Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

George Carlin is dead

George Carlin died yesterday. Previously on May22. Comments on Metafilter.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Bikers get our priorities right for us

A group of bikers are planning to demonstrate against the rising cost of fuel with a mass ride into Edinburgh.

One biker said they did not want lorry drivers to be the only focus.

One biker, who only gave his name as Stephen, said:"Indications are that there will be well over a hundred, possibly a lot more. There will be some classic bikes there too."

He said feelings within the biking community were high and the bikers were hoping to cause traffic disruption to highlight their views.

"It is really quite strong in the bike community," he said. "We feel that the spotlight is on lorry drivers but they are not the only ones and we want to highlight that by what we are going to do."

I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. Why should lorry drivers and hauliers get all the limelight?

While lorry drivers are worrying about the possible consequences for their livelihoods and providing for their families; bikers are stressed too; worrying that they might struggle to fill up the tank of their cock extensions more than just a few times a week.

Glad to see they are also getting their priorities right and getting some classic bikes along to the protest. A fuel protest just isn't a fuel protest without some classic bikes.

Analysts expect OPEC to agree to increase oil production by 2 million barrels per day, as soon as footage of the 5 mile tailback on the M8 reaches Riyadh


Sunday, 22 June 2008

Three times as many killed as once thought in 50 years of conflicts

Wars around the world have killed three times more people over the past half-century than previously estimated, a new study suggests... The researchers estimate that 5.4 million people died from 1955 to 2002 as a result of wars in 13 countries. These deaths range from 7,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 3.8 million in Vietnam. According to Obermeyer, the estimates are three times higher than those of previous reports.


Rangers fury at fixtures list - Mr. Angry of the RST speaks out

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Rangers Violence began in late 17th century, say UEFA

America Waits for Clinton to F Off

Good E-Tims Article on Strachan

Three-in-a-row, first time since 1974 (technically), by any standards a tremendous accomplishment yet when the hangovers lessened, the smoke dissipated and we all gently floated down from Cloud Nine, I wonder if anyone is felt as schizophrenic about the whole experience as I did. On the one hand there's the aforementioned relief and joy over the last minute reprieve, while on the other I can't help wondering why the team, while playing in a manner no better than adequately competent and taking advantage of Rangers bubble bursting, should suddenly bring about the kind of conversions in some supporters that would have had Saul of Tarsus hiding anything sharp and casting a hopeful eye at the nearest door. I can't believe that I'm really the only person in the Universe who looks at the names of the other two managers that achieved three-in-a-row, Willie Maley and Jock Stein, and find it odd that the Gordon Strachan's name should now nestle alongside such legends.

After all Maley and Stein both produced famous teams renowned for their football, Gordon Strachan on the other hand has achieved impressive feats without bothering with such trivialities. While others may agree or disagree, I have found Strachan's three seasons to be a mixture of dreadful football and, paradoxically, incredible domestic success. It's akin to watching a blind, drunk driver speeding into a wall, only to be thrown clear and then land on an escaping bank robber for which he receives a large reward. It seems rather churlish though to denigrate Strachan's achievements after such a thrilling end to the season, yet at the same time I cannot but recall that aside from the hectic last seven weeks it was another season noted for its overall abysmal football, which at times carried mental health warnings for those suffering clinical depression or with suicidal tendencies.
I can hear the roars of outrage heading my way as I type but let me just head those off, or at least try an outflanking manoeuvre, by stating that I’m simply refusing to allow the emotional rollercoaster of the season end to usher in ridiculous revisionism. It is nonsense to now claim, as some are doing, that the last seven weeks are all that matters and everything that occurred previously is utterly irrelevant, or in some cases never happened at all; presumably all but the last weeks being sucked into some sudden rift in the space-time continuum. In a way the reaction of those focusing on that last hurrah is understandable, after all Celtic put in a tremendous effort to win all the last seven games, and the snatching of victory from the jaws of defeat is certainly a classic chapter in Celtic’s long and distinguished history, but, and yes there’s a but coming, if we are to truly judge the state of the club then it has to be with a certain objectivity. Consequently there is certainly no room for gushing sentimentality.

Let me say though that even I, hard-hearted and callous though I am, warmed to Strachan in the aftermath of the tragic death of Tommy Burns, who wouldn’t? The hurt Strachan publicly revealed could have broken the heart of even the most cynical observer. Similarly the sight of Strachan celebrating on the Tannadice pitch would only elicit a negative comment from someone who could kick a starving kitten. Hell, I even wanted to believe that Strachan had said the following in that Tannadice post-match huddle, and was rather disappointed to find out that it had just came from a forum contributor in response to a competition to put words into the manager’s mouth: "That lot with their pens and notepads, their exclusives, and their match reports saying we had no chance of retaining this title, we proved they know nothing about us, our fans or our club...that lot standing there singing, with their scarves up above their heads, chanting the name of a special man who everybody connected with this club loves, that's who we won this title for..for our supporters, for ourselves, but most of all for Tommy, so be proud of yourselves, hold your heads high, look up to the heavens and shout loud and proud, ' look what we did Tommy, we did the 3 in a row'" Oh if only, mind you, that still wouldn’t change my mind about season 2007-2008.

Be honest about it, Celtic may have courageously clawed their way out of a deep hole, but it was a deep hole of our own making. Dysfunctional signings, odd team selections, indifferent performances, basic errors on a routine basis, all led to a situation where Celtic allowed a Rangers team with one strength only, the ability to treat football the way Sweeny Todd treated inviting throats, to march into a seemingly unassailable league position despite having failed to look impressive domestically themselves. Walter Smith didn't have to do a hell of a lot to send Celtic reeling, a handful of unspectacular signings and a decision to try out the 10-0-1 formation was enough to strip away the illusion of competence that the club had build on shaky foundations. Suddenly we found ourselves staring with mounting horror at what was promising to be the season from hell, while Rangers supporters skipped from hoof to hoof at the prospect of completing a quadruple trophy count. Only the most insanely optimistic Celtic supporter seriously entertained the prospect of a league upset after the defeat at Ibrox and the shattering home defeat to Motherwell. After that we were all treated to the sound of final nails in being hammered into the coffin lid of Celtic's championship hopes.

