Bits 'n' Bobs.


Harry Potter Reading Corner Project, pics in comments (X-post /r/harrypotter) • /r/books

I am very, very, jealous.

I really must insist that I have chips tomorrow evening.

But for now, a salad shall suffice… Followed by biscuits.

Picked up a chicken from Morrisons on Friday, with the intention of cooking it tonight.

Fairly routine - cook it tonight to eat as a roast dinner; cut off some tomorrow morning for a sandwich at lunch; finish the remaining as a cooked tea tomorrow evening. 

Upon opening the packaging, it smelt as if said Chicken had been chilling with Richard III, prior to being put into the fridge at Morrisons.

Suffice to say it went straight into the bin. I suppose really I should take it back, but I don’t want the smell permeating into my soul between now and then.

I think I’ll stick with Aldi.

Expensive cast is expensive.

Expensive cast is expensive.


At somepoint between now and December, I really do need to write up a rambling stream of conciousness, on why, whilst I’m more comfortable with the idea of doing book related videos, I continue to be uncomfortable in calling them “Booktube” related books.

I figure ~5 months should be enough time to write it.

tumblr. Why you no let me upload drinks-tea-angrily.gif


Amazon to Spend More Than $100 Million on Original Series in Q3 | Variety


Related: Inc shares slammed as heavy spending to fend off rivals takes toll on earnings.

Amazon should have taken the money they spent on Kindle Unlimited, and their woefully woefully bad smartphone, invested it into Prime, and made it $/£29.99 a year.

Make it £/$29.99 a year BUT if you sign up for two year upfront commitment, you get the base model tablet?

Game over.

Instead they’re continuing to build meh quality tablets, woefully shit cellphones [did I mention it’s woefully bad? ‘cause it is.], and because their Public Relations department continues to be terrible, they’re being painted as some monolithic cuntrag of a company, who’re out to destroy the book industry.

Throw more money at Lab126, and give them the remit to only produce quality hardware, subsidise Amazon Prime - as mentioned above, and for god sake hire a decent PR company, to fix the image problem.

They can start, with highlighting all the way the book industry is determined to restore the net book agreement - that “book lovers” want a return to world of R.R.P actually being what you pay, is beyond absurd. And yet, it’s what’s seemingly happening, with all these little “We pledge to boycott Amazon; we’re with Hachette” articles, co-incidentally being written by folks with interests that are ooh so vested.

/Goes off to angrily drink tea.

(Source: popculturebrain)

Follow-up to previous post.

And then, when I wind up thinking about the Letter of Last Resort I end up - as anyone should really - feeling rather depressed.

So, even though it’s a piss-take, I offer up this from The Day Today.

BBC iPlayer has been down for a few hours. I’m reminded of the scenario for a nuclear attack.

Random Fact: In the United Kingdom - the best of the Kingdoms, I’m sure you’ll agree - the commanders of our Nuclear class Submarines [of which there are four] have a variety of procedures and controls to follow, pertaining to how they’re to launch said weapons.

Most of them revolve around authenticating an instruction that’s received from higher up the command structure.

However. There’s a failsafe in the event of a nuclear attack that wipes out the Government / renders them unable to contact the submarines.

They monitor Radio 4.

At least, according to urban legend, and a book written by a former Intelligence officer.

If the commander of one of the four submarines can’t receive a signal from BBC Radio 4 - specifically the Today show - for three continuous days, they’re authorised to access the Letter of Last Resort, and follow the directions contained within.

Most of the procedures are classified beyond levels even Edward Snowdon could imagine. But there’s one part of the procedure - the final part, of which there’s actually a bit known. It concerns the Letter itself.

Upon assuming office the Prime Minister receives a visit - unfortunately not from the Minister for Magic, but from a high ranking member of the Navy.

During that visit the Prime Minister is instructed to write the Letter of Last Resort. It is done so whilst s/he is alone, and outlines essentially, what will be the last action taken on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom.

Opened only in the event of a debilitating attack that renders the PM, as well as everyone else in the chain of command either dead or incapacitated, the letter authorises the reader to act on behalf of the county, grants them full authority [essentially the person reading it in the Submarine is conferred with the responsibility of Government and the military], and outlines the final instruction that’s to be followed.

It is the moment that a Prime Minister realises the true magnitude of their job. According to legend, Tony Blair emerged from writing his letter looking “Pale and shaken”.

The letter is handwritten four times. A copy is dispatched to each of the four Trident equipped Nuclear submarines, where it’s stored in a safe, locked within a safe, moulded into the floor of the control room. Usually only one such Submarine is on active duty.

Only the Captain knows where in the world it’s located - they’re given instructions to patrol a specific sector, but given the size of each sector, and the fact that the Captain of the ship dictates the course, essentially it boils down to one person sitting alone in a room in Downing Street, writing a letter to another in a submarine.

It assumes that the writer is dead; and that the reader is about to follow an instruction that could kill more people than those that perished during two World Wars.

One rumour about the Letter of Last Resort, is that if a PM is unable to decide what action should be taken, they’re given the option to allow the Submarine Captain to do so.

Essentially, they hand control of sixteen nuclear missiles to the Captain of the ship, and tell him to use his judgement. Unlike a command that’s received from Northwood - the alternate seat of Government, there’s no possibility that it can be a test. When a decision is taken to open the safes, it’s done so knowing that the Government has fallen, and that there’s no one left to issue instructions.

Ultimately the person reading it - who won’t have spoken to their family for three months, due to the radio silence that the Submarine observes whilst on patrol, will hold in their hands a few pieces of paper,with instructions to potentially commit an act the likes of which are unimaginable.

Very few people involved - either in the Government or the navy, have spoken about it. But it’s known that people have chosen to end their careers rather than take up a commission to captain one of the Submarines.

- - - 

Anyways, I just thought of that, what with iPlayer - including iPlayer radio, being offline for most of the day.