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SAS - Satnav Antipathic Soldiers and The Misadventures Of Suzie From The Isle Of Skye
Boggart Blog loves Sat Nav stories. We love all stories that make those people trying to turn science into a religion and make technology one of its idols look stupid. Not that we are against science and technology, we are simply against the kind of people who try to tell us what we can and can't think. And if we give up map reading slikks and the power to think for ourelves then when the machines go wrong as sat nav often does, we're fucked. As a young friend of ours found out.

SAS - Satnav Antipathic Soldiers and The Misadventures Of Suzie From The Isle Of Skye
by Ian R Thorpe
2010-11-18
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: sat nav, satellite, navigation, technology, science, computer, Hull, Leeds, Wales, machine, satire, humour, humor

This is a trueish but highly embellished version of something that happened to one of Cleo Hart's friends. Cleo is travelling at the moment.

As all our regular readers know we Boggart Bloggers are great fans of all whacky and totally unnecessary technologies and Sat Nav systems especially. Sat Nav seems to lead the field in providing an expensive, complicated, extremely fallible and irritating way of performing a function that should be simple and free. If you want to drive from London to Leeds and don't mind going via Bristol, Aberystwith, Preston Gubbals, Carlisle, Burton on Trent and Wigan or being rescued from mountain torrents, bogs, feral chavs in Blackbird Leys or a snowdrift outside Kiruna and having to face the ridicule of your friends down the pub trust your Sat Nav. If however you just want to get from London to Leeds without much fuss simply drive round the M25 until you see signs for M1, Watford, The North. Follow them and keep following signs for The North. Ignore your Sat Nav' yelling that you should take the next exit. It will only lead you eventually to the A666, the road to hell. Actually the A666 runs from Bolton to Blackburn so for most people is probably the road to somewhere worse than Hell. Leeds is at the other end of the M1 from London. Just stay on the M1. Easy peasy.

So why do we cruel, sarcastic bastards love Sat Nav?

Because of the blind faith that people who buy one have in their system and the way that when things have gone so badly wrong blind faith is no longer enough the childlike trust they show that their parent - surrogate gadget will somehow make things alright.

At this time of year our esteemed colleague Cleo Hart and numerous others set off for The Alps to work in ski resorts throughout the season. Most make the long and arduous trek via London and the M25 (gridlocked 24 / 7 because of sat nav users driving at 5mph while scratching their heads and saying "This doesn't look much like the Lake District) to Dover for the short, unpleasant crossing on the regular cattle ship to Calais.

Cleo however, tipped off by her dear old Dad who knows about these things, heads from Lancashire across to Hull (just get on the M62 and head east (the opposite way to Liverpool) until you come to the North Sea Ferries terminal or drive into the water off Spurn Head. Even easier than peasy.

Several of the others now use the northern crossing, its an easier drive in the UK, a more comfortable crossing with a good meal, a pleasant evening and a good night's sleep on the ferry and a better route across France. So last year another girl from northern parts, let's call her Suzie from the Isle of Skye thought it would be a good move for her too. Western Scotland to Hull sounded easy. At the time Suzie was seeing a soldier, a member of and elite regiment (we are a bit sceptical about the veracity of this claim, members of this elite regiment as well as being trained to jump out of planes, navigate by the sun and stars, live on a diet of worms, beetles and dandelion leaves and light fires by rubbing two boy scouts together are trained to read maps.

Suzie's soldier friend approved on her idea and volunteered to programme the sat nav for her. Great, who could be better equipped to program map references into a sat nav than a man trained to find his way round barren, featureless deserts and tundras? Surely Suzie could not go wrong if she just relied on her sat nav.