The possibility of winning the remaining seven games appeared to be remote to say the least, especially as two of those league fixtures were against Rangers, a team we had not scored against in four encounters, and had not won in five. Winning seven games simply seemed too much to ask, after all, Celtic’s performances had been pretty deplorable, winning just one game in the last seven (that number again)– and that was against the now defunct SPL basketcase, Gretna. Following the defeat by Motherwell, Celtic were seven points behind Rangers who also had a game in hand. It really should have been all over bar the shouting. It did appear that all we had left to look forward to was the salvaging of some credibility from a season that would have grown men screaming in fear for years to come. Happily, although we did not know it at the time, it was all about to change. Celtic was about to embark on a spirited grinding out of results partnered by a equally impressive collapse by Rangers, the latter thanks to the Cowardly Hidden Hand of the Pan-Fenian Conspiracy (copyright The Rangers Supporters Trust).

If Carlsberg made season endings then the end of the 2007-2008 season would be one of their finest with Celtic snatching the league from below the snottery-noses of The Forces of Darkness, the foul ones losing spectacularly in the UEFA Cup final, the lumpen Hun horde disgracing themselves in the streets of Manchester, and lowly Queen of the South nearly staging the upset of all time in the Scottish Cup Final (soon to be boycotted by the huffy Huns). Only the death of Tommy Burns cast a sad pall over events, however that merely served to strengthen the determination of the club to bring the league trophy back to Paradise. In that Strachan cannot be faulted, he does appear to have created a fine team spirit amongst the players, and that more than anything turned the tide. The scenes following the final whistle at Tannadice are ample evidence of such a spirit, and if actual ability is lacking in some of the players, the same cannot be said about their will to win. Unfortunately however this is sometimes not enough, and it usually isn’t enough when faced with opponents of anything other than a mediocre calibre.

Part of the criticism of Gordon Strachan has been the hit and miss nature of his signings, and nowhere is that better reflected than in another contributory factor to the league triumph, that was of course the partnership of Robson and Hartley in the centre of midfield. When contemplating the change of fortunes in this area of the pitch, it should be remembered that the situation only came about with the relegation to the bench of two of Strachan’s most expensive summer signings; Brown and Donati (£7.5m combined outlay). Rather than this turnabout coming from some brilliant insight, the manager actually persevered with the duo despite thoroughly disappointing contributions until circumstances, late in the day, forced the regular selection of two players who helped stop the rot. It's not the first time that Strachan has been criticised for sticking with underperforming players to the point where trading standards inspectors are peering at the sell-by date and reaching for a handy court summons.

An assessment of a season consists of more than a final last death or glory charge, it involves every game and every week if any genuine conclusions are to be reached. The emotions generated at the final stage cannot and should not be allowed to cloud that judgement. By any standard Celtic’s season was a mess suddenly rescued by the kind of final last death or glory charge that would have impressed the Light Brigade. The success of the charge points to unquestionable strengths in both the players and the manager, however are those strengths enough to overcome the weaknesses revealed both then and during the previous months of grim toil? The nature of the league win does not, I'll admit, lend itself to dispassionate consideration, yet the manner of Celtic's victory is an indicator of existing problems that have been pushed firmly into the background. Celtic simply required an heroic effort at the end of the season due to the fact that until that point the team had been found wanting. As the Times article, "Celtic Sore Winners" by Simon Buckland stated:

"Celtic deserve huge praise for the way they responded to where they were back in the first week of April. Yet that is what it was: a response. It doesn’t mean the criticism they received for being where they were can suddenly be rendered invalid. There were too many occasions when Celtic hadn’t performed. In December they lost at Inverness and could only draw at home to both St Mirren and Hibernian. The goalless draw with Dundee United in March was followed by a miserable Scottish Cup replay exit to Aberdeen, with both games at Parkhead. The Motherwell home loss was no blip: it typified the team’s flaws at that time. Celtic have gone on to win the title because they have improved since then. Even then, five of their seven consecutive Premier League victories have been by a single-goal margin, but you cannot argue with the ruthless effectiveness of their sprint-in as Rangers slowed to walking pace. Celtic played well in the closing weeks of the season. Because they had to. Because they hadn’t earlier." - The Times, 25 May 2008.

I said at the start of the season that Gordon Strachan would show if he had what it took to be the Celtic manager now that he was , for the first time, faced with a credible domestic challenge. Up until the arrival of Walter Smith, Strachan had only to content with one serious bout of domestic competition and that ended in October 2005 with the sacking of George Burley. The following season with O’Neill’s signings removed and with a team all of Strachan’s own choosing, Celtic managed to win the league title with seven points less but with nearly 30 fewer goals scored (goals against was pretty much the same). There really is no point in trying to dispute the lack of domestic competition during these seasons, especially the second, so any consideration of a team or manager's merit really has to take these factors into account. When Dick Advocaat won the league by 21 points in season 1999-2000 did anyone seriously believe that this was an accurate reflection of his worth rather than a stunning incitement on the state of Celtic? The next season the same team and manager was demolished by Martin O'Neill, and he was sacked midway through the following season..

