A Few Cranks

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"This is truly pioneering work: we believe we are the first county in England to deliver local government reorganisation and run a devolution deal at the same time.  On the local government front, North Yorkshire County Council and seven district and borough councils will merge to form a new single unitary council, which will work closely with the City of York Council, from April 2023."

"He or she could be a seasoned statesman, a rising political star or an inspirational business leader – whoever might get elected in 2024 will be a new national champion to speak up on the issues that count and help us fulfil our outstanding economic potential as Britain’s first city region rural powerhouse."


"On the sidelines you have a job to do in what I called a new department. That is a bit of an exaggeration."





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'Darwin said So'

"If the first casualty of war is truth, then the second must be the increasingly intolerant, repressive and anti-Russian sentiments across sections of British society. Keir Starmer’s threat to remove the whip from 11 MPs if they criticised Nato is an astonishing piece of thought policing..."


"The silence shows that the border between the centre right and the far right has fallen into disrepair."




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The Fifth Columnist

"“I work in a beautiful old place, I bring something to the city that I love, I keep alive an amazing tradition,” Ms. Berdoz said. “But I also get to shout in the name of women, which is my contribution to feminism.”

"“At the end of the last ice age, South America was home to strange animals that have since vanished into extinction: giant ground sloths, elephant-like herbivores and an ancient lineage of horses. A new study suggests that we can see these lost creatures in enchanting ocher paintings made by ice age humans on a rocky outcrop in the Colombian Amazon...”"

"Ms. Lamamra said, when it comes to issues like equal pay for women, a fair balancing of child care and household chores, and bringing more women into labor sectors traditionally reserved for men.

And while Lausanne may at last have a woman on night watch, all of Ms. Berdoz’s colleagues are men. She is part of a team of six assistants to the senior night watch person, a man."

"What Inversion is trying to do is not easy. Designing a vehicle for re-entry is a different engineering challenge than sending things up to space. When a capsule enters the atmosphere from space, it is traveling at such high speeds that there is the danger of burning up — a huge risk for human travelers and precious nonhuman cargo alike."




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'Local Residency'

"Our small Ryedale communities are yet again under attack whilst huge housing development is being proposed in our larger, so-called ‘Service Villages’...  If you want your village to become a commuter village for York or Leeds or Scarborough, and its character to change beyond recognition, sit on your hands and watch the ‘The Sands’ explode."




"Not exactly the bouquet our food tourists are looking for."

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'Welcome Back'

"Events and celebrations should respect the most recent Government advice."


“When I’m older I want to drive LMP cars that are even faster than F1 cars, or I’ll join my friend Zak at school in becoming a computer game maker.”

"The fund allows a more flexible approach around supporting public space, it does not necessarily need to be adjacent to commercial areas, making it easier to support for example promenades."

"Not all superheroes wear capes; this one wears green!"



"Did you know up to a third of heat disappears through the roof?"


"The maps will help them discover what we have to offer in terms of fascinating history, first-class landscapes, wildlife, walking, sport and fun family attractions.”


"... as soon as next week."

How Convenient.

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'Barcoded Crates'

"The brimming bookshelves at Boston Spa are a direct result of what is known as the Legal Deposit Act.

"That act means a copy of every work which has been published in the UK as far back as 1662 is placed in the British Library - with that rule expanded to include digital publications such as websites and blogs from 2013 onwards."


"Islamabad warned Delhi to "be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence" and to avoid a repeat."



"The act is in place to ensure the nation's published output is collected systematically and preserved for future generations to provide inspiration for future works."

A "milkshake for grownups"...


"A future ambition is to open a new British Library site at Leeds' landmark Temple Works building, turning the derelict mill into its public face in the North, with the scheme currently at the feasibility study stage."

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A Tinder Box

"It's just moral ideology and it's time we stopped giving credence to white, middle-class lobbying groups because they feel uncomfortable with the work we do."


"The concept of the freedom of the press is under siege"



"Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been described by politicians and commentators as a watershed moment in modern history, a turning point comparable in importance to the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and even the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963."




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'That's a big If'

"“It’s a big step in the progress of the smooth transition. We have said all along we want to keep the local in local government. We believe you can be an authority at scale and also locally accountable.”"

