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Friday, November 24, 2006

Children in Need Charity Drive

I almost let this one slip by.

In the same spirit as last year I will happily donate £1 per comment on this post to Children in Need. Of course since my readership is down to virtually nil (that's what long periods of non-posting will do) I am going to leave comments open here for 1 week rather than 1 day. I'll try to remember to keep this one on the top until next Friday (Hah -assuming I post anything else before then).

Also make your own online donations here.

Once again there is an undisclosed upper limit, though last year's donation should give you a clue. Get commenting!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Aurora watching

Well, my short trip to Norway to try and catch some aurora has come up trumps. I arrived yesterday and we saw a few faint green arcs through some patchy cloud, but tonight, the skies are clear, and there's quite a show on outside! Here's a picture I took about 30 minutes ago......

[I nearly forgot to mention the two pairs of trousers required to take this shot - the thermometer currently has the outside temperature running at a cool -9.8C, I realise I'm being wimpish but it's still blooming freezing out there!!]

A very nice present for my 30th birthday tomorrow, how Kav pulled this one off I'll never know!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Currently in Norway

I am working up in the arctic at the moment. Lots to do in the next 2+ weeks but nothing will happen unless some bloody packages arrive via DHL. Not impressed at the moment with their local shipping agent; the delivery should have come yesterday but they came out of work hours and when they discovered no one around they left and then called to say they had tried to deliver. If they had called whilst here then someone could have met them within a couple of minutes.

I know the latter for a fact. We arrived yesterday and discovered that they had forgotten to leave our access cards in the lock-box. No one was around but thankfully my colleague remembered that we had a phone number list in our optical hut and so we called the secretary who was able to come and let us in.

What fun!

For those who want more information and are in the know 'wink wink' I will be updating the work campaign blog shortly.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Does this mean...

...that I have to stop doing the Ronald Dumsfeld jokes now?

Scalp one...

Rumsfeld resigns following the Democratic Party success. This is a major thing considering the kind words that Bush said of Both Cheney and Rumsfeld last week.

So much for the wisdom of the Washington Post:

Senior and former officials close to Rumsfeld say he will not be driven out by Democrats throwing their weight around in Congress. He has repeatedly said he would not quit, and defense officials say criticism makes Rumsfeld dig in his heels.

"He's not resigning," said one of those officials. "He's best when he's criticized."

Will this be the only victory of a Democratic House and Senate? Quite possibly. *
Is it significant? Depends who replaces Rumsfeld (Bob Gates).

*though can it be called a victory for the Democratic Congress considering it had little to do with their actions? Some might call it a victory for the electorate

How wrong could I be?

Apparantly 100% wrong.

The senate could still go Republican but it is tight with Webb having made incredible gains as the end neared. I wonder whether Liebermann will now switch to the GOP, his pick-up of republican votes must have said something to him.

So what does this mean for the next couple of years in America? God knows and I certainly don't. I know that some (such as the boys at QandO) were hoping for a measure of gridlock in the government - they may well get it now.

Of course this could actually be a dream result for George Bush. Faced with a war in Iraq that seems to be increasingly spiralling towards civil war and 'defeat' for the Americans the prospect of a Democratic House and Senate that he can blame that defeat on is something of a Godsend. If in the next two years the US manages to turn things around in Iraq somehow, he can claim a victory despite being hindered by a hostile Congress; legacy assured. A lot depends on what the Dems say and do, although they cannot effect foreign policy overmuch they need to be seen to be doing something to sort out the situation over there. What that is, well, they have to figure that out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It is polling day in the US of A.

The midterm elections are upon them and for the left it is time to send a message to Bush that America isn't happy. Of course one could argue that he isn't actually big on listening to messages outside of those he wants to hear. In fact plenty of left wing blogs have made that argument in the past so exactly why they think these elections will make a difference as it pertains to Iraq I am not sure.

Anyway, time for some predictions. I have looked at the polls for the past few weeks and noted a narrowing margin between the Dems and Repubs though still in favour of the the Dems. That said I also not that US polls in recent years have been virtually worthless therefore I predict that the Republicans will retain both houses.

Why do the polls tend to mislead? I don't know, some might claim liberal bias in the situations where they trend left. I have heard one argument that the reason is that the pollsters (or poll sponsors) lean left and so promote a leftward lean in the polls. This seems like crazy talk to me; if I was a lefty pollster and wanted to influence the election I would skew the poll rightward to scare the left supporters into the polling booths. By skewing left one only encourages complacency.

Anyway, like I said. I predict the GOP to hold both houses.

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