Winning domestic competitions when opposition is non-existent or weak is no guarantee that a team or manager’s competence is reflected by the trophy count, even Europe brings with it some oddities. For example during the 2005-2006 season when Rangers managed to win just six league games out of the first seventeen and managed to put together a record breaking run 10 competitive games without a win, McLeish led them to the last 16 of the Champions League. A team that consistently fails to perform to an adequate level is not a good team regardless of the silverware accrued, and there is no doubt what so ever that Celtic have not performed to a level that can be considered acceptable for anything other than brief purple patches during Gordon Strachan’s reign. Even Strachan’s most ardent supporters cannot deny the reality of this unfortunate fact, especially with the disappearance from Celtic Park of considerable numbers of the support during the course of much of last season. The acres of empty seats during most match days are confirmation of the fact that grinding out results is not a viable long-term policy, especially when the necessity for these displays is noticeable by its absence. The necessity to engage in a footballing war of attrition may be tolerated during periods of extreme circumstance, such as the appointment of a new manager trying to get his signings to gel or stopping Ten-in-a-row, but when it becomes standard fare each matchday for several seasons then it’s time to ask serious questions.

I had hoped that the summer would see Gordon Strachan bowing out on a high, it doesn’t look as though the manager is going anywhere though, whether this is a mistake for all involved will be revealed sooner rather than later. When our esteemed chairman, John “Blair Cat’s Paw” Reid, decided to break his self-imposed purdah and re-emerge into the public spotlight, timed with Celtic’s change in league title fortune as it happens, to proclaim the board’s continuing adoration of the manager then the future was clear. Only if Strachan decided to saunter into the sunset of his own volition would we see a change for the coming season. With no sign of that happening I have to contemplate another season of life under the Ginger One, and simply pray to every deity that I can think of in the hope that forthcoming matchdays aren’t spent staring at the sight of a Celtic team collectively sinking the boot into the battered groin of the beautiful game. Can it really be too much to ask for some silverware success and decent football? Is this plea utterly unreasonable? There is no fixed universal law that states success has to be brought about by football that wouldn’t look out of place during the three-legged elephants charity football match in a local swamp.

I will be delighted if Gordon Strachan surprises me and fields a team next season that displays a noticeable improvement in terms of ability. It will require some decent money to be spent, and for genuine quality to strengthen the team. On the money front there is no excuse for the current failure of the Celtic board to provide a reasonable transfer budget to Strachan, none. The profits generated in 2007 and 2008 (I’m assuming), together with the guaranteed money from Champions League participation, surely must see a reversal of the club’s austere fiscal policy. Similarly the money that is available must be spent in the right manner, no more journeymen picked up for buttons and expensive buys who look anything but. No more haphazard hit and miss delving into the transfer market. I can’t say the early signs are encouraging however, offering £2.5m and Riordan for Kyle Lafferty of Burnley is depressingly little more than business as usual.

Gordon Strachan has now had three seasons at the club, three hugely successful seasons in terms of silverware but three very disappointing seasons when it comes to the standard of individual players and the football produced. Considering the club’s healthy financial state and the time the manager has had to improve the team, there are no justifiable reasons for a failure to see considerable improvements in both the overall ability of the team and the performances they produce. So far, through determination and good fortune, Celtic have managed to avoid the quality of the team’s performances being reflected in the trophy count, which cannot last forever. We very nearly saw the bill presented last season for these level of displays, it was a close call and should serve as a warning that the club cannot ignore. Unless we’re witnessing a complete inability of behalf of Gordon Strachan to produce a team that can play reasonable football, then there are no good reasons at all for a continuation of the previous standard. Celtic can instead, for once, build on success and ensure a period of domestic domination that is not dependent, albeit partially, on events elsewhere or the level of domestic competition. It would be a shame to see the feel good factor dissipate and sullen resignation return simply down to a lack of ambition in the Celtic boardroom, I think we’ve all been there on enough occasions in the past to wish any replay of that scenario.

So that’s my wish list for season 2008-2009, reasonable success and watchable football, it’s hardly akin to demanding the moon on a stick. I have to say though, I’m not overly optimistic.

Liberty Leading the People

Five years?

Scott McDonald

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Friday Night

Plans for Friday night are beginning to firm up. Billy, Diggy, Stephen, Denis, Jack & Big John will all be in The Press Bar between 5 and 6. Things can only get better after that.

It's so exciting to be having a night out. That's the second one I've had this year!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Sunday, 15 June 2008

"WATCH" out for this!

I spotted this in a supplement yesterday:

Ebel, the Swiss watch maker, is making headway in the men's market by forging partnerships with premier European fotball clubs.

Ebel has partnerships with Britain's Arsenal football club, and Germany's FC Bayern Munich. In July, it expects to announce four more partnerships with clubs in Spain, Holland, France and Scotland.

I wonder if it is us or them!

Get your orders in now - a bargain at €9,900.

Maybe we can look forward to Gisele appearing up at the Barras or down Govan way.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Oh Aye they were Chelsea fans in disguise

In total 39 police officers were injured during the 24 hour period from 0700
14th May to 0700 on the 15th May. The majority of these officers sustained
their injuries in the Piccadilly disorder. During the same period 39 fans were
arrested across the city of which 30 related to public disorder, assault and
possession of offensive weapons. Of these 30 arrests, 25 provided Scottish
addresses, 1 from Belfast and 4 from the North West.

Heineken don't do UEFA cup sponsorship but if they did.....

The Carlsberg Marquee reported similar disorder. At 6.30pm large numbers of
Rangers fans climbed onto the marquee and despite suspending the service
until they came down, they refused to comply. A decision was made that staff
were likely to be crushed and stewards escorted them to safety. As they
moved out fans smashed down the marquee and looted the contents. The
nearby Carlsberg tanker was damaged beyond repair.

It wisnae us

Increasing levels of public disorder prior to match screening time

From 4pm the operators of the merchandise unit reported increasing problems in Piccadilly Gardens. Fans jumped over the security barrier and climbed on top of the sales unit. Large numbers of people were jumping up and down on the roof and urinating on top of the unit. Although the police were called the sheer numbers surrounding them meant there was little they could do.

