Saturday, 24 November 2007

Class War comes to the Gower

Originally uploaded by zippy

Its always nice when the national papers manage to report on a story just near you, rather than wander no further than London.

Our nearest beach, Langland, has always had beach huts and these were always very fairly provided by a ballot that was open to any local taxpayer. You got them for a three month period and then if you wanted them again, you had to put your name into the ballot.

In an effort to reduce their budget deficit, the council has decided to decided to offer 25% of the 80 huts out on a 10 year lease for a £10,000 payment. While this nets the council an immediate £200,000 sum, it means that what used to be a resource that was open to all, becomes something that is only available to those with a spare £10,000.

The council has said that the money will be spent renovating the huts, but has been vague on whether it is all the huts or just those who have spent £10,000.

The biggest shame is that the only people who can really afford the money are the people who live closest to the beach, those who live in Langlands and the Mumbles. Although I should point out, not all of us who live in the Mumbles have a spare £10,000 to spend.

The Observer has the full story called Class Row over beach huts where Dylan Thomas kissed

A Musical Tribute To Apollo 11

A friend of mine, Graham, has released an album called Eleven, which is a musical tribute to the Apollo 11 moon landing.

As well as making a great sounding album, Grahams built a great web site to promote the album and which many aspiring bands and artists could learn something from.

  • The website is about the album itself rather than the artists
  • The look and feel fits in the ambient nature of the album
  • Best of all, an inbuilt music player that allows you to hear a sample from each track
    • The music player uses Flash, which has now overtaken every other plugin to become the defacto standard for audio and visual content on the web
Check it out, try the music and if you like it, buy it for the bargain price of £7.99

How one person can make a difference

When confronted with the questions and issues around climate change and global warming, many people say "What difference can I make" and carry on consuming as before.

Thank goodness that Rebecca Hoskings decided to not to follow this approach. After seeing the affect that plastic rubbish was having on the wildlife on Midway Island in the Pacific, she returned home to the town of Modbury and within a month had persuaded all 43 shopkeepers in the town to stop giving away plastic bags and use cloth bags instead. So far, the local shopkeeper reckon they have kept 500,000 bags from ending up in the rubbish.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Those missing child benefit disks

Good to see that some people still have a sense of humour. The Register found the following for auction on Ebay this morning, shame the spoilsports at Ebay didn't see the funny side.

The disks were advertised as follows....

Here we have two CD-R's for auction. They are not blank, but seem to have some sort of database written to them. I found them in my local courier firm's sorting office, addressed to

"Her Majesties Audit Office - Child Benefits Section" and marked


They were obviously surplus to requirements.

I haven't read the data myself. The database appears to have approximately 25 milion records in it, but is password protected, so it is impossible to read it and it's definitely impossible to extract any bank account data from it.

Any information that you might discover (should you be lucky enough to win the auction for these useful items and read the database thereon) must be kept in the strictest confidence.

0.99p start and no reserve, so grab yourself a bargain. All profit from these items will be donated to Sue Ryder Care.

Cash on collection ONLY please from Portsmouth PO8, since we wouldn't want these to get lost in the post!

PLEASE NOTE: Government departments should contact me by email before bidding, since they will have to be vetted for competence before entrusting such items to them.