Tuesday, 17 December 2019

The mouse that squeaked

As regards Nicola Sturgeon's insistence on a second referendum for Scotland being held, irrespective of the fact that admission to the EU would be most unwise. It is oft said that a boy grows into manhood in the blink of an eye, but a girl has to be kissed into womanhood. I don't know how anyone could meet this lady's desires in any shape or form.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

How To Deal With Unrelenting Interrogators

By that I mean with the likes of Andrew Neil, whose methodology is plain to see.

     He does his research meticulously, in order to focus on any potential weaknesses in those he is interrogating … sorry, I mean interviewing.
     Largely, having challenged the squirming victim sitting opposite, he pokes and prods to find a topic that he can use to upset their initial composure. If they are light on specifics, he will inevitably end up demanding a ‘yes or no’ answer to each loaded question that he spits out.
    This does not work well with those who think on their bums and can challenge him on equal terms, even though he has accumulated expert crib notes at his disposal and can change tack in an instant. Rees Mogg is a classic proponent of combatting this strategy of instant recall of facts and figures, and it will be instructive to see how well Nigel Farage handles the endless whining, repetition of a demand, when Andrew Neil thinks he has his victim verbally impaled.
     Personally, I find Neil to be a boring toad who needs to be combated. His odious style of interviewing is repetitively harrowing and disagreeable. It is also idiosyncratic and his counterpart, Andrew Marr failed dismally to emulate it.
    How could Boris Johnson hope to combat this bewigged droner called Andrew Neil? Quite easily in fact. To start with, he should point out in advance to this throwback to the Spanish Inquisition that he, Boris, is a man who delegates responsibilities to his subordinate ministers, who are the key players in his government. They are all operating at the macro level of economics, and are expected to rule above the operational level, not to be involved with micro economics. This is why he, Boris, has a proven track record in management and feels entitled to ask if Andrew himself understand the concepts of this style of operation at government level? It is ‘Management by Objectives’ in practise.
    Thereafter, every time that a googly is thrown at him by his potential nemesis, he can riposte by saying, “In a matter of minutes, nay, seconds, the accurate answering of questions of detail can be elucidated, in the proper setting of a strategic meeting to decide key objectives, in consultation with my elected deputies of whom you, Neil, are not one.” This can be followed with an invitation to the arch-demon to, “Allow me, the PM, the chance to consult with the relevant minister and his or her team of deputies to respond with definitive answers, subject to confidentiality. Are you game for me to do this, which is the correct way to deal with matters of state?” He could then flourish his mobile phone under the full glare of TV cameras.
    No doubt, Neil will object to this modus operandi and protest, to which a typical response from Boris would condescendingly be, “My dear chap, as the current PM with knowledgeable experts operating at the macroeconomic level at the topmost level of the management of the UK, why on earth would you expect any one individual to carry around, in their head and recall, upon demand, facts that are not of immediate concern? It is claimed that Einstein could not even remember his own phone number! No. management by objectives, in an appropriate setting, is what MY government is all about. This is how I work and am where I am, and you are seated where you are, trying to unravel my train of thought as if I were a one man show, like you operate! What is wrong with you? This is not a presidential election, nor should it be turned into one!”
     Do I need to elaborate on where the reins of power, in the studio, now lay?

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Reported Aerial Activity Over Area 51

For those who don’t about Area 51, it is the officially recognised development establishment for top secret aircraft being built by the USA military.
     Only in recent years has its existence been acknowledged and it is well protected from prying eyes. Get too close and its border guards will swoop on you like menacing hawks. Pilots of commercial aircraft are routinely threatened with being grounded if they lodge reports of encounters with Unidentifiable Flying Objects. This certainly applies to US pilots, especially if in the military.
     Having said that, one pilot has, since retirement, gone public with his claim of what happened on a commercial flight from Saint Louis to San Francisco, when he was co-pilot in the cockpit. This is his story.
     Michael Dinan states that at about 1 to 1:30 am in the morning, the craft was about 40 miles east of Area 51 when Air Traffic Control came on the line and ordered them to make a 90-degree right turn, which they performed. A further 40 miles on, Air Traffic Control again ordered them to make a 90-degree left turn, apparently to divert them from Area 51.
     He looked in that direction and saw what looked like a hologram of a runway open up on the ground. In his own terminology, “Above the runway, it looked as if someone had dumped a glassful of brightly-lit fireflies dancing around in the sky.”
     The crew watched as, “One by one, they took it in turns to make sharp, zigzag turns to land on the runway and disappear from sight. No human could have withstood the whiplash caused by these maneuvers at such high-speed. They were clearly under intelligent control.” This was a multiple sighting that no one reported, for the sake of keeping their jobs.
     Couple this with the fact that, in June 2019, President Trump was briefed this year on navy pilots having seen UFOs performing hypersonic maneuvers that they couldn’t match.
     I for one, having heard what the commercial pilot had reported on The Unexplained Files TV program, have no reason to doubt the authenticity of this 1988 sighting. I take consolation from the possibility that the USA has developed this technology.
     It stacks up well with my persistent research into UFOs and alien encounters, dating back to the early 1940s. I use genuine material in my Sci-Fi books to give them credibility. What a pity that little attention is paid to this exotic genre in book form, until lady luck intervenes or one has good connections.
     There again, I have a daughter whose reading of anything fictional is so remiss that she does not understand that allowing a precocious 12-year old girl, who she knows well, to devote her, unmonitored reading to Stephen King. This could be a tragedy in the making, which the young generation does not always have the acquired wisdom to avoid. Neither do those who should know better, in spite of any of our best endeavours.
     UK spelling applies.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The flight of the Bumblebee