Suzie missed Hull, in fact she ended up in Wales Not just the civilised bit of Wales that joins on to Cheshire or the Wales, populated by Gavin and Stacy, Charlotte Church and the only gay in the village but Welsh wales where it is a crime to speak English and those things that look like basketwork garden ornaments can be assembled in a matter of minutes into a wicker man. A combination of blind faith, childlike trust in the parenting skills of inanimate machines and her boyfriend's ignorance of maps and references, the cardinal points of the compass, left and right and the difference between his arse and his elbow led to her turning right instead of left and driving past all the signs printed with red dragons and pointing to towns with names like Llanfairpwyllgwillgynn-bibble-yibble-yibble-yibble-llantisiliogochgochgoch give or take the odd goch without realising she had a problem. Maybe it was because the signs were printed in two languages, Welsh and Ogham (the secret language of The Druids)

Now in our house we think we have an idea how this might have happened. You see we know a young person who some years ago was headed from Lancashire to Sheffield and phoned home in a panic to say. "Help, I think I've taken a wrong turning and ended up in Wales, I've just passed a sign for Pontefract . Maybe the sat nav logic had made a similar mistake and interpreted "continue past signs for Pontefract" as "follow the shortest route to Pontypridd". We shall never know however.

The problem for our lovely lass Suzie from the Isle of Skye was not so subtle. She was still following her sat nav's orders and desperately trying to convince herself the device was taking her via a shortcut to Holyhead which must be near Hull as they both start with H. For Suzie, even though the blacktop road had become a muddy track several miles ago blind faith had been replaced by childlike trust in the machine. When the muddy track became a verdant Welsh hillside even childlike trust gave out. Suzie stopped and got out of the car only to be confronted by a Welsh farmer who spoke in Welsh, not saying "Iached Da (pron. Yakki da) young lady, do you need any help" but something she guessed from the way he was pointing a shotgun sat her meant "GET ORF MOI LAAAAAAAAAND".

Suzie did get to France eventually after spending several weeks in a clinic where she was given post traumatic stress therapy.

From this shocking sat nav story of betrayal we learn several things:

(1) When driving from West Scotland to Hull it is a good idea to turn left somewhere no matter what the sat nav is telling you.

(2) Sat nav is useless, whatever it tells you, do the opposite.

(3) We are not going to win the Afghan war for the simple reason that when our elite soldiers' were sent to flush the Taliban out of the Hindu Kush their map reading skills caused them to end up running round Patagonia.

(4) Never listen to the kind of techieheads, webbyheads, sciencyheads and other pointyheads who try to tell you machines are smarter than we are. Machines are unthnking automatons and people who think they will ever be intelligent are cunts.

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BBC Comedy

BBC Comedy Blog
Updated : Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:53:42 +0000

Leaked Emails: 'The Greatest Show on Earth'?

Twenty Twelve is returning to our screens on Friday at 10pm on BBC Two.

With the official announcement this week that the Olympic site is coming along nicely, the Twenty Twelve Deliverance team have been working around the clock to ensure that the games go off without a hitch.

Unfortunately, Graham must have left his computer unlocked, as we've been forwarded some e-mails that Ian might not want to world to see...


From: Ian Fletcher
To: Nick Jowett; Graham Hitchins; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: IOC visit

 
As you are no doubt aware, the International Olympic Committee are in London this week and will be visiting our offices on Friday. Following the PM's lead, our official line on the London games is that (despite what I may have said in Wednesday’s meeting) they will be "the greatest show on earth".


From: Graham Hitchins
To: Ian Fletcher; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit

What about Cirque du Soleil?

From: Ian Fletcher
To: Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
What about Cirque do Soleil??!

From: Graham Hitchins
To: Ian Fletcher; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit

That was my question.


From: Ian Fletcher
To: Nick Jowett; Graham Hitchins; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
I KNOW - I was making point. Specifically: what you may personally believe is irrelevant - when speaking to anyone from the IOC, this year's games will be the greatest show on earth. OK?

From: Siobhan Sharpe
To: Ian Fletcher; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Graham Hitchins
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
Pyramids.