By 7pm the unit was overrun, and all official programmes and merchandise stolen. The till units were locked away in the unit and staff left because of threats to their security. Shutters could not be closed as the electrics had been damaged and the shop was full of rowdy fans. When they returned the next day, the tills were smashed and everything stolen

Manchester City CEX Report

At 11.30am there was the first report of anti-social behaviour – missiles being
thrown at the stage and the first reported fight between fans. The first act on
stage lasted only 20 minutes out of the 45 minutes scheduled because they
were pelted with cans and coins. No other acts performed on stage that day
for safety reasons

10 Shocking Facts About Global Slavery in 2008

Friday, 13 June 2008

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Lord of the Tims: The Return of Walter

Celtic's 100 Greatest Games

Nostalgia TV programmes are all the rage, but the best ones have all been done and now the likes of Channel 5 are really scraping the barrel with things like '100 Greatest TV Weather Forecasts' and 'I Loved Last Week'.

Well, I say all the best ones have been done... except for the 100 greatest Celtic games, therefore I have drawn up the list.

I haven't actually put it on order, apart from the top two the rest are as they came from memory or in the order I found them in my if you know the history book (Leeds Utd games and Rangers 4-0 in '69 are just two that should be much higher).

Actually, a more appropriate title for this post would be 'Celtic's 100 Greatest Games according to a 30-something fan's memory and snippets he might have seen on TV or read about'.

I have a natural bias towards 1980 to the present, so comments would be welcome from fans with... ahem... longer memories.

1. Celtic 2-1 Inter Milan 25/05/67
2. Celtic 7-1 Rangers 19/10/57
3. Celtic 6-2 Rangers 27/08/00
4. Liverpool 0-2 Celtic 20/03/03
5. Blackburn 0-2 Celtic 14/11/02
6. Celtic 1-0 Manchester Utd 21/11/06
7. Celtic 2-1 AC Milan 03/10/07
8. Celtic 4-3 Juventus 31/10/01
9. Celtic 1-0 Barcelona 11/03/04
10. Barcelona 0-0 Celtic 25/03/04
11. Boavista 0-1 Celtic 24/04/03
12. Celtic 5-0 Sporting Lison 02/11/83
13. Celtic 3-0 FC Cologne 30/09/92
14. Celtic 6-3 FC Tirol Innsbruck 26/08/97
15. Ajax 1-3 Celtic 08/08/01
16. Ajax 1-2 Celtic 29/09/82
17. Celtic 2-0 Real Madrid 05/03/80
18. Celtic 1-0 Juventus 16/09/81
19. Celtic 2-1 Leeds Utd 15/04/70
20. Leeds Utd 0-1 Celtic 01/04/70
21. Real Madrid 0-1 Celtic 07/06/67 [Alfredo Di Stefano testimonial]
22. Celtic 3-0 Benfica 17/10/06
23. Celtic 3-0 Benfica 12/11/69
24. Celtic 3-0 Fiorentina 04/03/70
25. Celtic 5-1 Red Star Belgrade 13/11/68
26. Celtic 4-0 St. Ettiene 02/10/68
27. Celtic 2-0 Vojvodina 08/03/67
28. Dukla Prague 0-0 Celtic 25/04/67
29. Celtic 2-0 St.Johnstone 09/05/98
30. Celtic 2-1 Hearts 09/04/88
31. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd 14/05/88
32. Rangers 1-2 Celtic 20/03/88
33. St.Mirren 0-5 Celtic 03/05/86
34. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd 18/05/85
35. Rangers 0-3 Celtic 29/04/01
36. Celtic 3-0 Rangers 03/01/04
37. Celtic 1-0 Rangers 08/05/04 [Chris Sutton last minute winner completes whitewash]
38. Dundee Utd 1-2 Celtic 30/07/00 [MONs first league game, Henke's first start since his leg break and Sutton's first goal]
39. Celtic 6-1 Hearts 18/11/00
40. Celtic 5-1 Rangers 21/11/98
41. Celtic 4-2 Rangers 21/05/79
42. Celtic 11-0 Dundee 26/10/1895
43. Celtic 5-2 Rangers 28/05/1888
44. Celtic 1-0 Everton 10/06/38 [Empire Exhibition final]
45. Celtic 2-0 Hibernian 20/05/53 [Coronation Cup final]
46. Celtic 2-1 Manchester Utd 16/05/53
47. Celtic 1-0 Arsenal 11/05/53
48. Celtic 4-2 St.Johnstone 20/01/92 [tennent's sixes final!]
49. Rangers 2-4 Celtic 14/05/83
50. Celtic 7-0 Aberdeen 19/10/99
51. Celtic 5-1 Livingston 06/04/02
52. Celtic 1-0 Rangers 20/05/89
53. Celtic 2-0 Rangers 17/03/91
54. Celtic 3-0 Rangers 24/03/91
55. Celtic 2-0 Rangers 02/01/98
56. Celtic 2-0 Rangers 03/03/97
57. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd 10/03/96 [Scottish Cup - two goals in last minute]
58. Celtic 5-0 Aberdeen 01/04/96 [Cadete's debut]
59. Rangers 1-1 Celtic 30/04/94 [Collin's free-kick when Celtic fans banned from the Bigotdome]
60. Hamilton Accies 3-8 Celtic 03/01/87
61. Celtic 3-1 Rangers 12/11/89
62. Celtic 4-0 Rangers 26/04/69 [Scottish Cup Final]
63. Celtic 3-0 Motherwell 02/04/83 [my first game at Paradise]
64. Motherwell 0-1 Celtic 07/05/66 [clinched Celtic's first league title in umpteen years and qualification for the 1966/67 European Cup...]
65. Celtic 3-0 Rapid Vienna 07/11/84 [we destroyed the eventual runners up fairly and squarely although this result was tainted by subsequent cheating by the opposition]
66. Celtic 6-1 Clyde 01/05/71 [last time the 11 Lisbon Lions played together competitively]
67. Dunfermline 1-8 Celtic 19/02/06
68. Celtic 3-1 Dunfermline 22/05/04 [Henke's last competitive appearance]
69. Celtic 3-0 Hibernian 26/05/01
70. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd 16/05/04 [Henrik's last league game]
71. Porto 3-2 Celtic 21/05/03 [honourable defeat but the club's reputation enhanced]
72. Rangers 1-2 Celtic 27/04/03 [beachball Sunday]
73. Hearts 2-3 Celtic 01/01/06 [2 down and Hearts set to go within 1 point of us but instead Celtic go 7 points clear]
74. Celtic 2-1 Rangers 16/04/08
75. Celtic 3-2 Rangers 27/04/08
76. Celtic 1-0 Dundee Utd 22/05/08
77. Celtic 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk 28/11/07
78. Celtic 10-0 Hamilton Accies 11/09/68
79. Celtic 9-0 Airdrie 26/10/63
80. Celtic 3-2 Dunfermline 28/04/65 [Scottish Cup Final]
81. Celtic 1-1 Liverpool (Celtic win 4-2 on pens) 04/04/89 [Dubai Cup final between English and Scottish champions]
82. Celtic 1-1 Spartak Moscow (Celtic win 4-3 on pens)29/08/07 [Celtic's 1st ever European penalty shoot-out win]
83. Celtic 5-1 Queen's Park 09/04/1892 [Celtic's first ever trophy - Scottish Cup]
84. Celtic 3-1 Leith Athletic 09/05/1893 [Celtic clinch their first league title]
85. Celtic 2-1 Hamilton Accies 30/04/1909 [Celtic clinch the league having played their last 8 games in 11 days with no extension to the league programme asked for or given]
86. Celtic 2-0 Lyon 30/09/03
87. Celtic 3-1 Anderlecht 05/11/03
88. Celtic 4-0 Honved 05/10/88
89. Aberdeen 2-3 Celtic 10/09/95 [Celtic come back from 0-2 down in the 1st half]
90. Hearts 0-4 Celtic 23/09/95
91. Motherwell 1-7 Celtic 21/02/99
92. Hearts 2-5 Celtic (aet) 01/11/00
93. Hearts 1-4 Celtic 28/04/02 [Celtic's youth team hump Rangers Lite 4-1 in their own midden - scorers Maloney and Lynch 2 each]
94. Celtic 3-1 Dukla Prague 12/04/67
95. Celtic 3-0 Dinamo Kiev 12/01/66
96. Celtic 1-0 Liverpool 14/04/66
97. Celtic 3-0 MTK Budapest 15/04/64
98. Celtic 6-1 Hibernian 06/05/72 [Scottish Cup final]
99. Celtic 6-3 Hibernian 26/10/74 [League Cup final]
100.Celtic 2-1 Rangers 04/12/82 [League Cup final]