A posting on Facebook:
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ― Ashley Smith

To which I responded:
Yestereve, I watched a travel programme on Guatemala. It was full of women with tribes of small children, all starving after clearing the forests to grow crops and, in the process, contributing to climate change. The men had left to seek work elsewhere and thus feed their families, I guess.
     The only way the world can break this seemingly endless cycle of self-inflicted misery is to sterilize the teeming masses who breed. Yet, I see a never-ending stream of adverts for money to help these poor sufferers, donkeys, snow leopards and the like. Is that the right way to deal with the end of the World as we have known it? How can we live life to the full and inflate our bellies knowing what is going on in that country and others like nearby Brasil?
     I believe in reincarnation, some definitive examples of which involve moving between countries like the USA and India. I can easily anticipate where some of us will end up, hopefully, you rather than me unless you start getting some philosophy and sense of relative proportion in your soul and body!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

A Professional Review of Future World Rolls!

REVIEW I Love Unique Books
The story centers around two specially gifted cops named Charles and Stan. The duo were not only specially gifted; a personality trait that helps them to stay ahead of the pack in their profession but they were equally smart and cocky.
     A combination of physical attractiveness, natural intelligence and alpha male personality all made them irresistible to members of the opposite sex, and the two agents took advantage of it.
     Their philandering nature knew no bounds as they kept having more than their fair share of women, and to make matters worse, the marital status of the ladies that warmed their bed were of no consequence to them. However, Lucile was crushing on Stan but his cockiness kept unnerving her.
     The book is about the two FBI agents adventures and has loads of romance, love and tidbits of poems as an all-expense paid holiday trip turned into an endless stream of fun and excitement. It also touched on issues that take place behind the scene in the lives of agents as well as a futuristic dateline with all the advancements in technology and space travel.

     Future World Rolls has enough thrills to keep the reader turning the pages to the very last!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Now The Healing Can Begin!

Finally, the UK’s zombie parliament can be dissolved and nationwide division and bitterness dispelled –hopefully.
     The TV series “Why We Hate” has put matters into perspective. It is directed by Steven Spielberg and therefore has credibility.
     Leaders in the disciplines of Human Studies have concluded that even sports events like football are highly vulnerable to the rise of hatred. Its underlying cause is tribalism, as demonstrated by studies of our primate cousins. This also occurs where nations compete as opposing tribes and fighting breaks out. I get the message.
     The conclusion to be drawn, at a wary distance, is that aggression can best be dealt with by getting the warring factions to cooperate at a personal level.
     That is the difficulty, for instance, in getting Palestinians to meet with Israelites and cooperate amicably at personal levels. No problem is intractable as long as the means are found.
    A pipe dream? Not for the British citizens it isn’t. I suspect that Boris Johnson can achieve it, with his spirit of bravado and cheeky grin.
     Underneath his clownish, previous posturing and womanizing, there are not the makings of a ‘Tinpot dictator’, but a leader who many have started to hate.
     For the sake of us all, to those whose natural disposition is to be a Remainer or a Brexiteer, step back from the abyss of tribalism, see this negativity for what it is, and give him a decent chance to prove his mettle.
     A simple concept can end hatred. It is called willing COMPROMISE.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Can Wisdom Be Acquired?

