A Millennium Rome

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"The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (RB) (Reference 21/100) in respect of the Better Homes project to use Council owned land to accelerate the delivery of quality affordable homes across the Borough."



"The Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium.It is the eighth largest building in the world by usable volume.."


"In respect of the implications of local government reorganisation, the Monitoring Officer recognised the importance of this project for the benefit of residents of the Borough. However, she did need to be clear that any Structural Changes Order brought about in relation to reorganisation may affect the future progress of the project. In addition, there was no guarantee that any successor authority/authorities would opt into the arrangements. That being said, any reorganisation would not come into effect until 2023 at the earliest, which left the council with time to make progress on this significant project.  In the meantime, officers would make the case for this key policy initiative to any successor authority."


""Currently, 2,000 families are on the housing waiting list here which is compounded by an historical lack of one or two bedroom properties."



"There are no such stakes in today's race. The values of the future aren't in question, merely the egos of three billionaires. Two of these men are going to use their private spaceflight companies to launch themselves off of this planet within the next few weeks"

And there we were thinking the local Radio was just a public propaganda entity... ;-0


Is it still there?

That was slightly rude.. 


Whatever, two rather excellent pieces of work ... and it would have been rude not to mention them. 

Easy Life.





Captain Qahn's picture

The New Space Race

"The last century's space race was a competition between the world's great powers and a test of their ideologies. It would prove to be a synecdoche of the entire Cold War between the capitalist United States and the socialist Soviet Union.

The starting pistol in the race to the future was fired in 1961 when President John F Kennedy committed to "achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth" and it ended with a US victory on 24 July 1969 when the crew of the Apollo 11 mission splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

There are no such stakes in today's race. The values of the future aren't in question, merely the egos of three billionaires. Two of these men are going to use their private spaceflight companies to launch themselves off of this planet within the next few weeks, so here's how they compare and what you need to know:

"My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars," said Sir Richard Branson announcing that he was going to be among the first people his spaceflight company launches on a mission.

Unfortunately, not only will Virgin Galactic's mission fall short of the stars, the two-and-a-half hour mission will also fall short of space, at least according to the internationally agreed definition.

VSS Unity is a spaceplane (perhaps just a plane?) that launches in mid-air from the belly of a carrier aircraft at an altitude of about 15km, and then flies up to an altitude of about 80km, allowing the passengers to feel nearly weightless for approximately six minutes and glimpse the curvature of the Earth.

The problem for Sir Richard is that the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) defines the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space as 100km above Earth's mean sea level, the so-called Karman Line, 20km higher than he is going to travel.

The definition of the edge of space is a bit of a challenge. Earth's atmosphere doesn't suddenly end but becomes progressively thinner at greater altitudes. In very simple terms, physicist Theodore von Karman's solution was to define the edge of space as the highest point at which an aircraft could fly without reaching orbital velocity.

While Karman himself and the FAI regards this altitude as 100km, Sir Richard has the US Air Force and NASA on his side. They both place the boundary of space at 80km above mean sea level, partially because putting it at 100km would complicate issues regarding surveillance aircraft and reconnaissance satellites for the US - although the Department of Defence subscribes to the FAI definition.

It's not clear whether this definition is covered by the small print of Virgin Galactic's customer tickets, but ultimately the company aims to be operating multiple space tourism flights a year, and already has more than 600 customers for the $250,000 (£189,000) seats - including Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio.

"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space. On 20 July, I will take that journey with my brother," said Jeff Bezos, announcing his seat on a journey to the edge of space.

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is capable of actually making it there, with a maximum achieved altitude of above 100km, but how high it will bring its four passengers hasn't yet been confirmed.

These passengers will be Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, a mystery customer who paid $28m (£20m) for the seat in an auction, and 82-year-old Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk, a woman who had astronaut training in the 1960s but was denied the chance to go into space because of her gender.

While the mission will be scooped to launch by Virgin Galactic, by inviting Wally Funk it has managed to scoop Branson on getting a famous victim of gender injustice into space - she had previously put money down to fly with Virgin Galactic.

It will take three minutes to take the passengers up to the required altitude, at which point they will have three minutes more in which to enjoy their sudden near-weightlessness. They'll be allowed to unbuckle their seatbelts and float around, as well as examine the curvature of the Earth through one of the capsule's windows. Just over 10 minutes after launch, the spacecraft will land back on Earth.