Wikipedia's best ever article

Flatulence is the presence of a mixture of gases in the digestive tract of mammals. Such a mixture of gases is known as flatus, and is expelled from the rectum in a process also known as flatulence, or as 'breaking wind', 'trumping' or 'farting'.

Flatus is expelled under pressure through the anus, whereby, as a result of the voluntary or involuntary relaxation of the anal sphincter, the rapid evacuation of gases from the lower intestine occurs. Essentially this happens when the flatus pressure inside the rectum exceeds the anal sphincter's ability to restrain it. Depending upon the relative state of the sphincter (relaxed/tense) and the positions of the buttocks, this often results in a crackling or trumpeting sound, but gas can also be passed quietly. The olfactory components of flatulence include skatole, indole, and sulfurous compounds.[1] The non-odorous gases are mainly nitrogen (ingested), carbon dioxide (produced by aerobic microbes or ingested), and hydrogen (produced by some microbes), as well as lesser amounts of oxygen (ingested) and methane (produced by anaerobic microbes).[2]

Nitrogen is the primary gas released. Carbon dioxide is often present, especially in persons who drink carbonated beverages in quantity. Methane and hydrogen, lesser components, are flammable, and so flatus can be ignited. Not all humans produce flatus that contains methane. For example, in one study of the feces of nine adults, only five of the samples contained archaea capable of producing methane.[3] Similar results are found in samples of gas obtained from within the rectum.

The gas released during a flatus event frequently has a foul odor which mainly results from low molecular weight fatty acids such as butyric acid (rancid butter smell) and reduced sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and carbonyl sulfide that are the result of protein breakdown. The incidence of odoriferous compounds in flatus increases from herbivores, such as cattle, through omnivores to carnivorous species, such as cats or dogs. Flatulence odor can also be caused by the presence of large numbers of microflora bacteria and/or the presence of feces in the rectum.

The major components of the flatus (which are odorless) by percentage are:[4]

Nitrogen - 20% - 90%
Hydrogen - 0% - 50%
Carbon Dioxide - 10% - 30%
Oxygen - 0% - 10%
Methane - 0% - 10%

The noises commonly associated with flatulence are caused by the vibration of the anal sphincter, and occasionally by the closed buttocks. The sound varies depending on the tightness of the sphincter muscle and velocity of the gas being propelled, as well as other factors such as water and body fat. The auditory pitch (sound) of the flatulence outburst can also be affected by the anal embouchure. Among humans, flatulence occasionally happens accidentally, such as incidentally to coughing or sneezing or during orgasm; on other occasions, flatulence can be voluntarily elicited by tensing the rectum or "bearing down" and subsequently releasing the anal sphincter, resulting in the expulsion of a flatus.