Can Wisdom Be Acquired?
This topic was covered in the TV program Why Do We Hate?
A leading anthropologist being interviewed affirmed that the frontal lobe of the human brain, where wisdom is acquired, does not normally fully develop until a person reaches their mid-twenties.
     Having witnessed the behaviour of my granddaughter, who had a university education, I would endorse that statement. The same applies to her mother. It is why I have serious doubts about teenagers being described as adults and being given the right to vote in elections. This right is granted by some leading politicians who have their own, mischievous agenda.
     It is a major reason exercised by the army, who accept youngsters and teach them to follow orders, as squaddies, without question. They were once regarded as ‘cannon fodder’.
    Which brings me back more explicitly to the theme of wisdom.
It is defined, at its most simple, as possessing the qualities of experience, knowledge and good judgement. These are, in my humble estimation, acquired by education, innate intelligence, the lifetime school of hard knocks, also by opportunistic background and by interaction with others. In other words, we learn as we progress, although there can be no fool like an old fool whose senses become addled.
     Linking together the aforementioned qualities of wisdom, the ultimate ability that can be acquired is impartiality. Without this essential ability, prejudicial judgement is often present in people who are regarded as clever, like the Appeal Court justices in the UK and some leading democrats in the USA. It is often clear to discerning onlookers where their sympathies lie.
     The others who are inherently low achievers, tend to spit when they talk, as is evident when they open their mouths. I am of course writing metaphorically.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Saturday in Parliament at the end of this week, along with the demands for Scottish Independence

If a second referendum is called for and passed by a majority of MPs, the delay the country can expect would probably cause major unrest. It would take months to carry out.
     Then, we can expect another tedious delay before the election itself. If this route were to be permitted, the Tory party would be seriously punished at the polls.
     Either way, Labour looks likely to be doomed, especially if Momentum succeeds in keeping Corbyn in power as its leader.
     In addition, if the referendum overturns the result of the first - yet to be delivered - Brexit outcome, it is probable all hell would occur. No, in that event, the most likely occurrence would be the government then declaring a state of emergency and no-deal happening by default at the end of October. Civil unrest would probably have broken out in the meantime.
     How out of touch can opposing MPs be?

How does the Scottish First Minister think the UK will react to her strident insistence on Independence for her country? If it happens, it is highly probable that the rest of the UK will stop subsidising education, its own version of the NHS, university fees, and other such hefty costs paid for by the British taxpayer.
     Plus, it could and should remove its naval bases and cancel its agreed future shipbuilding contracts, to benefit other parts of the UK which would welcome the work. This shortfall would undoubtedly have to be met by their own resident taxpayers, until such time as the EU accepts them as another minnow nation expecting to go on the handout bandwagon that is having their wings clipped by the UK's departure.
     Has the good lady yet absorbed this potential scenario?

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Climate Change

I’ve paid scant attention to the problems associated with climate change, regarding this as a topic outside our control. That was until I watched the TV program called ‘Decoding the Climate Machine’. It ran over two nights on the PBS channel.
     To say that I am horror-struck would be an understatement. In summary, the finger of blame points at us human beings for our impending, dire fate.
     The program started by asking if the recent spate of mega-storms, raging fires, sustained droughts, and severe earthquakes are flukes or trends? It concluded by affirming that it is a long-term trend, as we face a major impact on the relationships between the air we breathe, the land we live on, the seas we pollute, and the ice caps melting.
     The root cause of all of this lies with the greenhouse gases we generate, primarily carbon dioxide. Think long and hard about the meaning of that innocuous word ‘greenhouse’ and its connotations of heat.
     Did you know that 80% of our energy supplies are sourced from fossil fuels? These generate gases as byproducts that contain carbon dioxide; vast quantities are belched into the atmosphere from industrial chimneys.
     In Antarctica, scientists have drilled through the ice to a depth of 2 miles, to extract samples containing air bubbles trapped for up to 800,000 years. They have measured the carbon dioxide in each period against the current level and found an inexorable upward trend that is peaking. Whatever the causes of the torments that the earth faced previously, we are causing them now.
     Scientists have also dredged seashells from mud deposited on the ocean floors at varying depths. They have established that, whilst the seas absorb 98% of the gases we are responsible for emitting, the remaining 2% is also steadily rising This is sufficient to cause coral reefs that absorb carbon dioxide to die, and ice caps to melt at an ever-increasing rate.
     Another group of scientists, in New Jersey, have created a computer model of our planet, slotting its surface into grid blocks so that the rate of change can be predicted under varying scenarios. One likely outcome is that, by 2100, major changes will occur that render many low-lying cities uninhabitable.
     Optimistically, the PBS program is emphatic that we can use our intelligence to take counter-measures to prevent this scenario happening. Some authorities are already building sea defenses to mitigate potential damage. However, we need to take positive action to reverse the damage we are inflicting on ourselves.
     Fracking? Don’t! It generates the use of fossil fuels at its ultimate destination. As far as I can see, the petroleum industry has outlived its usefulness and must be replaced with modern, more costly alternatives that do not produce harmful side-effects. Plastics? Ban them!
     Ways are already being found to replace silicon-based solar cells with a much cheaper and abundant product called perovskite.
     Battery technology is progressing in leaps and bound, to give us zero-emission vehicles. Wind farms are increasing in number, complemented by new generations of solar panels.
     Without a rapid decline in carbon dioxide, we are doomed. Am I optimistic? I would be if the PSB program had not skirted around two major problems. One is the unsustainable number of people inhabiting this planet with its finite resources. Unless we agree voluntarily to significantly reduce from 7+ billion something will happen that may be accidental or ruthlessly induced.
     The second factor is the increasing level of volcanic activity. Our efforts will be puny compared with the volume of gases these monsters can exude, as all of us should appreciate.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Brexit - Seeking legal redemption