From: Ian Fletcher
To: Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
Siobhan, I know I have repeatedly asked you to make your emails more succinct, but I think we need to find a middle ground here.

From: Siobhan Sharpe
To: Ian Fletcher; Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
Pretty sure that the pyramids are one of 'the greatest shows on earth'. Duh. Should be worried about copyright issues?

From: Ian Fletcher
To: Siobhan Sharpe; Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope
Subject: RE: IOC visit
 
You're thinking of 'wonders of the world'. No-one has ever said that the London Olympics will be one of the seven wonders of the world.
 

...Well, the Mayor did, but we managed to keep it out of the press.


From: Ian Fletcher
To: Siobhan Sharpe; Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope
Subject: IOC visit - update!

UPDATE: It seems that the PM has also said "London will be ready on time and on budget" which, to put it charitably, is a half-truth. The press are likely to jump all over this, so today might be a good day to bury any embarrassing news we’ve been sitting on.

From: Siobhan Sharpe
To: Ian Fletcher; Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope
Subject: RE: IOC visit - update!

I’m on it!

From: Ian Fletcher
To: Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: RE: IOC visit - update!

WHO ISSUED A PRESS RELEASE SAYING WE ARE BEHIND SCHEDULE AND OVER BUDGET??!!

From: Siobhan Sharpe
To: Ian Fletcher; Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope
Subject: <<Out of Office AutoReply>> RE: IOC visit - update!
  
Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office at an emergency press briefing. If your query is press-related please contact Ian.Fletcher@ODC2012.co.uk

From: Ian Fletcher
To: Graham Hitchins; Nick Jowett; Kay Hope; Siobhan Sharpe
Subject: <<Out of Office AutoReply>> RE: IOC visit - update!

Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office at an unforeseen press briefing. If your query is Olympics-related please contact Siobhan@PerfectCurve.co.uk

Ian.
 
More from Twenty Twelve:

The Twenty Twelve emails were written by Larry Rickard.


Publ.Date : Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:30:00 +0000

BBC Set For Festival Fringe at Edinburgh 2012

We're going back to the Fringe!

This summer, we'll pick up from where we left off last year when all our Fringe action came together under one roof. Expect even more performances and shows from across our site on TV, on radio and online.

We're going extra mile at the Fringe this year, hosting an overnight Comedy Marathon. BBC Three will start an epic overnight journey with a specially billed, anarchic eight hour show which will go out live on the Red Button from 9pm till 5am and forms part of the London 2012 Festival.

Our tented festival village opens on Friday, 3rd August and doesn't come down until the early hours of Monday 27th August, with over a 100 shows under its belt.

Last year, our venue enjoyed hosting shows from across the BBC. Where else in Edinburgh could you have found Ricky Gervais, Mark Lawson, Sarah Millican and David Hasselhoff on the same stage? (OK, not necessarily at the same time) - in case this all passed you by, here's a video of last year's highlights:

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

There is so much going on across the month, make sure you don't miss anything by following @BBCEdFest on twitter and via www.facebook.com/BBCEdFest

Free tickets for all of the on-site events, performances and Masterclasses are available from BBC Tickets from Thursday, May 31. Apply now to make sure you don't miss out!

What's On?

BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw will be returning to present their spectacular Fun and Filth Cabaret, also part of the London 2012 Festival. And BBC Comedy Presents is back, showcasing the best of the Fringe with nightly shows.

Festival-goers can come together and marvel at our new big screen which will be showing the best of the Olympics live.

Radio 4 bring a host of listener favourites to the Fringe; David Mitchell will be dropping in to host The Unbelievable Truth, Nicholas Parsons and Paul Merton will rock up for Just a Minute, as will Clive Anderson for Loose Ends. Jim Naughtie is with us for a special Fringe edition of Today, and Rory Bremner's in town to host Tonight.

