I’ve not posted on here in ages, but I popped the following on facebook and wanted to make sure I had it to hand…
This just popped into my head. Trump’s campaign received (a quick Google tells me) $21m from the NRA – who also spent $19m in non-partisan anti-Hillary advertising, etc. But we’ll stick to that $21m.
Since the orange shitball took over, there have been 35 deaths (students and staff) in school shootings, including one on his inauguration day [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States#2017].
In the same period, including the above where relevant, 103 people have died in mass shootings [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shootings_in_the_United_States].
Over 15,591 people died from gunshots in the US in 2017, not including suicides (22,000!) [http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls].
So, let’s put this in terms that Trump can understand:
One student or faculty member is worth $600,000
One mass shooting victim is worth $203,883.50
One person killed by a firearm (non-suicide) is worth $1346.93
One person killed by a firearm (inc suicides) is worth $558.64
The price of a life, eh? And of course, as time goes on and those numbers of dead rise, the value of a life falls.
Hope the NRA are pleased with the bargain they got.
A man with a big scythe and mounted on an impossibly white steed arrived to pick up the soul of one Sir Terry Pratchett, aged 66 today. Pratchett, for those who’ve lived in a literary black hole for the last thirty years or so, was the genius behind the Discworld novels and all the history, back story and associated paraphernalia with the fantasy land he’d created.
I was introduced to Discworld by a handful of friends at school who latched on to them a little earlier than I did – Indy and Richard were the main guilty parties if I remember correctly. From reading The Colour of Magic I was hooked.
Annoyingly Terry Pratchett was a hugely prodigious author, chucking out a couple of books a year which made collecting his works quite pricey. On the other hand, they were almost without exception work paying for. Some of my favourite reads of all time flowed from his wonderfully creative mind, including Good Omens which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman.
What made his work stand out, to me, was the way he wrote rather than what he wrote. The fantasy world he created was as good as any other which flowed from the pens and keyboards of many an author but his humorous style was second to none. With a bevy of pop culture references in his novels (annotated guides appeared on the internet many years ago which I downloaded, printed and promptly lost while at university), there was an extra layer to the stories which gave them an extra level of re-readability.
What I truly appreciated about him, though, was his eagerness to engage with his readers. Along with Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett took to the internet with aplomb in its earlier days as a publicly accessible network and regularly posted on alt.fan.pratchett, a newsgroup on the old usenet system. I remember him asking questions about the physics surrounding someone randomly teleporting from one place to another, and the input from respondents was used in (I think) The Last Continent.
He regularly did signing tours and would sign anything and everything he was given… with a different quote in each. I attended two signings in one day in Leeds many years ago, between which I think he signed about 15 books I had. Each one annotated “Best Wishes”, “More Best Wishes”, “Son of Best Wishes” and so on. He added drawings and stamps to his repertoire as the years went on.
And then he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
One of the most active and creative literary minds of our generation was being eaten away from within. A more cruel punishment for a person I cannot imagine. Yet, despite this, he ploughed on. He still had stories to tell and no damn debilitating mental condition was going to stop him.
Utilising copious notes and voice recognition software to allow him to keep track of the plots while writing as quickly as possible, and with the aid of friends and family, his output slowed but did not stop. Did he need to write more to pay the mortgage? No. He wrote because he was good at it, enjoyed it an – most importantly – other people got happiness from something he did. And also to piss off the Alzheimer’s, a condition he called an “embuggerance”.
And now that creative mind has ceased to function. News was released some months ago that his daughter Rhianna would take over the Discworld when her father passed, and on her capable (trust me, I’ve read some of her stuff) shoulders that responsibility now lies.
Thank you, PTerry (sic). Thank you for seventy-plus novels of laughs. Thank you for being one of many people who engendered in me a genuine love for the written word and how beautifully it can be crafted.
Enjoy that final ride on Binky. Such a brilliant moniker that we named our last dog after him. I just wish your hourglass had been that bit bigger.
A Just Giving page donating to the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) has been set up in his memory: https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett/
Loving all the people who don’t like the new facebook “we can use your posts, comments and images in adverts” policies being touted, and who think that simply posting that “I do not give you permission…” etc. is enough to prevent this.
Sorry folks, by using facebook (for free, remember) you agree to *their* terms and conditions. If you don’t agree to them, then you can’t use the service. It’s not an “agreement” in that you sit down over a pint and discuss one-to-one how you’re going to use the service (for free) and then walk off after a handshake.
Facebook provide you with a contract to which you must agree to use their service. Part of that contract is that they are permitted to *change* that contract as long as they give fair notice (they seem to think 7 days is fair). If you don’t agree to the contract (in whole or in part), you don’t use the service. That’s the agreement.
Frankly, I think it’s a storm in a teacup. The example of usage they’ve mentioned is, for instance, an advert for a venue underneath which they may place a post from one of your friends who’s been there before. A post/picture you’ll already have seen as you’re on their friends list. They aren’t taking stuff you’ve posted to a limited audience (friends, groups…) and posting them publicly.
Get over it, or get out. Good luck gaining as large an audience or following on Google+ with its echoing walls.
That’s right. I’m fully behind the English Disco Lovers, a small organisation which has set out to undermine the English Defence League (a bunch of Neanderthal racists) by stealing their initials and – instead – promoting togetherness and harmony through the power of disco!
Their first aim was to gain more “likes” on Facebook than the knuckle-draggers, something they succeeded in doing today. Pretty impressive given that they only set up the facebook page around the new year. At the time of writing, Disco is winning on the “likes” with 18,075 against the low-lifes’ paltry 15,112 or 18,050 depending on which if their two pages you look at. The latter, with the higher score, is a Wikipedia page whereas the former is the “active / official” one.
Anything that gives racists (especially those with very dodgy criminal records) one in the eye is worth supporting, especially when it’s done with no real malice, a sense of humour and D-I-S-C-O!
For more information, check out the real EDL’s page 😉 With luck, the more links and the more clicks, the higher up Google’s rankings they’ll get as well!
UPDATE (6th Feb): There is an EDL (skinhead bottomfeeder version) “community” on facebook as well, with around 38,605 likes. EDL (disco) has 19,982 as I write this. Get liking!
- How to disco dance the EDL off Google and Facebook (guardian.co.uk)