redfiona99: (Default)

New Zealand town builds underpass for march of the penguins -


Kinky Cakes: Inside The World Of Adult Bakeries -


The GP surgery that treats patients no-one else can cope with -


Important moments in the fight for equal pay -


Why does this woman think she is ugly? -

Killed by Jutting and forgotten by Indonesia -


Whistle blown on MSP Douglas Ross's refereeing clash
- Although this really could have gone into the football section as well, given "A leading Scottish Conservative MSP missed a parliamentary committee to referee a Champions League match in Portugal."

US Election 2016: A survivor's guide to unexpected voting results -

US election: America the beautiful's ugly election -



ECB’s Kolpak clampdown is the latest gambit in cricket’s hundred-year war


Howard Webb reveals players asked to be booked to have Christmas off -

Besiktas fans use sign language for ‘world’s first silent cheer’ to inspire team -

The match that pitted white players against black players -

I only used the ‘hairdryer’ six times in 27 years, claims Sir Alex Ferguson - I don't believe him either.

Dresden fined 60,000 euros for severed bull's head - In which everyone hates Red Bull Leipzig. I suspect Dresden hate them more than usual because of proximity, a suspicion strengthened by the signs says "without Red Bull you are nothing" and "you can't buy tradition".

Formula 1:

Williams chief - Rivals better at exploiting rules - Dear Pat Symonds. Really, given that you used to work with Flavio Briatore, you ought to know that if you ain't cheating, you're not trying hard enough.

Williams to run special Massa livery in Brazil - Late, and somewhat overtaken by later event, but this was a lovely touch.

Rugby union:

Sonny Bill Williams: Auckland Blues and New Zealand grant kit request - Because Money Bill, not matter how much I mock him, is love.


Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and a magical 24-year rivalry unique to sport -


Shakespeare's Tempest gets mixed reality makeover -
redfiona99: (Default)
The FIA have pre-empted this post by choosing to go with the halo but I was going to write something about the plans for increasing cockpit safety anyway.

Your fears are formed by what you see.

The two most recent serious F1 accidents have featured something hitting the driver's head while they're seated in their vehicle. Understandably, this has led to calls for fully enclosed cockpits to be used in F1. The first F1 accident I remember was Gerhard Berger's 1989 crash at Imola. Which I swear is where my fear of burning to death comes from. Now, that ended happily, or at least only with minor injuries, but the main reason I don't like the idea of having fighter jet-style canopies is what happens if they fail to release.

The other problem with a full canopy is how it would be cleaned as it got dirty. If the driver is fully sealed, he can't just rip off a tear-off strip the way you can with helmets. Sure, the mechanics could do it during a pit stop. But what if it got dirty in-between times, or if the car in front sprayed oil all over the canopy because of a mechanical failure?

I suspect these problems, or something similar, are the reason why the FIA and the teams haven't even tried anything like a full, sealed canopy.

With a "shield", there aren't the same problems. The driver can get out, and I presume tear-offs can be made for them. On the other hand, objects can still bounce off and in, and something could go over and in to the cockpit. I don't think that you're ever going to be able to make any motorsport 100% safe, but I think the shield is probably the best option. It mixes increasing safety without introducing different risks or just leaving things as is of the solutions so far put forward.

I don't get what the halo is supposed to do. I'm sure I'm missing something, and I'm sure someone with more engineering know-how can explain it to me. It seems to offer very little extra protection while reducing the driver's field of vision. I don't think the central column visibility issues will be as bad as it looks (see also how quickly you can get used to seeing through mesh in a fencing mask). However, I've no idea how it's supposed to prevent objects entering the cockpit. It seems to only be capable of preventing things if they're on a trajectory that crosses over the halo pillars and bars.

The FIA have gone with the halo over the shield. I'm sure they have their reasons. I'm sure they are good reasons. It would be nice to know what those reasons are because from the outside, it looks like a ridiculous decision.
redfiona99: (Default)
Award Ceremonies:

Jackie Chan awarded honorary Oscar - I suspect I may have shared this before.


