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Global temperature tracks sunspot activity almost exactly. Number of sunspots now? Zero. Cold times are coming.



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Justice for hillbillies!

Nah. Actually, except for the slightly wonky vowels, I enjoyed it. Good on them!

Some things are worth remembering:

Two legends, great guitar, great words:

I watched this tonight. Wow! What a great movie. The special effects are a bit cheesy in just a couple of places, but story and characters are compelling throughout. I loved it.

I loved the book, and the 1959 movie with Charleton Heston. The new movie version, due in cinemas in August 2016, looks great!

But not this:

Even when the oceans rage, I don’t have to be afraid.

Even when I fail, you are the same forever.

Your love never fails.

OK. Yep. That explains quite a lot, actually…


Just a few thoughts on garrisons for anyone starting in the new WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor.

Your first large building should be the Barracks. This gives your followers access to patrol missions which level them up faster.

You should keep your followers running missions all the time. They will continue to work even while you are logged out. Take the missions which award garrison resources, rare items, and the purple experience missions. I didn’t think the missions that rewarded gold were worth the cost in resources to accept the mission.

Your followers will gain experience from every mission, even if the mission fails (they just won’t get any bonus items or rewards), so keep them going all the time. Except that the gold missions are a waste, don’t worry about the cost in garrison resources, you’ll make it back later on.

Once you get a couple of followers up to level 100, change from Barracks to Dwarven Bunker. The bunker doubles your chance to gain rare or epic items as quest rewards, and increases their level. If you take this option you will end up with heroic dungeon level gear with no extra effort.

Your first medium building should be the Inn. At level one this gives you extra dungeon quests, not so thrilling, but at level two you can virtually make followers to order with the specs you require, while level three gives you valuable treasure hunter quests.

If you enjoy pvp your second medium building should be the Gladiator’s Sanctum. If not, it doesn’t really matter.

Your first small building should be the Enchanter’s Study. You will have lots of gear to disenchant, and the study lets you disenchant without being an enchanter. When you upgrade the building later, you (or a follower with enchanting), and this too applies even though you don’t have enchanting, can create enchants for neck and cloak.

Your second small building should relate to your crafting profession. This will teach you that skill up to 700, and give you a range of new recipes. If you don’t have a crafting trade, pick the building that relates to the gear you wear.

Simply questing through the zones will give you new followers, and some quests reward with garrison resources. Your garrison also generates resources on its own, so you won’t run out. You will need to save to cover the high cost of later upgrades though.

At 92 you get a couple of quests to access your mine (even if you don’t have mining). At 94 for fishing, and at 96 for your herb garden. Do these quests as soon as you reach those levels, and if you don’t need the resources they give you, sell them on the AH.

Have fun!

Just discovered this wonderful little app. If you have a Windows, Android or IOS based device, you can download and listen to music mixes compiled by people from anywhere in the world. Just search for 8tracks in the app store. It’s free.

Many of them are just brilliant. If you have a PC you can log in to the 8tracks site and create and share your own compilations.

The search facility is confusing, and you cannot access a list of tracks in each 8tracks mix. But it is still doubleplus good.

My latest article for Quadrant Online:

I  am not sure whether Steve Kates is simply being curmudgeonly in his  review of the film of the musical Les Miserables, or really does believe  it to be “a two hour and 40 minute indulgence in the worst kind of  socialist idiocies.” If the latter, he is wrong.

The  film has several faults. Chief among them is Russell Crowe, who employs a single facial expression throughout; surly. He does surly very  well, but one expression is not enough to cover the complicated  character of Inspector Javert, who struggled with the same questions as  Valjean but chose differently. Also, Crowe can’t sing, or certainly not  well enough to convey convincingly the drama of Javert’s righteous  conviction, or at the end, his inner struggle.

Hugh  Jackman, by way of contrast, employs three facial expressions; happy,  sad and troubled. Troubled also covers angry. Three expressions in a  single movie prove that he is an actor of great depth, so it is likely  he will win a Golden Globe in 2013, or perhaps some other plastic  statue.

The  real surprise was Anne Hathaway, whom I have always dismissed as an  airhead. Her depiction of Fantine creates some genuinely moving moments  in a film otherwise painted in lavish strokes of mere sentimentality.

Read the rest at Quadrant Online.

I don’t know what else to call it.

Someone, I assumed the dimwits behind the ESL – Eurosoft ripoffs, but I am not sure, signed me up for a casual sex dating site called rudefinder.

When I got the welcome email I went to the site to see what it was. Cor!

For a start, there is page after page of young ladies, many of them in the most absurd poses, showing off their naughty bits.

Maybe it is just me, but surely the normal reaction to seeing someone with her legs in the air, using her fingers to spread her vulva so her vagina and anus are exposed, is one of revulsion. I cannot imagine why you would find photos like that of someone you do not know attractive or interesting.

Unless you are simply an animal (ie, you believe the lie that “You and me baby we ain’t nothing but mammals”), the whole point of a sexual relationship is the complete, open, trusting sharing of yourself with another person, with openness to the possibility of new life. To my mind, this can only take place in the context of marriage. Sex in any other context is always and necessarily less than it should be, and ultimately harmful to those who participate in it.

It was plain within about ten seconds that rudefinder was a scam. Amongst the first few ladies listed as possible matches for me were about twenty who claimed to live in Muston. Muston is a tiny settlement of about fifteen people, most of whom I know. Others were listed in places such as Haines and Kangaroo Head, often with claims that they enjoyed going to clubs or bars in those localities. But those places are simply rural areas with small populations and no townships whatever, the closest thing to a club being a fencepost where some of the locals gather from time to time for a chat.

Curious, I uploaded to my profile a couple of photos which I copied from another website, and sent a message to about twenty of these purported young ladies, saying I was interested, and inviting them to message me back. A few of them had already messaged me or ‘winked’ at me, so if they were real, the chances were pretty good that at least one would respond. Nope.

To check, I created another profile with my place of residence listed as Dimboola. And lo and behold, the same sex starved young ladies, same names, same pictures, who were so desperate to meet me in in Muston or Macgillivray on Kangaroo Island had all now moved to such unlikely places as Cry Melon or Pimpinio. And some of those same young ladies also immediately sent me winks and messages.

This is a very cleverly scripted scam site. Whatever your postcode, you will find dozens of lonely sex starved young ladies within a few miles. They are so desperate to meet you they will message you as soon as you join the site. All you need to do to get in touch is hand over your credit card details. Except the young ladies don’t exist, and the winks and messages are computer generated.

A google check revealed that rudefinder and justhookup are the same thing. Same profiles, same sign in credentials work on both. Both scams.

Of course, if you sign up for a site like this you are an idiot anyway. But that doesn’t mean you deserve to be ripped off.

Finally, I wonder whether there is a link between the CFS ESL Eurosoft scams and these websites. The same thinking motivates both – greed, a cold lack of regard for others, and the belief that if people sign up it is their own fault and they deserve what they get.

Also, this guy, prominent on both rudefinder and justhookup, looks vaguely familiar:

Rudefinder/Justhookup Another Branch of ESL/Eurosoft?

And then of course there is Larry Pickering’s talent both for smut and for stock trading and sports software scams.

Just saying…

Michelle Jenneke easily wins her heat at the IAAF Junior World Championships last week. She’s got personality too!

She came fifth in the final, a not discreditable result. On to Rio in 2016.

Well done Michelle!