"Because they have been shut out by our electoral system, they long ago developed a much craftier and more light-footed way of operating: making as much noise as possible outside the normal structures of power and politics while encouraging rebellious Tories, and thereby putting continual pressure on the Conservative party via its right flank."


"Faced with a prime minister as weak and biddable as Boris Johnson, all these people know that their key task is a kind of elevated trolling."


"“It is a fresh start in as much as its a new council. We are putting a lot of effort into these work streams at the moment to be safe and legal, as well as making sure it’s business as usual, on vesting day so residents and the businesses we serve don’t notice a difference.”"


"King Henry VII authorized a second, larger expedition for Cabot in 1498. This expedition included five ships and 200 men. Cabot and his crew never returned. They are thought to have been shipwrecked in a severe storm in the North Atlantic."


An Arctic Archipelago.

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Emerald Fields

"At some point in the stretch of days between the start of the pandemic’s third year and the feared launch of world war three, a new phrase entered the zeitgeist, a mysterious harbinger of an age to come: people were going “goblin mode”."


"If we are serious about energy security, as a very basic first step we must not concrete-up these wells."


"Hockney is not convinced that was a good idea, though. Perspective, he believes, is a limited way of seeing."

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A Gaslit Stove

"Nothing wrong with being polite, of course. But both literally and metaphorically, we really don’t have to fall over ourselves running to assist these people."


"Here they come, trotting with intent, a phalanx of shirt-sleeved, riot-shielded protect-and-servers who may or may not be available inside of six weeks next time your house is burgled."



The NYCC election packs are now out ... the register is not available until next week with purdah starting on 31st March?



A Thick Plume

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Mesolithic Boulangeries

“How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll let you know.”


“It was terrible weather and we didn’t have long to do our survey, but straight away we found a hammerstone – a 10,000-year-old flint core used to make other flint tools,” says Gaffney.



"I am not interested in being fascinating to all people. If some people think I am boring, then hurrah."

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Solar & Silica

""If you went in your backyard and picked up some sand, that's silicon — it's everywhere," 

"[But] there is a global imbalance as to where the high grade, metallurgical silica is found in the natural environment.

"At one point we are going to see a disparity, we are going to see a point where we won't be producing enough metallurgical grade silicone that is required to meet the energy demand that we have."


"A recent reboot of the Yorkshire Coast Bathing Water Partnership has also lead to the group setting itself higher objectives for the bathing water cleanliness along the Yorkshire Coast...."


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Glacier Mints

"As inflation and the cost of living soars, our members have been left with choosing whether to buy food or heat their homes."


"Sources close to the matter said that, while the company's official position had not changed, it did acknowledge that the economic, political and regulatory environment had changed enormously since the decision was announced just three months ago."


"The government is due to unveil its energy supply strategy early next week."


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'Flora & Fauna'

"North Yorkshire County Council’s deputy leader Councillor Gareth Dadd told the first meeting of an executive to oversee the transition from eight councils to one that the 90 members elected in May should press the unitary authority to achieve the savings forecast during the recent debate over local government reorganisation."




"Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the funding would help the World Service broadcast directly into both countries."


"All completed nomination papers must be returned to our elections team at Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG by 4pm, Tuesday 5 April."


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An Hypothecation

"The worst fall in the standard of living since records began. The highest level of taxation since the 1940s. More than a million people to fall into absolute poverty. Nothing for the out-of-work and disabled. Food and energy prices spiralling out of control."


"The chancellor loves a lap of honour when he can smile coyly and luxuriate in the “Dishy Rishi” applause for his generous cash bailouts. But when things all go tits up and it’s clear there is no real plan for protecting the economy then he’s as thin-skinned as any other politician with an eye on the top job."



"At least the chancellor had the good grace to abandon the words “levelling up” and “net zero...”

Traditional Enamelling.

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A 'Clockwork' Razor

"They were definitely electric lights, not gas lamps, they were far too tall to be gas. “If they were gas lamps, how would you have lit them?”



"The station’s purpose was to bring about the ‘electric lighting of the city’, according to a news report of the time."



"The ornate, art-nouveau design of the top of the lamps was distinctive, he says – and quite possibly unique."



“Perhaps someone will say ‘Oh! I’ve got one of these in my garden!”

Big Ears.

Thou must not Stamp on Daisies...