Probably the most famous feature of the Old Bailey is the gold statue of Justice atop its dome. She is helmeted but not, as widespread belief has it, blindfolded. The misconception of Justice as always blind is common. Whether the judges at the Supreme Court of appeal are even-handed in their rulings remains to be seen.
     The sword the statue carries is an instrument of justice. The Remainers, in their parochial ignorance, need to be reminded that it is a two-edged weapon. Now is the time to use it against those who decry the wishes of the majority of the population, whose wishes to leave the EU are being denied.
Starting with the Speaker, John Bercow, legal action needs to be taken because he openly believes himself to be unassailably above the law. This needs to be challenged lest he commits any more biased actions against the present government. Hence, it should be swiftly followed by legal action against the who are brazenly trying to assume the role of the current government and intervening to tie the hands of its elected officials by preventing the scenario where a no-deal emerges as the last resort. We have opposition parties denying the present government the chance to hold its own conference, without molestation, to pass new laws in their short absence. The illegality of this is surely undeniable, even by the 11 appeal judges.
     Either way, the Remainers too should swiftly answer for their activities, using their own, chosen paths to judgment.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, with all the trimmings, served on top.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

A bleak political outlook

It is surely blinkered for anyone who is impartial to want another referendum when delivery is lacking on the first?
     I suspect that Boris 's refusal to go cap in hand to the EU to ask for another extension is simply to force the creation of a replacement government by those who oppose him. Else, no-deal comes into force on the 31st October.
     I wouldn't be surprised if the endless defeats by the government are being engineered to this end. The chance is high that the EU will see the writing on the wall and offer a belated deal on the backstop. Too late for us and to their financial benefit. The EU is cash-strapped and badly coordinated.
     That leaves Boris with the rump of badly-brokered Olly Robbins and Theresa May deal. It also leaves Remain MPs looking stupid for their premature actions, and the need anyway for an election in the UK as Winter approaches. Corbyn may get into Downing Street by default, as the SNP MPs grow in numbers at Westminster, and the LibDems and Labour benefit from the collapse of the Tories as the Brexit party splits the vote of core Tory voters.
     I hope that Cummings is as clever as some think him to be and some devilishly clever scheme is being hatched. Or is this it?
     Britain could well be getting a parliament that it does not really want. The inmates are taking over the asylum.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Just how facile can you get?

The UK Ambassador to the USA is a died-in-the-wool EU supporter, who represented the UK in the EU for several years. He was due to retire anyway from his posting to Washington, but it looks like he and his chums at the Foreign Office decided it would be a golden opportunity to thwart the much hated Boris at the hustings, to get his rival Jeremy over the line.
     So what did they do? They resurrected a bile-filled, inflammatory report released much earlier, deriding Trump. It was supposed to be confidential, but said nothing beyond the type of thing that was already being said in public at that time.
     Boris said that he would decide on the ambassador's fate if and when appointed PM. This gave Sir Kim Darroch the ideal opportunity to resign, under the pretext that Boris had failed to support him in public and therefore broken with protocol.
     A previous, knighted Foreign Minister, a mandarin himself, then gleefully launched a tirade against Boris as the first step in a campaign of vilification.
     to my way of thinking the British Foreign Office is anything but impartial, and this sequence of orchestrated events proves just how much a clearout of this institution is needed, along with the House of Lords, unelected as they all are, like the bigwigs in the EU at Brussels.
     If Jeremy gets elected, it will signal the end of the Tory party. I believe. Time will tell.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Apocalypse Soon

