Tag Archives: BBC News

Passed. Passed what?

It was expected to be just another lump of dull basalt, but the first rock examined up close by Nasa’s Mars rover proved to be a little more interesting.

The pyramidal object, nicknamed “Jake Matijevic” after a recently passed mission engineer, had a composition not seen on the planet before. Scientists have likened it to some unusual but well known rocks on Earth.

These form from relatively water-rich magmas that have cooled slowly at raised pressures, said Edward Stolper.

This story about Mars Opportunity is full of fascinating information about recent discoveries the car-sized rover has made in Gale Crater on the Red Planet. I have to say I usually like what the BBC’s Jonathan Amos writes, but this one made me stop and wonder.

A recently passed mission engineer. What has he passed? Wind? Go, and not collected £200? His 11+? A-level Chemistry? Driving test?

(With apologies to Mr Matijevic’s family, of course. No offence intended.)

Ah, of course. It’s that odd American English way of saying someone has died.

 

’E’s not pinin’! ’E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ’E’s expired and gone to meet ’is maker! ’E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ’e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ’im to the perch ’e’d be pushing up the daisies! ’Is metabolic processes are now ’istory! ’E’s off the twig! ’E’s kicked the bucket, ’e’s shuffled off ’is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

UPDATE: 14/10/12 Someone at Auntie must read this blog, or sees my Twitter feed. The word “passed” has been edited to “deceased”.

Inconsistent

The BBC’s habit of using a certain form to describe a country or the people thereof is annoying at best. What is wrong with using French/Chinese/Polish rather than France/China/Poland?

Then again, if you’re going to be annoying, at least be consistent about it.

Screen_shot_2012-06-16_at_18

Here we have a fragile-sounding “China woman…” compared to a “Polish village…”. If I was editor-in-chief, it would be a Chinese woman, but going by house style the latter ought to be a Poland village.

There are proper words to describe the things I am writing about, but my brain is being recalcitrant and not letting me find them. I apologise for my poor language. I don’t think it’s contagious.

EDIT: Someone has been subediting and corrected things since I posted—and corrected them against style to boot! Perhaps I have readers who work at the Beeb. 

BBC News – Think-tank calls for all bank holidays to be scrapped

If public holidays were scrapped it would add £19bn to Britain’s annual economic output, a think tank says.

Why not go the whole hog and make the us work 24 hours a day, seven days a week? That would sort out the economy pretty damned quickly!

The Centre for Economics and Business Research is completely wrong on this. Germany has more public holidays than the UK, and has an economy that appears to be recovering nicely.

The CEBR appears to want us to go back to the 19th century. Wage slaves apparently are not entitled to time off, time to relax and be with their families, or to just get away from it all for a short time. As one of the commenters wrote below the article: “Whatever happened to taking pleasure in life?”

EDIT: Simon Price has rightly pointed out the real story here is not the headline from the press release, but who is behind it. 

CEBR is a right wing think tank, run by a friend of George Osborne, the UK’s finance minister. So, no agenda here then. Why does the mainstream media not pick this kind of stuff up, rather than running with the press release alone? They are doing themselves and us a dis-service.

BBC News – Toulouse shootings: Inside the gunman’s flat

Video footage has been released showing the inside of the Toulouse apartment of Mohamed Merah, the man who shot dead seven people.

Tabloid voyeurism of the worst kind. This, to my jaundiced view, adds nothing to the story. It won’t be long before we’re treated to shaky video footage of the bullet-ridden, charred and bloodied corpse after a stand-off like this.

Ack!

BBC News – Lord Foster unveils plans for Thames Estuary airport

But now the new Transport Secretary Justine Greening has refused to rule out the possibility of building an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Speaking at a conference of airport operators Ms Greening, who was appointed last month, said all the options for increasing airport capacity in the South East would have to be considered – including a new airport offshore between Kent and Essex.

So, it seems the plans, despite being dismissed by opponents could, if Lord Foster gets his way, yet fly.

This thing just won’t lay down and die, will it?

Answers, please: what happens to London City Airport, Biggin Hill, Southend, Manston, Stansted, and all the smaller airfields in the vicinity?

What will happen to the environment? It might look like the Hoo Peninsula is a wasteland, but that’s purely because hardly anything human lives there. It’s one of the few truly wild places left in North Kent, and should be left as such.

Why does a UK hub have to be so close to London anyway? What about all the ex-RAF airfields in East Anglia that could be renovated to act as a hub airport? I’d rather revamp a brownfield site that shit upon a green one.

I am concerned that the newly-promoted Transport Secretary appears to be positive to this project. I had been assured by my local MP that the Government was against such large projects in the Thames Estuary. I fervently hope that Kent County Council, Medway Council and the local MPs continue to oppose Boris Johnson foisting projects on an area which is outside his remit.

Best Beloved came up with an idea. If BoJo wants a new London Airport, how about flattening the West End? It would have perfect transport links to the main northern railway routes.

BBC News – Snowdon ascent in 4X4 car was ‘impulsive’

Craig Williams, I salute you. You are man enough to try to admit to and explain your actions, even though you can’t really explain why you did what you did.

I can’t find it in myself to condemn your actions—indeed a part of me rejoices that there are still people out there in this benighted country willing to take the risk to do such things. Although there will be expense and some danger in retrieving your 4×4, no-one was actually hurt in this escapade. I think you will take your punishment on the chin, and may your impulsiveness continue!