The 20 July flight will fittingly occur on the anniversary of the moon landings in 1969, but unlike the Apollo missions there will be no human piloting the modules. Instead, Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft is completely autonomous and will follow a programmed mission timeline before parachuting back to Earth.

The company has said that it expects to sell seats for more tourism flights in the future, but it isn't clear how this will happen and the tickets for New Shepard are yet to go on general sale.

"I want to die on Mars - just not on impact," Elon Musk once quipped, although he hasn't announced his immediate intention to travel into space at all.

Unlike both Bezos and Branson, Musk's private spaceflight company, SpaceX, has a long and successful history of launching payloads way beyond the 100km mark.

SpaceX has announced it will be launching an all-civilian mission into orbit by the end of the year, with the passengers actually orbiting around the planet for up to four days before returning to Earth.

All four crew seats on the mission have been paid for by Jared Isaacman, the founder of Shift4 Payments, who has declined to reveal the costs.

Isaacman is donating two of the seats to St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, with one being given to a staff member there, and another intended to be raffled off to a member of the public. He hopes to raise $200m (£145m) for the hospital, alongside a $100m (£72m) donation of his own.

Elon Musk hasn't mentioned flying on this mission himself, although he has long articulated a plan to travel to Mars, plans that have been described as a dangerous delusion by Britain's chief astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees.

Back in 2016, Musk outlined his vision of building a colony on Mars "in our lifetimes" - with the first rocket propelling humans to the Red Planet by 2025.

For many years the company used an image of the Martian surface being terraformed (turned Earth-like) in its promotional material. However, a NASA-sponsored study published in 2018 dismissed these plans as impossible with today's technology.

Recently Musk has tweeted he believed it was "possible to make a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050, if we start in five years" but as of yet, SpaceX has not planned any missions to the planet."



Captain Qahn's picture

The Jab A Wokey

"Council meetings have been held online during the pandemic, but the government ordered all local authorities to hold them in-person from May.

The full council meeting is subject to the requirements set out in the Local Government Act 1972.

One such legal requirement is that councillors must be physically present at the meeting in order for decisions to be made, it must also be open to the public to attend."



"The report found if North Yorkshire had the same percentage of younger adults aged between 20 and 44 as the national average, there would be an additional 45,551 people living in the county."

"People in that age group can't afford to live here, there's not the same employment opportunities for them and digital connectivity is a major issue.""





"They are the starkest warning yet of the area’s future policy challenges as a consequence of an ageing society.."

Captain Qahn's picture

A Fan Zone

"England face Denmark at Wembley tomorrow in the semi finals of Euro 2020. A win would put the national side in their first major final since 1966 where they would play either Spain or Italy on Sunday."



Where is Denmark anyhoos...

Ah, about that Aaarhus Convention.


The Danes.


I'd forget me head if it was loose. Oh just a minute...


That feels better.

""It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks - and lessons can be learned for other governments."

Captain Qahn's picture

The Goal Posts

"None of that will matter to Roberto Mancini, who amid the wild celebrations remained the most suave and unflappable man at Wembley. In his mind, you suspect, the quest to topple England or Denmark has already begun."

"Do say: “I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky, like a tiger defying the laws of gravity!”

Don’t say: “OK, Mr Fahrenheit, which way does the cassette go in?”


Captain Qahn's picture

The Leaning Tower

"The government strategy, which could emerge as soon as next week, has been eagerly anticipated by the energy industry to kickstart billions of pounds in investment into production of the clean-burning gas."


"Blue hydrogen has provoked outcry from environmentalists because carbon capture technology is unable to trap all the carbon released as a byproduct of producing hydrogen, meaning some will still contribute to global heating. It may also promote an ongoing reliance on fossil fuel production, which itself is a major source of carbon emissions, according to critics."




"Mr Goodwill said " It was a great opportunity to meet staff and to discuss their work. Research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research commissioned by bacta showed that in 2019 the high street gaming sector contributed £126.8m in tax, had a turnover of £750 million and employed well over 7,000 people. This shows how important our members’ local businesses can be to the recovery. The traditional seaside arcade is every bit as much part of the traditional seaside holiday as fish and chips and buckets and spades."