Slum photographs spark charity appeal -

Oscar Wilde love letter celebrated 'behind bars' -

What Al Capone can teach India about prohibition -

Mary Rose shipwreck skulls go online in 3D -


Single mum drags up for 'Donuts with Dad' - 1 - this Mum is awesome. 2 - why is it always 'x with Dad' events. It's like once again, father's get cookies for just doing the basics.

Downton's effect on the political mood -

Dying mum's letter found in book in second-hand bookshop - Update: letter's intended recipient found.

Marvel, Jack Kirby, and the Comic-Book Artist’s Plight -


What Is Aleppo? This Is Aleppo -

Workers must not pay the price of Brexit, says TUC -

Mapuche community in Argentina fights fracking site -


Why We Still Don’t Have Better Batteries -


The Old Firm rivalry opens new chapter -

USA star Megan Rapinoe kneels during national anthem to support Colin Kaepernick -

Football tackles conflict on the front lines -

FA Cup: Rio Ferdinand's body double & the ex-Man City player looking to spend £500 -

Formula 1:

Felipe Massa: the closing of an F1 career that has experienced ecstasy and agony - Obviously from before the un-retirement

Ice hockey:

Lightning's J.T. Brown speaks out on life 'as a black athlete in the NHL' -


Rio Paralympics 2016: GB stars hoping to shine on the big stage -

Rio Paralympics 2016: Lee Pearson to be Great Britain flagbearer -

Rio Paralympics 2016: 'It's not about how full the stadiums are' -

Rio Paralympics 2016: Ex-Liverpool junior Sean Highdale is heading to Rio -

Rugby League:

Batley Bulldogs fan banned over Keegan Hirst tweets - You'll notice that it's a life time ban because rugby league does not tolerate this.


In pictures: The Prisoner at 50 - Just ignore some of the text. I'm not sure the unnamed writer has ever watched the show.


Nov. 14th, 2014 05:51 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)

The blind sculptor who thinks everyone should touch art -


Government to 'retire' some of its WW1 debt -

The interesting bit to me comes later on in the story "The continued existence of the war bond debt illustrates the lasting shadow cast by World War One. According to the UK Treasury there are currently 11,200 registered holders of the bonds. Winston Churchill first issued “4% Consols” in 1927 when he was Chancellor partly to refinance bonds from the First World War. In addition to the war bonds, some of the debt being refinanced by the Treasury dates back to the 18th Century. One of these bonds was issued by William Gladstone in 1853 to consolidate the capital stock of the South Sea Company, which was founded in 1711. The South Sea Company collapsed during the South Sea Bubble financial crisis of 1720, leaving behind it a lot of debt."

Windscale Piles: Cockcroft's Follies avoided nuclear disaster -


This 81-Year-Old Wrote a Dictionary to Save Her Tribe’s Dying Language - Just ignore the editorialising about the death of English because, horror of horrors, new neologisms are entering the language.

Law and Order:

How Louisiana Became The World's 'Prison Capital' -


Meet the metal detectorists saving marriages - Other people are apparently as bad as I am for losing jewellery. Their's is just more important ;)

The Adventures of the World's Greatest Counterfeiter - Via @TwistedSifter on twitter.

How to Buy Food: The Psychology of the Supermarket - Via @TwistedSifter on twitter.

How Different Groups Spend Their Day - The results of the American Time Use survey 2008. Via @TwistedSifter on twitter.

Five Ways to Lie with Charts -

What lies beneath London? - From deep-level air raid shelters to the colossal Crossrail construction, beneath London lies a labyrinth of tunnels. BBC News delved underground to visit some of the capital's rarely seen subterranean spots.

Watch a Japanese Kokeshi Doll Emerge From a Spinning Block of Wood -

Baroness Trumpington profile: From Lloyd George to the Lords - She has worked at Bletchley Park, served as a headmaster's wife, mayor of Cambridge, a government whip and as a health minister. Besides this, she famously flicked a V-sign to her colleague Tom King during a Lords debate.

Who The Hell Keeps Calling Me? - Or the gamergate idiots can't even dox the right people. Via [ profile] nwhyte.


