Category Archives: News and politics



When the £10 x/mas present  was launched by Ted Heath’s Tory government in 1972, the bonus payment was worth £98 in today’s money.

The £10 Christmas boost was then worth more than the £6.75 basic state pension. The basic pension is now £95.25 a week.

The bonus has declined in real terms ever since it was introduced .By the time Tony Blair and Gordon Brown came to power in 1997, it was worth £14 in today’s money.

Steve Webb, Lib Dem work and pensions spokesman, said: ”The measly Christmas bonus is a slap in the face for today’s pensioners. What was once a valuable additional benefit is now nothing more than a joke.

”When it was brought in, a pensioner could buy Christmas dinner and still have money left over. Today it wouldn’t even buy you the turkey.”

Merry Christmas !




March 19 ‘Supermoon’ May Cause Moonquakes, Scientist Says
By Loren Grush

There’s a supermoon on the rise next week. And according to Internet buzz, it’ll bring a scary surge in natural disasters around the globe.

No way, Jose: Numerous scientists have reassured the public that there’s absolutely no correlation between disturbances on Earth and this rare lunar phase.

But the moon itself? That’s another story.

On March 19, Earth’s satellite will be at its closest point to our planet in 18 years — a mere 356,577 kilometers away. The event — also called a lunar perigee — was dubbed a “supermoon” by astrologer Richard Nolle back in the 1970s. The term is used to describe a new or full moon at 90% or more of its closest orbit to Earth. Next week, it will be at 100%.

Nolle is responsible for coining the upcoming event, and he’s also responsible for the latest buzz sweeping the Internet about how the supermoon will affect the planet. On his website Astropro, Nolle warns Earth’s inhabitants to prepare themselves during the “supermoon risk window,” which ranges from March 16 – 22. During this time, Nolle claims there will be an increase in supreme tidal surges, magnitude 5 or higher earthquakes, and even volcanic activity.

“If you look at the USGS website where they have all the significant earthquakes of 2011, you will find that 72.7% of them fall in the risk windows on my website,” Nolle told “The Christchurch earthquake happened on the last day of a supermoon window. The Haiti earthquake even happened in one of the time windows in my 2010 forecast — which was published the year before.”

Scientific research said otherwise.

Peter Goldreich, an emeritus professor for the Astronomy and Planetary Science Department at Caltech University, notes that he and several other scientists have studied the moon for decades and have never found it to cause these natural disasters.

“There have been a lot of studies on whether earthquakes on our planet were triggered when the moon was closest to Earth, and no conclusive evidence has ever been found for that,” Goldreich told “The idea is that the strain builds up in the Earth until only a small little bit of extra gravitational force could tip it over and cause an earthquake, and this could come from the moon. But there’s been no absolutely no correlation for that.”

In fact, Goldreich said Earth isn’t the one in danger of experiencing some shaking.

“There is on the moon seismic activity connected with a lunar perigee,” Goldreich said. “These were detected by seismological instruments left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts. There was an effect, but it wasn’t enormous. But the moon did quake near perigee.”

Just like the orbits of planets around the sun, the moon’s path around the Earth is more elliptical than circular. So within each lunar cycle, there is a part of the orbit when it is closest to Earth and a part when it is farthest away (perigee and apogee, respectively). The tides normally change as the moon goes from perigee to apogee, and next week will be no different.

“You tend to have stronger tides near the full moon,” Gordon Johnston, planetary program executive for NASA, told “These will be the strongest tides of the month, but they won’t be much different from last year. They’re not that unusual from other tides around the full moon.”

Johnston said the biggest difference is purely cosmetic, with next week’s moon being a sight to behold.

“The moon will be a little closer than it was last year, 1/4,000 of a percent closer,” Johnston told “The distance between the Earth and the moon changes a lot in its orbit. Really the only change is that it appears bigger when it’s close. This coming full moon will be the brightest of the year.”

As for the theories purported by Nolle and other astrologers … well, Johnston hopes that people don’t take everything they hear at face value.