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A Quartz Crisis

""It's a very rare complaint, but when it does come along, it makes you realise people can still have preconceived ideas about what culture is, who it's for and how it should be performed. We really embrace ripping that up."


"Why has legendary pirate queen Madam Ching come searching for a lost treasure? What terrifying forces lurk beneath the oceans of the nineteenth century? And did Yaz really have to dress Dan up as a pirate?"


"However, the Snake Island incident also has been cited as a case study of how unverified information had the potential of spreading during the war."

An asteroid that shares Earth’s orbit ...


"Further transmission details will be announced in due course."


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The Avocado Toast

"I’m not entirely sure why we need to start creating genetically modified cats instead of just, say, making better antihistamines. Still, I’m glad to see some of the best minds of our generation are working on the really tough questions."




"This May will see the return of the Big Ideas by the Sea festival, with workshops and music and performances exploring the theme of transition."



"The ambition is to draw people in Scarborough into big conversations, particularly around creativity and the environment, as well as bringing people to the area, covering a broad range of issues from climate change to sustainability, performance, writing and poetry."

Have a mean day.


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Com Posting Extravaganza

"That banana peel in the waste bin will eventually, naturally decompose, as will all organic waste, thanks to helpful microorganisms in the environment that feed on the decaying detritus."


"This comes after Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit minister, declared that he supported “exploiting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea” the day the report was released."


"Also, during the second stage, temperatures continue to rise and if not closely watched, the compost pile can get so hot that it can eventually kill off all the help ful micro organisms."




"A carbon-to-nitrogen ratio between 25 to 1 and 30 to 1 is ideal for rapid composting"


“Welcome to the fast train to nowhere and the slow train to everywhere.”


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Stage Four

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No Illusions

"The technique was halted in the UK in 2019 amid opposition from green groups and concerns over earth tremors, but there have been calls to rethink the ban, given the recent rise in the cost of energy."



"France faces a brutal two-week campaign over the country’s future... “Don’t be mistaken, nothing is decided, and the debate we’ll have in the next two weeks will be decisive for our country and for Europe”.



“For people towards the bottom end, there’s nothing to cut back on. It is not an exaggeration to say that there are people we have to prevent freezing or starving.”

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Incredible Volatility

"The UK produces enough food to cover about 60% of its needs, however many in agriculture fear a persistent lack of workers following Covid and Brexit – while seasonal worker permits for people coming to the UK to pick crops and flowers are limited to 30,000 a year by government – combined with soaring costs are putting so much pressure on farmers that some may choose to leave the industry..."




"The proposed mine would remove coking coal from beneath the Irish Sea for the production of steel in the UK and Europe."




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Breaking Bad?

"You don’t need to be an esteemed political historian to work out that politicians defending prime ministerial lawbreaking will be doing something devastating and long-term to trust in the whole of politics."


"Newcastle’s Boiler Shop saved an important part of our industrial heritage (the first steam locomotives were built there) and puts on industrial music from the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten alongside the wildly popular Bongo’s Bingo."


"We’ve all forgotten the bit where the government cleared the broadcast schedules at 5pm every night to impress on the British people the life-or-death importance of not breaking parking regulations."


"From 3 May, the Ukraine extension scheme will be open for applications. This will allow people to stay for three years and switch to a different visa route, allowing them to seek alternative employment. However, it does not apply to those not working on farms at the time applications are made whose visas expired on or before 31 December 2021."


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A Quantum Shift

"The right to roam exists over only 8% of the country."


“I think we are blessed in this country with hundreds of thousands of miles of public footpath to allow people to access the countryside. We have to recognise the countryside is not just a place of leisure, but it is also a place of business and food production.”



"“It is really important that these ad hoc boards which are made up of people who are otherwise unaccountable to the general public and spending public money do as much of their business in public as possible. That being said it is not a criticism at all of the contribution of those who volunteer to support our town by being members of the board bringing huge expertise to the process, which is very highly valued.

“I am certain that they would not want the value of their work to be undermined by any perception that deals are being done in secret and behind closed doors.”"


"The Crown Estate said it “marked an important step towards helping the UK meet its net zero and energy security commitments”, referencing the recent raised ambition, while underlining there are no alternative solutions for delivering the nationally important objectives."