     By apocalypse, I mean that a very serious event resulting in great destruction is likely to occur within my lifetime.
     Normally, I would regard climate change as a naturally recurring event that is outside the influence of mankind.
     My attitude changed profoundly when I saw a game-changing program about NASA’s GRACE Project. One of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise’s focus areas is Earth Surface and Interior studies, which includes studying the gravity field.
     The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), launched by NASA on March 17, 2002, is revealing more detail about the gravity field than has ever been available before.
     Data provided by GRACE are substantially improving our knowledge of Earth’s gravity and of a number of important aspects of global change.
     NASA and German scientists now have access to data, using satellites and other tools that identify two regions of the Earth that are causing our planet to alter its poles and rotation. It seems that atmospheric changes, not so subtly or deliberately induced, are causing rapidly increasing changes in weather patterns.
     The finger of blame points at India and its neighboring countries, for changing the flow of water at source on a monumental scale.
     Another finger of blame points at China, for its massive use of cement. It has consumed in three years more than the USA did on the whole of the 20th century.
     These two countries, with their burgeoning populations, are claimed to be the source of the current changes in climate. I am not the author of these accusations.
     The consequences are escalating, although the Trump administration insists that the problem does not exist. Yet, its NASA agency insists that it does.
     The fantastical consequences were then revealed. The USA will become a totally devastated desert, with the mighty Mississippi reduced to a trickle.
     In that eventuality, Trump had better start being nice to his near neighbors, sooner rather than later.
     Europe, on the other hand, will also become uninhabitable because of its thick covering of ice and snow.
     This was its situation 10,000 years ago, when cannibalism was rife and skulls were used as drinking vessels.
     No doubt, those enterprises that were created to evade privacy laws in the USA are aware of what is happening in the Asian continents, due to over population.
     When the ‘dime drops’ with Trump, does anyone think he will hesitate to remedy the impending cataclysm without delay? His own country put at existential risk by other profligates, one with teeming slums, who are at the heart of the problem?
     No doubt those new kids on the block at the Bilderbergers think tanks are also aware of what the Earth faces, hence Bill Gates widely publicized opinion that the worldwide population needs to be reduced to less than 750 million people.
     There is no time to be wasted in getting the numbers reduced, so get ready folks for a dystopian future. It is too late for the mass, painless sterilization for which I hoped.

Initial source: NASA’s Unexplained Files, Series 4, Episode 6, final 15 minutes.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Design of book covers

Recently, I began to focus on designing book covers. Microsoft Publisher was my initial choice, but it has a severe design flaw that resulted in one of their technical staff being allowed access to my PC to seek a solution. The effort did not succeed, so I abandoned the software package and chose another. It is a rival to Adobe Photoshop but only has a one-off fee and lots of tutorials to support it. The problem? Publisher cannot correctly edit unwanted picture backgrounds on export for printing in PDF format. They show as square, white backgrounds surrounding the main image, even though they are invisible within the original publisher picture.
     I have now completed four books in the Snippets series, as per www.terrytumbler.blogspot.com. These are approx. 30,000 words long, self-contained extracts of full-length books and are intended for busy readers who want something shorter to evaluate. The cost to me of handing out these 'snippets' is just over 2 euros each for a paperback.
     I have also completed a rewrite of a full paperback, which is three times as long, with the redesigned cover going through the publishing routine without a hitch, the first time, using Amazon. The ISBN to uniquely identify it in the publishing world is Amazon's own and cost me nothing.
     The software is Affinity Photo, but is not for the faint-hearted. For my specific needs as a cover designer, it is in a vastly superior league to MS Publisher and well worth the €54 I paid. I needed a half-day to get up to speed by finding and viewing online tutorials, plus reading the free, in-depth guide.
     It will save me a bundle in fees paid to professional designers, who typically charge $120. These know all about bleeds, gutters, odd and even pages, margins and the like. So do I.
If anyone reading this needs advice, I can be contacted directly at terrytumbler@gmail.com

Sunday, 12 May 2019

The death of parliamentary democracy

It is a case of too little, too late. The 1922 committee has failed to act in a coordinated way to tackle the impending disaster. It clearly lacks a shared vision and is riven with dissent.
     Now the whole party must fear for its future, which is bleak. Serves its right, for electing a dogged, perverse PM to continue unchecked, acting as a dictator.
     A true, gutsy, leader can only hope to salvage something from this self-imposed failure to honour its basic commitment and do what the electorate wanted.
     After the clearout of the weasels and stoats from parliament, we can start afresh. Let's continue to have and abide by referendums whatever the MPs insist is best for voters.
A new style of participative democracy is coming, but not with the current lot at the helm.