Scrapbook for October 2019

Posted on  UTC 2019-10-01 02:01

19.10.2019 – Citation functionality changes

The citation function has been extended.

Every major block element within the body of an article (paragraphs, quotes, images etc.) has a unique ID, which, when appended to a page URL, will address that element directly. Because some of our articles are rather long, the ability to link to any particular element directly can avoid the need for much scrolling and searching.

New: A double-click anywhere in such an element will now copy the complete URL of that particular element into the citation field at the bottom of the page.

FoS image, size 708x346

A double-click anywhere in the paragraph beginning 'There are reports that some people in Sweden…', here for example on the word 'people', places the URL to that paragraph in the citation field. A single click on the citation field will copy its contents onto the clipboard.

A double-click directly on a normal image element will also copy its URL into the citation field. However, if the image is interactive in any way – such as opening a larger image or playing a video – the function will not work.

New: A single click on the citation field will transfer the URL to the clipboard, making it easy to use it for citations and links.

[This two-step procedure is necessary because most modern browsers for security reasons do not allow webpages to write data directly to the clipboard.]

Unchanged: You can still select and copy text within the field at will. The 'Cite' button at the bottom of the page also works as before.

18.10.2019 – That Brexit Deal thingy

Amid today's media cacophony about the Boris™ deal, two points need to be made.

The first comes from Richard North, currently passing through a sane phase. He points out that from the EU point of view this deal is anything but accepted: many procedural and legal hurdles have yet to be jumped.

The second comes from the veteran MP and solid Brexeteer Sir John Redwood:

The Withdrawal Agreement is unchanged, so I have no need to update my comments on it which set out the problems with it, especially concerning the powers of the ECJ and the money.

The Political Declaration is improved. It now makes it clearer that any joint military actions requires the consent of the UK government. More emphasis is given to basing a future trade relationship around a Free Trade Agreement.

The Declaration whilst confirming we become an independent coastal state for fishing purposes puts our fish back into play with the prospect of a new fishing quota and access based agreement with the EU.

It suggests the future agreement is based on an EU Association Agreement, designed to get countries to converge with the EU prior to joining. This is not a good model. The ECJ remains supreme over issues of EU law in any dispute.

The reworked Northern Ireland protocol raises the issue of how could Northern Ireland extricate from following EU rules and customs practices?

This is an important question, as this draft Withdrawal Treaty does not have an Article 50 allowing unilateral exit .

John Redwood's Diary.

The 'EU Association Agreement' of which he writes will be the same sort of construct as the Framework Treaty that is currently being forced upon the Swiss.

The Boris™ bluster that duped his admirers into thinking that the UK would leave the EU on 31 October was just that: mendacious bluster. He was always a strategic Remainer tactically pretending to be a Leaver.

01.10.2019 – A geological excursion

The proposal to introduce a geological epoch with the name Anthropocene, in order to emphasise the damage done to the Earth by the pestilential human species, was recently rejected by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the body which regulates such things.

Despite that rejection, articles propagating the term Anthropocene continue to appear frequently in the media: in geological terms, the intention is to wear down the rock of the ICS's decision with the drip, drip of activist water.

This website wishes to resolve the situation with a new proposal: the creation of two new geological epochs – short but clearly defined.

The Gretaceous will cover the period from the beginning of 2019. At some point a few years later this will give way to the Poorassic, when human civilisation, starved of energy, will return to the jungles and caves where it should have remained all along.

01.10.2019 – Greta Thunberg: climate victim (2)

If anyone doubted Greta Thunberg's vulnerability and general psychological fragility they only need to watch her painful performance before the United Nations. No one has escaped seeing that.

But just as painful was her performance on the panel of UNICEF press conference on 23 September 2019. Was she exhausted, emotionally drained or just unable to function without prompt cards? Or, perhaps, all of them. Whatever the answer, she is definitely in a bad place at the moment. Here are the four minutes of Greta's contributions to the forty-six minute long press conference.

[00:04-00:28] Lady from Swedish TV: Long 'how do you feel' question for Grrreeeeeetaa.
[00:33-01:16] Greta: What I am hoping to achieve and I think we all are, I can't speak for everyone but to … I mean … what I … is to … raise awareness and to raise attention on this crisis and to actually … make it clear that it was thirty years ago that you signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child and … and world leaders have failed to kept what their promised. They promised to protect our rights and they have not done that, so … yep.
[01:16-01:18] Lady from Swedish TV [almost inaudible]: Can I ask you how you feel about your speech?
[01:19-01:24] Greta: I think that is not for this. [applause]
[00:31-01:59] Gent from Swedish press: What kind of message would you send?; Is it about time that President Trump would respond to what you have said today?
[02:02-02:12] Greta: Errm … I think … I'm sorry, what was the first question?
[02:14-02:18] Gent from Swedish press: What's the message etc.
[02:19-02:32] Greta: I think what we want to send is … the message we want to send is to say that we have had enough and … err … Anyone else want to answer that question? I can't speak on behalf of everyone. [No volunteers]
[02:44-02:18] Gent from Swedish press [almost inaudible] repeats part 2 of his previous question attempting to get Greta to say something bad about President Trump: What about President Trump [inaudible]?
[02:48-02:52] Greta: I think maybe you should give some questions to the others as well.
[03:06-03:19] Lady from UK Channel Four News: … is there any point to this climate summit – this global summit – if the US, one of the biggest polluters, doesn't bother to show up? [applause]
[03:28-04:06] Greta: Of course it's the point because everything matters, everything we do matters and this is a huge opportunity for world leaders to actually prove that they have … they are united behind the science and that they are going to take real action … so … No, I don't think this is wasted, I just hope something good will come out of it, I hope it will have a good outcome, but we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst … and continue even though it has a bad outcome.

If you want the full forty-six minute horror of the press conference (gooey adults, whiny brats) it is on YouTube.

There are reports that some people in Sweden are attempting to involve the Swedish social services in Greta's welfare. If these reports are true then we will be able to observe an interesting clash of political cultures. Let's hope something happens soon.