More Radio 4 recordings from the festival include Comic Fringes, with short stories created by popular comedians. Also, Front Row, The Horne Section, The Philosopher's Arms, Wondermentalist Cabaret, plus a new food panel show making its debut at the Fringe - The Kitchen Cabinet presented by Jay Rayner.

As well its regular stable of Edinburgh shows of MacAulay & Co and the Festival Café and in recent years Off the Ball - BBC Radio Scotland will be taking more stalwarts East including Vic Galloway and Jazz House, and as he did in 2011, to acclaim, Christopher Brookmyre will be combining comedy and books in a specially recorded series.

Radio 3 will broadcast In Tune live from Edinburgh with Sean Rafferty and Verity Sharp presenting two editions of Late Junction with live music and special features.

Radio 2's Steve Wright Show - with Patrick Kielty at the helm - will broadcast from the festival. Patrick's also hosting the Edinburgh heat of the Radio 2 New Comedy Award. And Penny Smith returns with The Radio 2 Arts Show.

There is also a chance for you to see Richard Bacon present his BBC 5live shows from the BBC venue at the Edinburgh Festival on August 22nd and 23rd with celebrity guests.

BBC coverage goes beyond the Fringe. The diversity of the Edinburgh festivals will be reflected across a range of output, including BBC Two's The Culture Show with Sue Perkins and The Review Show with Kirsty Wark. And as broadcast partner of the Edinburgh International Festival, Radio 3 will broadcast 18 live and pre-recorded concerts from the Festival.

There will be a host of other live music acts across the month, featuring special performances from world loop-station champion, Shlomo, as well as up-and-coming live music acts showcased by Vic Galloway and the BBC Introducing... team in Scotland. There will also be lots exciting things to do for families with young children.

Key events at the BBC@Potterrow are included in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe brochure, but further details of additional events including Masterclasses and Workshops will be announced in due course.


Publ.Date : Thu, 31 May 2012 16:55:00 +0000

Comedy Talent Search - Laugh Track

BBC Comedy Commissioning and BBC Writersroom have joined forces for a second nationwide talent search to find new comedy gold. If you have a big studio sitcom brewing in your mind and can tell original stories, invent characters and catchphrases that can make a live audience laugh, then send in your script.

This is an opportunity not to be missed - you may get the chance of your work performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at our Sitcom Showcase at the Studio in MediaCity, Salford. You could also be in line for a comedy masterclass on how to write studio sitcoms, plus an intensive week away developing your idea hand-in-hand with BBC comedy producers and established comedy writing talent.

 

The amazing Dawn French will be on the panel of judges. Cheryl Taylor (Controller, Comedy Commissioning), who judged last year's BBC writersroom comedy talent search says: "I was thrilled last year by the number of very funny and original scripts that we were asked to judge. It was a pleasure to read all of the short listed projects as was having the opportunity to meet some of their very talented authors."

The deadling for entries is Wednesday, 21 March 2012. For information on how to enter, visit the Writersroom website.


Publ.Date : Thu, 02 Feb 2012 13:52:39 +0000

Twenty Twelve is back!

Yep, that's right. Twenty Twelve is returning to our screens at 10pm on Friday 30th March on BBC Two.

This series the pressure mounts as the Olympic Deliverance team try to navigate their way through such delicate issues as how to handle the Algerian team's demand for a mosque in the Olympic village, and how to carry out a Legacy Audit on the rival bids for the Stadium when no one knows what a Legacy Audit is.

Here's a clip of Ian, Siobhan and the ever dedicated Sally, drafting a press release about the Deliverance teams commitment to 'multicuturality':

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

More from Twenty Twelve:


Publ.Date : Fri, 23 Mar 2012 17:00:00 +0000

David Walliams' Mr Stink Comes to BBC One
 

"Mr Stink stank. He also stunk. And if it was correct English to say he stinked,
then he stinked as well…"

David Walliams' best-selling children's novel Mr Stink is set to come alive as a comedy drama for all the family on BBC One later this year.