Flatus is brought to the rectum by the same process which causes feces to descend from the large intestine, and may cause a similar feeling of urgency and discomfort. Nerve endings in the rectum usually enable individuals to distinguish between flatus and feces, [5] although loose stool can confuse the individual, occasionally resulting in accidental defecation.

In many cultures, human flatulence in public is regarded as embarrassing and repulsive, even to the point of being a taboo subject. People will often strain to hold in the passing of gas when in polite company, or position themselves to conceal the noise and smell. In other cultures it may be no more embarrassing than coughing. It is even a sign of happiness in some cultures.

While the act of passing flatus is generally considered to be an unfortunate occurrence in public settings, flatulence may, in casual circumstances, be used as either a humorous supplement to a joke, or as a comic activity in and of itself.


Saturday, 7 June 2008

Friday, 6 June 2008

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland... and BBC Propaganda

Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland
Posted by Chris Vernon on June 4, 2008 - 9:50am in The Oil Drum: Europe
Topic: Policy/Politics
Tags: bbc, north sea, peak oil [list all tags]

On BBC One Scotland at 22:45 this evening (Wed 4th June) Hayley Millar explores the history and future of North Sea oil and reasons for the recent run up in the oil price in the documentary Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland.


One of the talking heads "gets it" (I'm paraphrasing here)

"The crunch will come in 2010, plus or minus 2 years... You have to look at the flow rates... beyond 2011, the flow rates go down"

(cut to Hayley Miller, who clearly doesn't "get it")
"But I want to find out how long it will last"

Mind you, there is the economist view "It's all speculators; the real price is $40 per barrel", so she's not doing too badly.

"There is no shortage of supply, as the declared reserves have grown by 2.5% per year" - that person really needs to be hit with the clue bat. "It's the flow, stupid!"



That was painful to watch. You'd almost think that North Sea oil production wasn't declining at a massive rate per annum watching it. The closest they come is admitting is that the reserves left is less than half of what has been pumped, and that there's no easy oil left.

Instead we get Scottish patriotic porn - Scotland's innovation, confidence and overall awesomeness and how all the money was stolen by Westminster.

What a waste of effort.


Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland was extremely disappointing. Shockingly bad that the BBC could produce such a bias investigation. In an hour long programme about North Sea oil industry’s history and future nothing was mentioned about the peak in production, the fact production is approximately half what it was a decade ago, the fact we’re now a net importer...

And to come out with such absurd statements as there being 25bn barrels left – conservative estimate, that the price should be $35-40 were it not for speculation, that there’s as much to produce again as we’ve produced in the past is very irresponsible.


There was one section on how new companies and new technology were driving North Sea growth. Much was made of the tremendous success Apache had had with the Forties field. It was stated that production was up to 66,000 barrels per day. The problem was that no context was provided.

Here's what that tremendous success looks like:


The BBC has never taken the public's license fee in order to inform them.
It was set up to convey the viewpoint of the elite and fake impartiality in order to control the masses.
The intellectual bankruptcy of it's pretensions has never troubled them, as long as they get the loot, especially by issuing gross threats to the poorest in society should they miss their poll-tax.
Old records that have been released make it quite clear that there concern has always been with 'avoiding causing public alarm' and so forth, never with telling the plain old-fashioned truth.
In this case the thought that we might be short of oil might cause alarm, so is an obvious victim of the BBC's filtering.


The idiocy starts with the notion of "how long will it last" and "running out"

anybody using such questions basically doesn't understand the problem.

when analysts say this sort of thing and some numpty comes along and says "see no problem" they have placed themselves in the "haven't got a clue" camp

its not just the false projections on the amount of oil that need refuting but the actual mode of argument.. given their own numbers they are idiots.

take reserve growth.... right.. well first off to the layman its just a minefield of misinformation. Do you argue trying to wrestle with with all the different standards of reserve booking and backdating

or do you just side step the whole nonsense for the sake of simplicity.

just pointing out that reserves only "grow" on paper and the amount of oil in the ground only decreases with production. the thing that really "grows" from a production POV is our ability to pull it out of the ground. reserve booking creates the impression there is "somehow" more oil

the amount of oil in the ground is the amount of oil in the ground.. thats something your average joe can get.. now I know for all you technically aware dudes you going to talk URR and all that but you need to dumb down yet remain insightful

if your talking to the man on the street you need to slice through this reserve issue with an axe and just stop the argument in its tracks..

basically as soon as someone says "reserves" on one of these talking head shows or articles they need to be taken out and shot in the back of the head

Odell is an absolute shocker


I watched the doc last night - it was so bad I don't know where to start (spent an hour with my head in my hands saying "oh for f**ks sake").

On the plus side: the UK oil industry is an incredible technological and economic success story and we don't hear nearly enough about it. The doc redresses some of that balance, and included some interesting history. And the soundtrack was good.

On the negative side:

- as others have noted, no sign whatsoever of the peak in production. Nada. Zip. Were they unaware of this basic fact? Did they think it was irrelevant, or wouldn't interest the audience? Or does somebody have an agenda?

- numbers were often rattled off without any context. For example, how does X million barrels compare to daily Scottish, UK or global consumption? How does current production compare with past production? A chart is a good way to show that .. but then a chart would show a peak (or two). I think I see their problem.

- what graphics they did use were laughably confusing and uninformative. When they showed the equation for energy content of a barrel of oil I almost choked.

- while it's interesting to know that oil costs less than a bottle of Evian, that just shows how expensive mineral water is. Try comparing it to tap water (though that's also meaningless).

- I think Legget's comment on the "supply crunch" was taken out of context. She was talking about the North Sea, while I suspect he was referring to global supply. And "crunch" is ambiguous - he certainly didn't mean to imply that the North Sea would run dry.

