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Thursday, 31 March 2016

MY 400th POST----April Fool's Day




                                                      PRANK IDEAS


                                                  PRANK IDEAS IN THE MIRROR

 Today, I will be eating a late mid-afternoon brunch with Steve the Boxer in Pearce's bar at the Top of Leith Walk, We will be discussing the assassination of the Grand Duchess Ophelia by a ferocious Trumphund prior to a Pre-Nuptial Ceremony on the Planet Qinsatorix celebrating the Cupidian marriage of Prince Adam of Eden, who has HDADHD, to the sugary blue Trinkon siblings Akira and Osamu, who are dressed in fluffy wedding harnesses, I will then be taking a drive with Thomas and Scott to Selkirk, where we plan to stay overnight with our friend Empirius before driving sixteen miles along the mystical Tweed to Peebles, and, after lunch in the Crown Hotel, onwards through Merlin's Valley,

        Any takers?  (apart from Steve, Thomas, Scott, and Empirius, of course)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016



                                                               Youtube Video

'Stealing A Nation' (2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of the Chagos Islands, whose indigenous population was secretly and brutally expelled by British Governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s to make way for an American military base. The tragedy, which falls within the remit of the International Criminal Court as "a crime against humanity", is told by Islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and by British officials who left behind a damning trail of Foreign Office documents.

Before the Americans came, more than 2,000 people lived on the islands in the Indian Ocean, many with roots back to the late 18th century. There were thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a railway and an undisturbed way of life. The islands were, and still are, a British crown colony. In the 1960s, the government of Harold Wilson struck a secret deal with the United States to hand over the main island of Diego Garcia. The Americans demanded that the surrounding islands be "swept" and "sanitized". Unknown to Parliament and to the US Congress and in breach of the United Nations Charter, the British Government plotted with Washington to expel the entire population.

After demonstrating on the streets of Mauritius in 1982, the exiled islanders were given the derisory compensation of less than £3,000 per person by the British government. In the film, former inhabitants Rita Bancoult and Charlesia Alexis tell of how, in accepting the money, they were tricked into signing away their right to return home: "It was entirely improper, unethical, dictatorial to have the Chagossian put their thumbprint on an English legal, drafted document, where the Chagossian, who doesn’t read, know or speak any English, let alone any legal English, is made to renounce basically all his rights as a human being."

Today, the main island of Diego Garcia is America's largest military base in the world, outside the US. There are more than 4,000 troops, two bomber runways, thirty warships and a satellite spy station. The Pentagon calls it an "indispensable platform" for policing the world. It was used as a launch pad for the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The truth about the removal of the Chagossians and the Whitehall conspiracy to deny there was an indigenous population did not emerge for another twenty years, when files were unearthed at the Public Record Office, in Kew, by the historian Mark Curtis, John Pilger and lawyers for the former inhabitants of the coral archipelago, who were campaigning for a return to their homeland.


                                                                                  CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO (WIKI) 


We Chagossians are British citizens, So how can Britain treat us like this?



                                                 ARTICLE IN EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS


View from Tantallon Castle


The island was a retreat for early Christian hermits; St Baldred is said to have lived there in 600 AD.

The Lauder family[edit]

The earliest recorded proprietors are the Lauder of the Bass family, from whom Sir Harry Lauder is descended.[10][11] According to legend, the island is said to have been a gift from King Malcolm III of Scotland. The crest on their heraldic arms is, appropriately, a gannet standing upon a rock.[12]
The family had from an early date a castle on the island. Sir Robert de Lawedre is mentioned by Blind Harry in The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace as a compatriot of William Wallace, and Alexander Nisbet recorded his tombstone in 1718, in the floor of the old kirk in North Berwick: "here lies Sir Robert de Lawedre, great laird of the Bass, who died May 1311". Five years later his son received that part of the island which until then had been retained by The Church because it contained the holy cell of Saint Baldred. A century on Wyntown's Cronykil relates: "In 1406 King Robert III, apprehensive of danger to his son James (afterwards James I) from the Duke of Albany, placed the youthful prince in the safe-custody of Sir Robert Lauder in his secure castle on the Bass prior to an embarkation for safer parts on the continent." Subsequently, says Tytler, "Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass was one of the few people whom King James I admitted to his confidence." In 1424 Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass, with 18 men, had a safe-conduct with a host of other noblemen, as a hostage for James I atDurham. J J Reid also mentions that "in 1424 when King James I returned from his long captivity in England, he at once consigned to the castle of the Bass, Walter Stewart, the eldest son of Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, his cousin. The person who received the payments for the prisoner's support was Sir Robert Lauder", whom Tytler further describes as "a firm friend of the King".

