On the first day at my new job

Went well, tiring though. Not helped by having to get up at the crack of dawn to drive there. Took an hour going but an hour and a half coming back. Most of the day was spent being shown stuff and going through my predecessors emails and clearing out. Had a wander around the local ara at lunchtime. Also today the remortgage of my house was completed, so it's now officially on a buy to let one rather than permission to lease. Tomorrow I am viewing some more rooms that I might move to, can't do these drives long term!

On Bezo's flight

 Managed to watch the Livestream at work today: Personally, if I had the money I'd rather go on a New Shephard flight than SpaceShip Two, if only so you don't have quibbles as to whether you were actually in space or now. Popular Mechanics has a good summary of the event while Glenn Reynolds expands on its significance.

On Freedom day...

 ..hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of the madness. It's truly depressing how many people are still cowering in fear and want to carry on with this forever. Today's Lotus Eaters podcast had a good segment on this: Anyway, Happy Freedom Day!

On the Tokyo Olympics

This article-  Tokyo’s doomed Olympics could be the worst yet - reminded me of one time when I walked past one of the construction sites that had hoardings decorated with scenes from the manga Akira. That also takes place in the buildup to an Olympics in 2020, which I thought was tempting fate a bit. Sure enough, as we know 2020 turned out horribly, but at least we didn't have espers running amok. Personally, I've never been a fan of the Olympics (or sports in general), despite working in the city at the time I ignored the 2012 games in London as much as possible. I've seen how the Sydney and Beijing stadiums ended up being underused, and the sheer costs involved, corruption and waste make me feel I wouldn't mind much if this one ends up being a damp squib. As the above article notes, 'Eleven countries bid for 2020; only five did so for 2024 – and three of those pulled out after public outcries. There was only one candidate for 2028' , so maybe politicians are w

Weekly activity report

 Last week ended up being typically busy.  Wednesday morning I went to view some rooms for rent in London. The first was OK but more expensive than I'd have liked. The second had a live-in landlady who was a hardcore anti-vaxxer, and the room was a bit small and full of her books. The third was in a grotty-looking estate and all the bedrooms were locked so I couldn't see them, while the final one was ok but above a curry house.  After reviewing these options I've decided to look further out, that way I can (hopefully) get something nicer, bigger, or cheaper. Plus my new work has sorted me a parking permit so I can drive in for now, so I might as well make the most of it for the next year at least. Wednesday evening I went to visit some friends who had a baby last year that I'd not seen yet, we got a Chinese takeaway and watched a movie. Also last week I got the official results for my course, an overall grade of 64.5% and a merit. Was quite pleased with this although I&

Quick Links 28

Am going out in a bit so a very short intro this week. Here are the recommended readings for the past 7 days. Knees-up Ignoring race won’t help anything Richard Branson is the Thomas Cook of space travel  Releated,  What Does Branson's Flight Mean? England whose England? The Left is curiously silent on Cuba Every sport is male sport Joe Biden is a tired product of politics How patriotism came home Can Britain survive the woke wave? Bookshops as Political Barometers   The Rise of Veganism and Watermelon Politics The future of the United Kingdom and the Northern Ireland protocol The Runnymede Trust's deeply flawed race report President Kamala would destroy America Can Science Cure Death? It Sure Looks Like It. Brexit has freed the EU How Christianity kills itself Simply cutting Foreign Aid does not go far enough David Skelton on ‘The New Snobbery’ US Navy too focused on Wokeness, not warfare Author of the Mega-Viral Thread on MAGA Voters, Darryl Cooper, Explains His Thinking Vide

Something for the weekend 10: Idolmaster edition

 I just realised that it is just over 10 years now since The Idolmaster tv-series aired. (Where does the time go?). This was one of the series (along with K-ON!) that got me interested in Japanese music, and would eventually lead to me living there for two years. One of the few  Japanese CD's in my collection is a copy of Masterpiece  that I bought from Yokohama Animate on my second visit there in 2014. Sadly by the time I moved there the original generation had pretty much stopped doing live shows (and I never really got into the follow on Cinderalla Girls) so I never went to one while I lived there. So for this week, here's my favorite performance from the series, Rest@rt! And from the movie, Go My Way!

On Western Cape independence

On reading this story-   South Africa is on the brink , I have to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for SA. It seems the ANC is determined to emulate Zimbabwe and ruin the country in pursuit of racial politics and wealth 'redistribution. This led me to wonder whether the country could break up, with a region becoming a homeland for the Afrikaans (who we mustn't forget have lived there longer than most o the black population) On doing a bit of research I was surprised to see there is talk of this, with a Western Cape independence movement mushrooming over the past few years This article-  Should the Western Cape become independent? - sets out the position and polls showing growing support for the idea. Additionally this article-  Can anyone prove the Western Cape is not better off alone? - discusses the economics of it. and this paper sets out The Road to Independence . Finally, here is a nice video summary: One thought I had was whether an independent Cape would become

On Crime and Punishment

One of the key aspects of our criminal justice system is the idea that once you've served your punishment, you have paid your debt to society. It is true that there are still consequences, it is harder for ex-prisoners to get jobs and sex offenders (rightly) have prescriptions to prevent them from reoffending. However, they are still accorded the full range of rights and legal protections that everyone else has. This is why I found comments like  this  so disturbing. To summarise, this supposed conservative host is arguing that racists should be stripped of all rights, "No bank account, no ability to travel, no passport no benefits nothing." Wow. Considering that we don't do this for murderers, rapists or pedophiles is he suggesting that making racist comments is worse than these crimes? What having and voicing unacceptable views means you should have your life destroyed and end up on the street? Plus of course, the big question is who decides where the line is drawn?

Quote of the day 14

Given the ability to do so, the socialist would tell us what time to get up in the morning, what to eat for breakfast, what time to travel into work, what work we should do, what time we should have our lunch hour, what lunch we should eat, when we should go home, how many children we should have as they do in China. You know, this is what socialists believe in, they believe in collective control. The conservative doesn’t, the conservative believes you can work out for yourself whether you should travel on a bicycle or in a car. You should decide for yourself whether to have Weetabix or in my case just a cup of black coffee or whether you prefer to have a fry up, a deep fried Mars bar for your breakfast, whatever it is, we believe in individual liberty, individual responsibility and we recognise that people make better decisions for themselves than the government can make for them. And that’s the key: the collective is in fact best served by thousands, millions of individual decisions