- the focus on reserves, covered by others above, is completely misleading. The final talking head mentioned that the first oil field in Canada was still producing 150 years on - about 100 barrels a day. Excuse me if I don't dash out to buy Talisman shares.

- They talked to McCrone, but never once mentioned the McCrone report. Perhaps it was a condition of the interview, but what a missed opportunity.

- What were the "Lies" and what was the "Truth"? I saw precious little of either, but plenty of speculation.

I came away with the impression that this was basically a campaign ad for the SNP. The past oil bonanza bankrolled Thatcherism (and Thatcher is bad - Scots hated Thatcher. Showing footage of her press secretary Bernard Ingham to a Scot is like waving a red rag in front of a stickleback). There's plenty of oil remaining and lots of potential tax revenue, and if Scotland had a sniff of it (like those canny Shetlanders) we'd be as rich as Croesus.

My response to the Daily Mail :

>>This piece cannot go unanswered.
The UKCS peaked in 1999 and has fallen since. All of the major finds in the UKCS have followed typical production profiles and all are now producing oil at significantly lower rates of production. It is typical of an Oil Province to find and produce the larger fields first. This was true of the North Sea with such finds as Forties, Ninian, Brent and Magnus. New finds and new technology applied to mature and depleted fields cannot offset the depletion curve that impacts overall UK production and consequently, UK overall production will fall year on year. This fall in production is irreversible.
There may be minor new fields here and there. There may be a few fields in the Atlantic Margin, but to quote Odell and believe that there may be 30 billion additional barrels of reserves is frankly madness. The UK as an oil province has passed peak. So too has Norway , Denmark and Holland. It will be more or less over for the UKCS by 2025.<<

Wade in as you see fit.

This whole strategy starting with the Sunday Times Article by Millar and culminating in last nights agitpropoganda is new and disturbing.



He kicked off the referendum campaign for Independence last night with the promise of untold riches. It started last night and Salmond will play this out in full.

There is a general election in about 2 years time. He will look for a Scottish mandate based on last night and will look for a tax grab in the meantime.

Has spent his life saying we will never run out of carbon fuels and is therefore unlikely to say 'All my life's work is wrong'

He is hardly going to say its game over by 2020. - What would that do to student numbers in 'Petroleum Economics'?


The unrealistic forecasts by Odell etc are all over the UK press today; Prof Kemp is also extensively quoted and one of his more telling statements (which I'm not sure the journalists properly understand) is that the average size of the estimated 300 fields not yet in production is sub 20m bbls.

If we use the same R/P ratio as Buzzard the above fields would struggle to produce more than 7k bbls/day each...and steep declines would set in after around 4 years. Not least the fields would have to be clustered close together to have any chance of necessary (huge) infrastructure investments being made...and due to poor ERoEI I doubt that would change much at $500 oil. We only have to look at NW Hutton field which was tied in to existing infrastructure (Brent p/l) and yet both the operator and DTI saw fit to abandon it at a time of sharply rising oil prices. I don't know its final flowrates but in the late 90's it was still producing 6k bbls/day i.e. not much less than average potential of Kemp's 300 fields. If NW Hutton couldn't run with existing infrastructure what chance for many of those stranded fields?

In the meantime todays Aberdeen Press and Journal continues to clamour for a major upgrade of the A9 Perth / Inverness trunk road and for an 'energy development corridor' for all of the 30 miles between Aberdeen and Peterhead which, unsurprisingly, no longer has a rail connection. The P&J has also been heavily promoting the AWPR, a major ($800m+) road around Aberdeen for which the Scottish Government have denied objectors at the forthcoming public inquiry from referencing future traffic studies, energy supplies or CO2 emissions.

Journalism of the type seen in parts of the BBC programs and wider press does us no favours by focussing on nonsense such as 'around half of N Sea reserves remain to be extracted'. The problem is that such reporting will influence decision makers at local and national level most of whom have far less knowledge energy matters than many on this forum. In short such reporting makes it more likely that we will build yet more roads and runways at a time when we should be re-designing our infrastructure to reflect the energy-scarce world into which we are rapidly headed (and that's not to mention the coming UK trade deficit as we try to import energy to maintain BAU).


Odell is the kind of "expert" the BBC wheels out so they can show "balance". In the same way until recently they would always feature Myron Ebell on radio 4's Today programme to spread his disinformation about climate change to "balance" the scientist with the bad news message. They've stopped doing it now. How soon until peak oil moves on in the same way? I'd say about 2 years from now when declines will probably be a bit more difficult to disguise.

Chris and Euan were sincere, academic and forthright as you would expect. A little nervous, but what the hell. Sincere forthright academics dont give good face.

Odell : Well, what can I say? . A mummified economist. A dangerous liar at best.

I intended to tape the bimbo and watch newsnight, but decided it wasnt worth the electrons. Watched Newsnight and switched back to the bimbo.

The bimbo came up to expectations wrt the piece in the Sunday Times Eccosse section.

Expect no questions in the house.

For my money?

Peak was declared in the UK tonight.

Sad bit?

It interviewed people who do know better. But if there is a pay cheque involved people will believe in Atlantis.


not every night that PO gets full billing. Who here would believe that two years ago?

Simmons was right.



[-] gordonbrewer on June 5, 2008 - 12:37pm
I presented the newsnight scotland programme which has been discussed here.

first of all, i should thank euan mearns for appearing on the programme. incidentally we found eauan in aberdeen because we were familiar with the oil drum site, so you are making waves.

i've found the discussion here fascinating. could i just make a few points:

1) bbc scotland has broadcast a week of programmes connected with the oil industry. hence the cross reference to the documentary.