The touching, twisted and hilarious tale tells of Mr Stink, who is befriended by a local girl Chloe. Chloe sees Mr Stink every day, but she's never spoken to him, which isn't surprising, because he's a tramp, and he stinks.

 

When it looks like Mr Stink might be driven out of town, Chloe hides her unusual friend in her garden shed. As she struggles to make sure no one sniffs out Mr Stink, her dad tries to hide a secret of his own, and the stage is set for an epic family confrontation. There is also one other person with an extraordinary secret: it turns out that there is more to Mr Stink than meets the eye… or nose.

David Walliams, who will play the role of the Prime Minister in the show, says: "I am beyond thrilled that BBC One is adapting my children's book 'Mr Stink' into a family film. I have written the script, and can't wait to see actors bring it to life." BBC One Controller Danny Cohen added: "Mr Stink is a heart-warming, nose-clenching and funny tale which will appeal to viewers of all ages. It's brilliant to be working with David to bring his magical tale to BBC One." Mark Freeland, Head of Comedy, finishes the stinky love-in by saying: "I am delighted that the BBC is continuing its relationship with the multi-talented David Walliams. Mr Stink has become an instant classic and it's so exciting to see it come to life on TV. Both my children would echo that. But then they both want parts, so…"


Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:00:00 +0000


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UN says Ebola-hit nations at risk of hunger - Al Jazeera
United Nations officials have warned that up to one million people in West Africa are at risk of food shortgaes as nations affected by the Ebola outbreak find harvests reduced due to border closures, restrictions on and neglect of crops. The deadly virus has now killed 6,800 people and severely disrupted daily life in the worst-hit nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Christmas Message: Economic Recovery, Bah, Humbug While western government economists pump out propaganda about how economic recovery is steaming ahead (in the hope of persuading consumers to take on debt ad start spending in the befief that good times are just round the corner, and politicians wallow in schadenfreude because Russia looks to be suffering) our economics experts writes about what is realy happening and why oil pices have collapsed. It isn't pretty.

Google quits Spain in paid content row
] Spain's government have defied Google's vow to shut down its Spanish online news service rather than pay for content, [ ... ] The internet search giant threatened to close Google News Spain in December, 2014, before an intellectual property law enters force in January obliging Internet news scrapers to pay for content automatically lifted from other websites. Spain's culture ministry, said it would go ahead with the new law, Google's response is "a matter for the company".

Another Blow To The US Dollar Reserve Currency Status As Russia Sings Up Turkey, India
The move led by Russian and China to dump the US dollar as global reserve currency continues to gain momentum. Most recent nations to sign bilateral agreements to settle cross border transactions in the currency of the vendor are India and Turkey.

Docors, Scientists Greased by Big Pharma? Told You So.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was passed by the US Senate with the help of an extensive investigation led by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), provisions that doctors who receive payoffs from drug or vaccine companies must disclose this when pushing new therapies or medical procedures from what would otherwise appear to be unbiased intentions. (It happens in Europe too, see links in article)

French Goss Mag Outs Gay Politician, Sparks Privacy Row
Gossip magazine Closer has sparked a privacy row in France after it outed a homosexual senior member of France's right - wing National Front party. Closer published photos of the man with his male partner. Politicians and journalists have reacted angrily to whhat they call a gross breach of privacy.

TTIP Tries To Dump US Frankenfoods On Europe; Left and Right Unite To Back States' Right To Ban Them.
As public awareness increases of the way the secret trade deals that even our elected representatives are not allowed to know the terms of, the Trans Atlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans Pacofic Partnership will increase American global hegemony ...

A beginners Guide To Thinking For Yourself About Climate Change
Climate change has become a more fanatical and more dangerous religion that fundamentalist Christianity, Islam or Zionism. Its followers are prepared to destroy not just themselves but the entire human race and most life on earth before they will admit there is little substance in their dogmas, which are all based on 'evidence' from idols they call mathematical models, rather than on any real world evidence.

