Sunday, 18 February 2018

The grammatical errors that drive me mad... by the man in the grammatical glass-house (glasshouse?)

This tweet by a Conservative MP contains what is currently my least favourite mistake:
"Less" youngsters? Fewer. FewerFEWER! After all, you is like talkin bout edukashun innit? This is a bit hypocritical of me, I know (or, if you prefer, a bit Brendan Cox of me)...

Why didn't the police catch the Hammersmith Nude Murders killer?

Identikit image of the killer
In my previous post, I described some of the background to the mid-'60s Jack the Stripper West London murders, based on Robin Jarossi's intriguing book, The Hunt for the 60s Ripper. What I found particularly fascinating were the author's speculations as to why the police's vast manhunt not only failed to identify the killer, but didn't actually throw up a single convincing suspect. Some of Jarossi's points are obvious - but at least one of them surprised me. Here's a selection:

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Jack the Stripper: the '60s London serial killer time forgot

His first victim was probably Elizabeth Figg, a prostitute whose partially-clothed body was found next to the Thames in Dukes Meadows, Chiswick, in 1959. She had died of asphyxiation, but there was no sign of sexual violence. His next victim may have been Gwynneth Rees, whose body was dumped at a council refuse disposal site in Townmead Road, Mortlake, in 1963. What's certain is that the six prostitutes who were abducted, murdered and found dumped in various sites around West London between February 1964 and February 1965 were all victims of the same serial killer. Because seven of the victims were found partially clothed, the murderer was given the nickname Jack the Stripper, but the case eventually became known by the rather more prosaic and inaccurate title, the Hammersmith Nude Murders - only some of the dead women were abducted from, or found in, Hammersmith, and they weren't entirely naked. The murder hunt was the largest in British criminal history until then,...

Friday, 16 February 2018

"Collateral" - Six and a half years on, I ask the same question: "Why Is My Licence Fee Funding Rubbishy Propaganda by David Hare"

Carey Mulligan - what a waste of her talent
About 20 minutes into the first (and, for me, the final) episode of the BBC's new conspiracy thriller, Collateral, written by the revered left-wing playwright David Hare, a number of thoughts struck me simultaneously:...

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! - White noise machines are an answer to a noise-obsessive's prayers

Two years ago, one of our neighbours had some building work done. It wasn't all that noisy, but I was in the middle of a particularly disruptive bout of insomnia, which meant I was only finally getting to sleep around 6am most nights/days - and the builders were waking me up at nine every morning: I used to sleep with wax ear-plugs in (my ears are weirdly-shaped, and foam plugs won't stay in place), but the hammering and banging was scything through them, no problem. It also meant I couldn't use my study because they were working the other side of the wall, and even listening to music at full blast on headphones wasn't blocking out the noise. I decided to do what I'd been meaning to do for some time and buy a white noise machine. I was sceptical about their potential effectiveness, but, at £50 or so, it seemed worth a punt. I ordered the heptagonal LectroFan from Amazon, plugged it in - and...

SHUT UP!!! Okay, I admit it - other people's noise drives me nuts

Ever since my mid-twenties, I've been annoyed by other people's noise to such an extent that I could probably be described as mildly phonophobic or misophonic, i.e. certain noises in certain situations trigger an instant, almost overwhelming "fight or flight" response - if I can't make it stop, I have to escape it. The effect is so powerful, that it has, over the years, become what Jung termed a "complex" - i.e. a separate personality which temporarily takes over from the normally placid, easy-going, fun-loving, tolerant "real me".  It's different from the anger I feel when someone insults, cheats or threatens me or a member of my family (admittedly an extremely rare occurrence): this tends to evoke a rather icy, controlled sort of rage, whereas the anger produced in me by certain types or noise is very hot - I imagine it's akin to road rage...

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A European Superstate? Where did silly old Boris Johnson ever get such a ridiculous notion!

Honestly! These Brexiteers really do make the most ridiculous claims!...

Reginald D. Hunter on Madonna v. Mrs. Thatcher as role models

I don't know why this clip from a 2011 Live at the Apollo performance has been doing the social media rounds for the past 48 hours - but I'd never seen it, and it surprised me (in a good way):
I'm surprised he was ever allowed back on British television!