2) i accept that talking about "the oil running out" is a simplification. But as you guys are probably more aware than most, this is a very complicated area and it's difficult to present in a simple way to a TV audience. I think in the body of the interviews we tried to take the discussion on to a more complex level.

3) i agree euan did not have enought time. i would have been happy to continue the discussion for another ten minutes or so. but that's tv scheduling for you.

4)as for your correspondents' views on whether i understood the issues or asked the right questions, well that is for them to judge rather than me. but i do reject the idea that i was somehow deliberately asking "anti-peak oil" questions of chris skrebowski. the WHOLE POINT of doing an interview is to put contrary points of view so that the interviewee can outline their ideas or be challenged on them. in the interview with chris, i'm sure he would agree it was more the former than the latter.

sadly, the chances of settling debates which consume hundreds of thousands of words on your website are slim.

very much enjoy reading the oil drum!


[-] DaveMart on June 5, 2008 - 1:28pm
Thanks for joining in the discussion.
I think it is fair to say that most here found some of your questioning to the point, especially when you asked if speculation was the cause of the price rises, what was happening to the oil?

Many also remarked that you had obviously been reading up on the issue.
The problem then is not with your presentation.
It is with the assumptions which lay behind the program and especially the radio program.

The BBC has a duty to try to convey a balanced viewpoint.
It was nowhere made clear that oil was being produced at half the volume as at peak, that there is now a large deficit and that the augmentations of existing fields are comparatively tiny.

Also the Governments own projections of likely future extraction from the North Sea was ignored, in favour of a wildly optimistic projection of as much oil remaining as has already been extracted.

The chances of that are vanishingly small, the costs huge.
So the overall impression given by the programs were entirely misleading.
We accept that the issues have to be presented for a more general interest non-expert audience, but the balance of likely resources was wildly skewed.
Perhaps you would call the same participants back in a years time, and see how their predictions have fared.

You might ask the optimists where the oil is.
No-one in the media who always refer to the head of CERA as an expert has ever called him to account for his completely inaccurate predictions.

[-] mididoctors on June 5, 2008 - 2:37pm
I thought you did ok and its not your role to make the argument so to speak

but..... there lies the problem.. you have to understand this issue to allow the debate and presentation to be balanced

and I can see how this is a dilemma for the impartial holy cows of broadcast journalism because essentially once you "get it" your bias towards... well the truth!

thats a real square peg in a round hole situation you have on your hands there.

Having Odell up on screen even as a clip is pretty much equivalent to debating history with David Icke on one side and AJP taylor on the other and giving them both equal billing.

I don't envy your position but the weight on your shoulders on this absurdly unreported issue is .. is what? .. well the phrase "of monumental world importance" is not an understatement

we need to revisit this issue with an in depth probe of the cornucopian position and their motivations to paint a rosy picture.. every one likes a tale of lies and deciet...

well their you go

there is a trail of absurdity and denial going back to Hubbert and the USGS in the early 60's through to the great OPEC reserve debacle of the 80's and onto to simmons calling aramco out at CSIS in 2003

at which point the abiotic oil thing appeared all over the net

you guys are the journalists you join the dots...

why does a man like Odell get awards from OPEC?

there's a story

The future of human society?

Analysis of Obama's support

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The UK pubic and petrol prices - Ostrich mentality

I was reading a few articles on BBC website in relation to the ongoing furore surrounding rising petrol prices. The comments at the end of this article demonstrate that the British penchant for unconstructive criticism, blaming everything on the Government and avoiding any modicum of personal responsibility for past or future actions whatsoever, is alive and well.

The price of crude oil has increased by over 100% in one year. UK duty on petrol has not risen in this time. The UK public would do well to look at the state of world oil production and start planning for the future.

However all the signs are that the collective cranium will be held firmly in the sand for the foreseeable future. This is not particularly surprising from a general public who have been cosntantly told not to worry as there is plenty of oil. What would be alarming; is if Gordon Brown thinks that an increase in production in the North Sea [from which production has been in steady decline for 8 years now] of 70,000 barrels per day is going to have any effect on world prices when global consumption is currently 80million+ barrels. Hopefully this 'policy' is just a sop to the public and the UK Government has a more realistic energy strategy waiting in the wings.

I have copied the two best [in comedy terms] replies to this article in relation to the petrol/oil price situation.

The first is typical ostrich mentality, or more likely someone who has never looked beyond mainstream media explanations of the sustained rise in oil price i.e. the weak dollar, OPEC "refusing" to raise output.

The second has to be the all-time most moronic statement I have seen in print that was not made by David Edgar.

Added: Thursday, 29 May, 2008, 18:43 GMT 19:43 UK

There is no oil shortage - in 1907 they predicted that oil would run in out less than 20 years. At this price there will be new reserves found all over the place. This is nothing at all to do with supply & demand. This is all to do with what the US and UK did in the Middle East, and the Arabs taking revenge. If they wanted to they could bring the price of oil down to $10 a barrel tomorrow.

So, OPEC are extracting revenge, and New Labour has hijacked the green wagon to rape the motorist!

Prof Davis, Oldham

Ostrich logic 1 - In the past people have predicted that oil supplies will deplete and this has not come to pass [yet - current price suggests otherwise] therefore oil will never run out.

Now, maybe the war in Iraq was just a wee bit about the oil right enough...

Added: Friday, 30 May, 2008, 06:53 GMT 07:53 UK

Given the fact that we are currently spending billions trying to help Iraq become democratic , would it not be fair if Iraq gave us special terms on the price of their oil/gas ? We could even demand some for free! Because, if Iraq falls into the hands of anti- western factions , then what we are payng for petrol now will seem cheap ! All those who moaned about "The War" might just have to eat their words if the worlds 3rd largest producer shows its gratitude in this way !!!!

keith ridgers, cobham, United Kingdom

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