Hector Boece[edit]

Tantallon Castle, with the Bass in the background

The north range, seen from the gatehouse
Hector Boece offers the following description (original spelling):
"ane wounderful crag, risand within the sea, with so narrow and strait hals [passage] that na schip nor boit bot allanerlie at ane part of it. This crag is callet the Bas; unwinnabil by ingine [ingenuity] of man. In it are coves, als profitable for defence of men as [if] thay were biggit be crafty industry. Every thing that is in that crag is ful of admiration and wounder."[13]

Royal visits[edit]

In 1497 King James IV visited the Bass and stayed in the castle with a later Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass (d.bef Feb 1508). The boatmen who conveyed the King from Dunbar were paid 14 shillings. George Lauder of the Bass entertained King James VI of Scotland when he visited the Bass in 1581; the king was so enamoured that he offered to buy the island, a proposition which did not commend itself to George Lauder. The King appears to have accepted the situation with good grace. George was a Privy Counsellor - described as the King's "familiar councillor" - and tutor to the young Prince Henry.

Famous prisoners[edit]

During the 15th century James I consigned several of his political enemies, including Walter Stewart[14] to the Bass. In this period, many members of the Clan MacKay ended up here, including, Neil Bhass MacKay (Niall "Bhas" MacAoidh), who gained his epithet from being imprisoned there as a fourteen-year-old in 1428. He was kept there as a hostage, after his father, Aonghas Dubh (Angus Dhu) of Strathnaver in Sutherland was released, as security. According to one Website
Following the murder of King James at Perth in 1437 Neil escaped from the Bass and was proclaimed 8th Chief of the Clan Mackay."[14]

Cromwellian invasion and after[edit]

The Bass in the 17th century
After almost 600 years, the Lauders lost the Bass during Cromwell's invasion, and the castle subsequently (in 1671) became a notorious gaol to which for many decades religious and political prisoners, especially Covenanters such as Prophet Peden, were sent. John Blackadder, one of the Covenanting martyrs, died on the Bass in 1686 and is buried at North Berwick, where aUnited Free Church was named after him.
Charles Maitland, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale held the Bass for James VII for a brief period after the Scottish parliament declared his abdication. The fortress was destroyed by the government in 1701, and on 31 July 1706 the President of the Court of Session, Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick, acquired the Bass by charter (ratified by Parliament in March 1707), for a purely nominal sum, and the island has been ever since in the uninterrupted possession of the Dalrymple family.[15]

                                                              DOUGLAS ARCHIVES

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

SNATCH FROM ETERNITY, a sonnet composed by James L.S. Carter




                                                     SNATCH FROM ETERNITY

                                                             by James L.S. Carter

                           Snatch from Eternity a pinch of time,

                           And call it Life, call it a time of Light,

                           A time of Love, a tunnel-end of white,

                           A wavy motion, an amaze, a rhyme,

                           For there are misty forests in the mind

                           With partiality of sound and sight

                            Where every demon of excess can fright

                           The thought-complacent and the thinking-blind

                           And if we falter on despair's abyss

                           And scare the shadow that we pass from us

                           We see this leafy-furnished home amiss

                           And fail to see as sweet and serious

                           The summit-sense of culminating bliss

                           That comes with growth's triumphant tenderness.