CO2 vs Temperature comparison over 400,000 years shows CO2 and warming are not linked
Scientists who are part of the 'Science Is Settled' mob are quite adamant that there is no room for discussion, that climate change is caused solely by marginally increased levels of the trace atmospheric gas Carbon Dioxide is proved beyond doubt. Unfortunately their 'proof' exists only in mathematical models, studies based on real world evidence constantly disagree

Even The BIS Is Shocked At How Broken Markets Have Become.
If the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) the bank where banks and governments do business is worried about the state of the markets, we are in bigger trouble than anyone is letting on.

Child sex abuse inquiry in crisis as victims walk away
Alleged victims of abuse involved in the historic abuse case currently being investigated by MPs and police have advised Home Secretary Theresa May, that they are ready to withdraw support from the Government's child sex inquiry. Twenty = three individuals, some of whom claim as children they suffered serious and prolonged abuse at the hands on senior Members of Parliament, Senior Civil servants and other high ranking figures in the public sector, sent Mrs May a letter claiming the inquiry is "not fit for purpose".

Obesity pill to ‘replace treadmill’ being developed by Harvard University
A magic pill which burns away excess body fat has been one of the wet dreams of mad scientists for decades. Such a pill is now being developed at Harvard University. Researchers claim it could one ‘replace the treadmill.’ (This is daft as we still need exercise to maintain a healthy heart, muscles and bones.

Everything The Science Whores Told You About Eating Fat Was A Lie.
We have been telling you so for years, but at last the world seems to be cathing up with The Daily Stirrer. Another independent study confirms that the scientists ('A sack of rogues bought and paid for with corporate gods' to paraphrase Burns) have been lying about the health risks of eating saturated fat. It's process vegetable fat, created in laboratories by scientists and other synthesized foods that damage human health.

What Would George Orwell Think Of The Screeching Left's Horror At Plans To Shrink The State. In part one of his classic social commentary, The Road To Wigan Pier, George Orwell wrote of the grinding poverty and appalling living conditions endured by people in industrial areas. The second part, which is more revevant to the 21st Century is a rant against the superiority of the upper class 'Fabian' socialists who have hijacked the Labour movement and whose Paternal Liberalism is in almost all ways more repugnant that the uncaring attitude of the old elite.

What Will It Take to Get You to Swallow GMO and Nanotech Foods?

Are you one of these "new technology rejecters"? Apparently you will be given such a label soon if you don't want GMOs or nanoparticles in your food, just as those who ask can the 1.6% contributed by human activity of the carbon dioxide that makes up 0.025% of the atmosphere really be the sole cause of the changes in our climate which has been constantly changing for millions of years before men first stood erect.

Evolution: Theory, Fact or Fiasco?
Much as I have faith in Charles Darwin's Theory Of Evolution as a feasible explanation of how diverse species originate (The Origin Of The Species) it annoys me when science fans insist "Evolution is not a theory, its a fact." Especially annoying of course is when they cite evolution to explain the origin of life on earth or the development of human intelligence. Even more annoying is their assumption that anyone questioning them is a young Earth creationist. Here are a few thoughts on some of evolution theory's inconsistencies ...

Why Food Sovereignty Should Not Be Handed To GMO Biotech Corporations
Most of the GM produce that is finding its way into the human food chain has been modified to make it resistant to herbicides (weed killer) and pesticides (insect killer) that are deadly to humans - just look at the warnings on a packet of garden weed killer or domestic fly spray if you want proof of that. And remember in bulk food production we are talking about industrial quantities of industrial strength toxins. Scientists on the corporate payroll assure us ...

Are Humans Becoming Extinct
some scientists, Guy McPherson included, down at the Climate Change conference who fear that climate disruption is so serious, with so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already in play, that humans are in the process of causing our own extinction.

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