"Elephant specialists and conservationists have privately expressed their concerns about the plan to transport animals, highlighting that Kenya already has about 35,000 elephants and funds to transport the mammals might be better spent on other projects."




Captain Qahn's picture


"“The problem is that, irrespective of test and trace check-in requirement at events, staff can still be pinged – and for the younger non-double-vaccinated cohorts working at festivals there is no option other than to go home and self-isolate even after 16 August.”He said this could have a “significant impact on the operation of festivals this year” and that they have already had reports from contractors and site management staff who have been forced to cancel because they have been required to self-isolate."


“Obviously, this hasn’t been helped by the illogical exclusions we’ve seen given to delegates at the G7 summit or the Euros.”


“If you see tens of thousands of people together drinking together, hugging together and so on, it’s a clear message to everyone that, ‘Well, what’s the point of you maintaining other restrictions?’

Have you had your Weetabix?



Another 'exciting' day ...


The Digitally Excluded.

Captain Qahn's picture

The Longitude

"Much of the focus on so-called “culture war” issues in the UK is based on confected controversies, a thinktank analysis has suggested, with the debate artificially inflamed by politicians and commentators and then amplified by social media.

While some countries waged such battles over more genuine societal divides, the UK’s culture wars simply pitted deprived communities against each other and tended to “caricature” movements for equality, the Fabian Society said."

Apples & Pears ...

Allegedly there's the World Cup in 18 months to look forward to ... ;-0



Super Mario.

Oh, OK:


"A less common type of strike, ground-to-cloud lightning, is upward propagating lightning initiated from a tall grounded object and reaching into the clouds."

One Day Stavros...



Mercury Rising.

Captain Qahn's picture

'The Ezra Decline Show'

"Scarborough Borough Council say they are considering their response to the creation of the bike track which they have confirmed is on council land and has been built without permission."


"Young people in China have set off a nascent counterculture movement that involves lying down and doing as little as possible."


"Mentions of “lying flat” — tangping, as it’s known in Mandarin — are heavily restricted on the Chinese internet. An official counternarrative has also emerged, encouraging young people to work hard for the sake of the country’s future."

Befriend an Octopus?

"I’ve spent the past few months on an octopus kick. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There are award-winning books, documentaries and even science fiction about them. I suspect it’s the same hunger that leaves many of us yearning to know aliens: How do radically different minds work? What is it like to be a truly different being living in a similar world? The flying objects above remain unidentified. But the incomprehensible objects below do not. We are starting to be smart enough to ask the question: How smart are octopuses? And what are their lives like?"


Two Squid a month ... ;-0


Stay Informed.

"Mr. Ding, 22, has been lying flat for almost three months and thinks of the act as “silent resistance.” He dropped out of a university in his final year in March because he didn’t like the computer science major his parents had chosen for him."



The Fifth Grant is Out There...

""Gesturing to a thick folder of documents prepared by Mr Baron, Mr Musk replied: "I can tell by the binder.""


Censorship is No Ship.

"If you blow the dog whistle, the dogs will bark."



Big Ears....

Captain Black's picture

The Importance of Being ...

"There are plenty of reasons why, according to cliché, being the leader of the opposition is the worst job in UK politics. You have all the scrutiny, but none of the real power.

You can make grand promises, but lack the means to keep them.You might have a bunch of devotees who'll work 20 hour days for you, but that's flimsy compared with the might of the government machine.

You might have to contend with an unruly tribe of backbench MPs, especially as you're not in Downing Street.  And, with politics running at warp speed, you have no divine right to be heard."



"“Clearly this is one of many possible outcomes and the council will robustly defend its treatment of the income that has been received in line with its legal advice.

“Members should note however that the position is uncertain and the court’s decision could be very unfavourable to the council.

“Conversely the court may determine that the council has acted reasonably and determine that the current treatment is lawful and appropriate. Over the illustrative six year period, the maximum income that the court could determine has not been allocated correctly would be £4.36 million with the minimum being nil.”"

"Robert Goodwill says there have already been signs that the local economy is being impacted by the continuing lockdown restrictions including by the loss of some planned events."


"“It is a long-standing issue that goes back many, many years and I think it needs to be resolved once and for all and if the courts are the best route for it then so be it.”"