                             Copyright James L.S.Carter, March 2016, Edinburgh

A PH.D. Thesis about the Irish monk and poet Flann Mainistrech, completed by Eystein Thanisch


From Eystein Thanisch
I am delighted to announce that my PhD thesis, "The Reception and Use of Flann Mainistrech and His Work in Medieval Gaelic Manuscript Culture", is now freely available online. It has been described as "original", "in-depth", "dense", and "sexy" (please note that the lattermost term was originally applied specifically to the binding of the submitted physical copy, so isn't necessarily applicable here wink emoticon ).
This thesis asks what authority and authorship might mean in the context of medieval Gaelic historiography and early printed works based thereupon, via a case study of the textual afterlife of the oft-cited historical scholar, Flann Mainistrech (d. 1056) - his biography, as he exists in later perceptions. With all the usual caveats, I conclude that Flann's authority was based around perceptions of him as a reader and collaborator; scholarly authority, in medieval Gaelic tradition, could be about networks, as well as great individuals; about the ability to comprehend, as well as innate genius. '[Authorities] are not mystified ancients at the tradition’s origins but relatively recent scholars who have gained command of it through textual study' (Vol. I, p. 112). For me, this all seemed very empowering.
I hope there is something in it for everyone: please enjoy, comment and share 

                                           FLANN MAINISTREACH   (Eystein Thanisch's Ph.D. thesis)


                                  LOTS OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Monday, 28 March 2016




     The purpose of this post is to emphasise the key message that this was clearly GENOCIDE, either by slaughter or by Eugenics, and that there should be absolutely no controversy about this, The 13 very helpful comments from Scott F. include much more detailed information,

    This sort of genocide, by slaughter and by Eugenics programs, persists around the world to this very day



                             or the victims of Eugenics?


                                NATIVE AMERICAN GENOCIDE WIKI


                               AMERICAN INDIAN GENOCIDE MUSEUM

The museum is dedicated to documenting the near extermination or total extinction of Native American tribes and peoples.[1] The museum takes the position that this was a result of genocide. It is designed to raise public awareness of the elements of genocide that existed in the history of the United States.[2]


                                             AMERICAN HISTORY

The issue of genocide and American Indian history has been contentious. Many writers see the massive depopulation of the indigenous population of the Americas after 1492 as a clear-cut case of the genocide. Other writers, however, contend that European and U.S. actions toward Indians were deplorable but were rarely if ever genocidal. To a significant extent, disagreements about the pervasiveness of genocide in the history of the post-Columbian Western Hemisphere, in general, and U.S. history, in particular, pivot on definitions of genocide. Conservative definitions emphasize intentional actions and policies of governments that result in very large population losses, usually from direct killing. More liberal definitions call for less stringent criteria for intent, focusing more on outcomes. They do not necessarily require direct sanction by state authorities; rather, they identify societal forces and actors. They also allow for several intersecting forces of destruction, including dispossession and disease. Because debates about genocide easily devolve into quarrels about definitions, an open-ended approach to the question of genocide that explores several phases and events provides the possibility of moving beyond the present stalemate. However one resolves the question of genocide in American Indian history, it is important to recognize that European and U.S. settler colonial projects unleashed massively destructive forces on Native peoples and communities. These include violence resulting directly from settler expansion, intertribal violence (frequently aggravated by colonial intrusions), enslavement, disease, alcohol, loss of land and resources, forced removals, and assaults on tribal religion, culture, and language. The configuration and impact of these forces varied considerably in different times and places according to the goals of particular colonial projects and the capacities of colonial societies and institutions to pursue them. The capacity of Native people and communities to directly resist, blunt, or evade colonial invasions proved equally important.

Buenaventura Durruti (1896-1936), Heroic Spanish Philosopher and Military Leader


José Buenaventura Durruti Dumange (14 July 1896 – 20 November 1936) was an anarcho-syndicalist militant involved with the CNTFAI and other anarchist organisations during the period leading up to and including the Spanish Civil War. Durruti played an influential role during the Spanish Revolution and is remembered as a hero in theAnarchist movement.

