virgin Galactic thing is all about Branson's self-promotion, his only true skill. To prove that, what would you do if you ran a real serious space programme and some pornographers wanted to shoot a film on your craft? Why, surely you'd have a press conference

Oh no he isn't.

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uglysister.jpgAccording to Scotland on Sunday, a character based on the First Minister appears as a villain in the Tron's Christmas panto - Alex Salamander, an "evil landlord" obsessed with tartan, longwindedness, his tenants' money, and of course himself. 

The article also features what may be the most toe-curlingly awful official quote ever given, but it did make me think what a great pantomime dame the man himself would do. Annabel Goldie could help with his delivery and double entendres, and clearly Kevin Pringle would be the man to advise on the script. 

Unfortunate handles.

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TCPortrait.jpgI know it's wrong to make fun of people's names, but surely we can make exceptions when their names reflect the crimes they have admitted? This week brought us both a US governor caught on tape trying to sell a Senate seat, conveniently named Blagojevich, and a Ponzi scheme specialist whose name, Madoff, the BBC pronounces Made-off, as in Made-off with your money.

Not since Thomas Crapper (left) entered the toilet business can a name like the latter, in particular, have been more apt.

Firth of silence.

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Strange Maps is one of my favourite quirky wee blogs, and yesterday it featured the Atlas of True Names, where familiar placenames are given in their original meaning. A few English placenames survive unchanged - Blackpool, Newcastle, Oxford - but none do in Scotland, and many are picturesque. 

I had thought I lived in Edwin's Burgh, but the cartographers confess only an 80% accuracy rate, so don't complain to me about errors. I would also be surprised if Orkney really is properly understood to be the Isles of the Sea Monsters, but I do like living by the Firth of Silence.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Random category from December 2008.

Random: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Random: January 2009 is the next archive.