“We live in an age where information gets circulated around very quickly,” Johnston said. “So I would just say to do your research.”

BORN FREE., Updated: 31/01/2011 11:35
Bond composer Barry dies at 77

John Barry will be best remembered for his work on James Bond
James Bond composer John Barry has died aged 77, his family said.

Barry, originally from York, wrote scores for films including The Ipcress File, Zulu and Midnight Cowboy but is best known for his long association with 007.

A statement released by his family said: “It is with great sadness that the family of composer John Barry announce his passing on the 30th of January 2011 in New York.

“Mr Barry is survived by his wife of 33 years, Laurie, and his four children and five grandchildren.

“Funeral arrangements will be strictly private and a memorial service will be held later this year in the UK.”

Barry’s arrangement of Monty Norman’s James Bond theme made his name and he wrote songs for many of the films. Including Born Free.

He won five Oscars and was nominated another two times – but never for his work on Bond.

Fellow composer David Arnold, who took over Bond music duties from Barry, said he had “a heavy heart”.

He told fans on Twitter: “I am profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did for music and for me personally.”



Tapping the Salamander

‘Ironopolis’ (the Great City of Iron!).

Teesside Blast Furnes


My town was built from the mining of Iron, Iron brought prosperity and growth to the river Tees,
and the people that lived along it’s banks.
 The Iron rich Cleveland hill’s still bare the scars left by the original rail track.
It leads from the hill’s down to the river Tees.
 Tub’s were hauled up to the mines, by the  powerful and majestic horses of the Shire.
The tub’s then were loaded with ore and were allowed to free wheel back down to the river.
Here it would be turned into the finest of iron and indeed used world wide.
The Sydney Harbour bridge is a perfect example of the structures
 that were built, using Iron clawed from the hills of Cleveland.
But, the final ladle of molten metal shall be poured very soon.
when they tap the salamander for the final time,
 2.500 men will become jobless. Thrown out onto the slag heap of  life, to join the
phantasmagoria of the betrayed !
The "salamander" is the iron residue that has been processed
through the furnace and accumulated at the furnace’s base.
This is an absolute catastrophe for the area,
 a devastating blow inflicted by a bunch of Muppet’s in parliament.
The government could find countless billions to bail out the bank’s.
 (who are now paying out billions in bonuses)
But choose to mothball the largest blast furnace in Europe
and destroy the lives of thousands of men and their families.
I thought Thatcherism was dead !
I understand that at times it is necessary to cut back the dead wood, to allow new growth to flourish.
But where is the new growth coming from and what form shall it take  ?
This is an example of the growth that is happening in my town.

Someone is having a laugh !

The people who are involved with this complete waste of money say ,
" it is a futuristic symbol of the towns prosperity" 
 as they go laughing all the way to the bank,
 avoiding the dole Queue and the depressed faces of the jobless.
Ironic that the erection of this so called "futuristic symbol" of my town, should coincide
with the sending of Iron making into the past.


Well the forecasters managed to predict a cold blast from the continent, bringing along with it heavy snow. It was forecast to hit the north east coast of England today. They were not wrong. As I write I see huge flakes flashing by my window. Whipped by a biting wind they race by, caught in the glow of my outside lamp I see a blizzard.We receive such little snow these days, it seems something of a novelty.

But come the morrow no doubt half the country shall be paralyzed, brought to a standstill by snowflakes.
Images of impassable highways, of people stranded in freezing conditions and I am sure somewhere in England, some poor pensioner shall perish from hypothermia or malnutrition (it happens). Energy prices are crippling people.

The price of electricity is linked to the price of oil. The price of oil has plummeted, so how can the energy companies be allowed to continually "rip off" the population with such disregard for decency.
Riddle me that Mr Brown. !!!

To much gas.

It has become blatantly obvious and true that my message is clear.

If life has proven but one thing to me it is without doubt my solemn duty to inform you now, fearless of contradiction, ridicule, prosecution and any contravention or controversy, that whole heartedly and with conviction that unfortunately, I must admit to you now that I can no longer remember what it was I intended to say.