                                            A LAS BARRICADAS (Youtube video)


       We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.



                     Buenaventura Durruti , Anarquista.

                                                      (Youtube video, folk song)





                                               In my opinion, the vast majority of 'evidence-based' conclusions are actually 'spuriously-evidence based' . Moreover, such conclusions are extensively used by the Establishment to mind control and manipulate the population.

                                               Professor David Spiegelhalter's Interview


                                                YOUTUBE VIDEO


                                                Misleading graphs  (BBC bitsize)


                                               31 Misleading graphs and statistics (pdf)

                                               Lying with Statistics (pdf)


                                               More lies, damned lies, and statistics

                                              Responsible thinking

                                           SIMPSON'S PARADOX (Youtube video)

Simpson's Paradox is more than just a curiosity, it illustrates how important it is to interperet your data correctly. If you are not careful it is still possible to have good data and bad conclusions.

                                              EXAMPLES OF SPURIOUS CORRELATION

                                             SPURIOUS CORRELATION (Wiki)


                                               MY 2014 INTERVIEW IN STATISTICS VIEWS

5. You are also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. The getstats campaign by the Royal Statistical Society focuses on improving the public’s understanding of statistics in every-day life. Do you think that the public’s understanding of statistics has improved in recent years? What can be done to improve it further?
I think that the general public understand the statistics which are meted out to them by the Establishment all too well i.e. statistics are very often politically motivated and all too often quite misleading. Indeed, too much emphasis is placed on classical p-values which do not actually measure practical significance, and many apparent correlations can be made spurious by the presence of confounding variables. Data is sometimes even rearranged or shuffled, or important variables omitted, to give appropriately optimistic projections. ‘Evidence-based conclusions‘ based on observational data and non-randomised experiments often turn out to be ‘spuriously evidence-based’. I refer, for example, to Jim and Margaret Cuthbert’s splendid presentation during the Royal Statistical Society’s recent debate in Edinburgh on the Statistics of the Referendum.
I believe that most statistical investigations are inherently subjective in nature, and that statisticians should no longer attempt to achieve ‘false objectivity’. Rather than attempting to educate the public in a possibly misleading manner, I think that our leading statistical societies should focus on encouraging their members to invariably insist on fairness, professionalism, and impartial honesty, while acknowledging the subjective nature of their conclusions. It is only then that we can hope to properly educate the public regarding the real benefits that can be gained from statistical investigations.
The Royal Statistical Society has of course made some wonderful attempts to educate the public in their magazine Significance. However, one of my non-statistical friends who reads my copies of Significance remains quite cynical. He indeed wonders whether statistics can do much more than reiterate the obvious.
I believe that most statistical investigations are inherently subjective in nature, and that statisticians should no longer attempt to achieve ‘false objectivity’. Rather than attempting to educate the public in a possibly misleading manner, I think that our leading statistical societies should focus on encouraging their members to invariably insist on fairness, professionalism, and impartial honesty, while acknowledging the subjective nature of their conclusions. It is only then that we can hope to properly educate the public regarding the real benefits that can be gained from statistical investigations.
6. At the recent Future of Statistical Sciences workshop, there was much talk about Big Data and a concern that many ‘hot areas’ such as big data/data analytics, which have close connections with statistics and the statistical sciences, are being monopolised by computer scientists and/or engineers. What do statisticians need to do to ensure their work and their profession get noticed?
Large scale number crunching is unlikely to work well in any truly meaningful sense without careful statistical and scientific interpretation of what is going on in relation to the real-life background of the data, and to any supplementary anecdotal evidence which may be at hand. For their work and their profession to get noticed, statisticians simply need to do their job properly by, for example, combining anecdotal evidence with the information in the numerical data.




                                                              BBC SCIENCE ARTICLE