"Politicians don't attract sympathy, but even the hardest of hearts might accept that's a tough gig."

Big Decisions should not be taken in 'Dark Places' ...

""We're going to see variants come up constantly. It's not surprising and we'll probably run out of letters of the Greek alphabet.""

Captain Black's picture

'Pitch n’ Putt'

"An American space force plan to develop a global monitoring system to track objects up to 22,000 miles from Earth could establish radar stations in the US, UK and Australia.

The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston, is in the US for talks over the plans, and said on Saturday the British were “very interested” in the project and hosting one of the American radar stations."


"A spokesperson for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said the plans were “totally misguided” and that the money would be better spent on reducing poverty.

“The huge sums of money involved would be far better spent building fairer and more equal societies here rather than further militarising space,” they said.

The stations, covering around a square kilometre, would host an array of large radar dishes, known as parabolic antenna, each 15 metres in diameter.

The US already operates an early warning system to detect ballistic missiles in space, which includes a facility at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire. However, that can only detect objects up to 12,000 miles away while Darc would look much further into space."


"Preparations are underway in Hunmanby to hold a heritage open day later this year. On the 11th of September, the village will be part of what is being called 'England's largest festival of history and culture'.

"Heritage day is all about edible plants so Hunmanby in Bloom will be selling plants in the village and people will be encouraged to help themselves to any of the edible plants on the station; so we've got herbs, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves so we'll have them all labelled and people can help themselves".""


How very silly. ...



OOh now which side has a bottomless pit?

Chews Wisely...


So much for Face-ache eh?







Captain Black's picture

Supermarket Sweep

"The system operator published a surprise report warning that the tight electricity supplies recorded last winter could be tighter in the winter ahead due to “uncertainty” over the country’s power supplies."

Oh, OK:


Ah, So ...


The local Comedy Club.


About that Recess...

Captain Qahn's picture


"Nor is there much mileage in suggesting Johnson is a fake, that he’s only posing as a tax-and-spend social democrat. Ideological consistency is a quality sought by other ideologues. If anything, lots of voters seem to like Johnson’s lack of doctrinal purity: again, it’s part of his persona, suggesting a loose pragmatism that many find appealing. Besides, the claim of fakery won’t wash. The Tories came unstuck with their 1997 Demon Eyes campaign, suggesting Tony Blair was a red-clawed socialist under that smooth middle England exterior, because voters simply didn’t believe that about Blair. For the same reason, Labour should avoid claiming that the true Johnson is a Thatcherite state-shrinker. As one former cabinet minister puts it: “It’s not great to be saying that the guys who just raised taxes want to cut them.”"


"Start with what not to do."



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Nocturnal Lagos

"A police commissioner has told how fewer people going away on holiday this year has seen the force’s phone lines being deluged “with everybody complaining about each other”


Ah, So ...

But that's only half a Castle...

"those staffing the 101 line needed more training as when residents did eventually get through they were given useless or misleading information."







That's enuff moaning for...  One Day.

Captain Qahn's picture

A Seasonal Update

"The ability to provide information, rather than the ability to provide goods and services, will be the defining feature of the economy of the 21st Century," it said.

"We will be able to see everything about a person, everywhere they go, it will be stored and used in ways that we cannot even imagine."


"Projects in Whitby, and a separate plan of investment for Filey, will come forward next year.

Looking forward to 2022, we expect to be able to share further news with you about the progress made to create our new joint venture to drive forward our Better Homes initiative.

We have started the process to find a partner organisation to help us realise our ambition to provide more affordable – and higher quality – homes across the borough."


"2022 will also be the year in which we host the national Armed Forces Day event.  Our borough will get a lot of attention in June.  Excitement is already building."


"Please make sure your bin is outside your property by 6.30am on the day the crew is due to swing by."

Captain Qahn's picture

Calmly flying the plane ...

"Unfortunately, experience tells us that rogue traders will try to take advantage in the aftermath of the weekend’s storms.”

“Do not panic if someone knocks at your door and tells you a tile has blown off your roof and needs to be repaired or that tree branches are overhanging the footpath and must be cut back immediately. Close the door on the cold caller."


"I was making a point about his responsibility for the organisation as a whole."


"The move is controversial because the steel bridge has a long history, and is now a national monument."