Geneticists tap human knockouts - - Sequenced genomes reveal mutations that disable single genes and can point to new drugs. Although part of me wants to agree with the commenter on inthepipeline who pointed out that these aren't knockout mutations.

Ebola crisis: A village fights back in Sierra Leone - Or, yet more evidence that local knowledge is vital.

Why NASA Blew Up a Rocket Just After Launch - A National Geographic staffer's on-scene account of the Antares rocket failure.


Two football/free speech articles:

FA made £350,000 from Twitter fines in just three years -

Pornhub sponsored team banned from football league -


Rayo Vallecano fans produce brilliant, Simpsons-themed protest banners - Or, the Rayo Vallecano fans would like for their matches to not always be the Monday night match.

Formula 1:

Formula 1: Where does all the money go? - Really interesting if you've got even a passing interest in F1, and it explains why the gap between the big teams and the rest never seems to get any smaller. (And when it does, it's because Ferrari have stuffed up, again. Why can you not hire engineers as good as your lawyers, Ferrari?)

Caterham & Marussia struggles highlight need for cost-cutting - FIA - We've been saying this for years.

BBC pundit slams ‘disgraceful’ and 'unfair' Formula One -

Formula 1

Oct. 4th, 2014 05:52 pm
redfiona99: (f1)
I disrupt my severely behind catch-up blogging with a loud shout of what on Earth do you think you are doing, Sebastian Vettel?!!!!

And yes, the bolding is required.

I get that you're having what counts as a bad season for you, and I get that you don't like being beaten by the grin from down under. I also get that you're a bit worried by Adrian Newey deciding to move himself upstairs and leaving the car designing to other people. I understand that you think most of the problems are due to the Renault engine and that you don't see that improving even if you become their number one team.

But they're still a better option than Ferrari.

I mean I love Ferrari, and I'm Ferrari till I die, but oh dear god they've been terrible for the past 7 years (I will accept the past 5 years) and I don't see that changing soon, especially as it's been all change through out the team and there is 0 stability at the moment.

Why are you doing this?


May. 5th, 2014 06:59 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)

Game of Thrones: Discover the real Westeros - Or the Northern Ireland tourism board now has consultant dragons. Link care of [ profile] nwhyte.


Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan Speculate On Their Characters' Futures 25 Years after 'When Harry Met Sally' -


The strange case of the 'time travel' murder (and other tales from the UK Forensics service) -

Antibiotic resistance now 'global threat', WHO warns - That sound you can hear is lots of scientists going "we've been trying to tell you this for years."


The Man Who Made South Africa's Flag -

Music/Music Industry:

Cee-Lo Green Originally Recorded 'Happy' (and other could have beens) -


Legal aid row leads to halting of serious fraud trial - Where the Prime Minister's brother is on the side of right and good.

UK Cost Of Living Changes Over 10 Years -


World's oldest surviving Olympian, and sharp-shooting FBI agent, dies aged 106 -


World Snooker Championship: How to survive Crucible marathon -


Crystal Palace: How Tony Pulis achieved Premier League survival -

Footballer Fabrice Muamba launches defibrillator campaign -

Rodney Marsh cleans Stoke City players' boots after losing online argument -

Formula 1:

Senna's death: Hill still full of disbelief 20 years on - The whole article is worth reading, because Damon Hill is honest and capable of great insight.

Senna's death: The practical joker whose laughter is still missed -

Formula 1/Football:

Brazilian footballers pay tribute to Ayrton Senna by wearing helmets -


Apr. 18th, 2014 04:45 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)

The trouble blind people have with £1 coins -

The best apps for any kind of writing - (Care of @mrschristine on twitter)


Formula 1 - Exactly what all those steering wheel buttons do - The Sauber F1 team have released an infographic about what all the buttons on the steering wheel do. (Care of @sidepodcast on twitter)

Golf - Jeff Knox, the man who lives every helpless hacker's dream -

Horse racing:

The art of falling off a racehorse -

The Grand National delivers another implausible, romantic tale -


Mar. 15th, 2014 05:33 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)

Arms wide open: The story of Rio's Christ the Redeemer -


Tracking Lydia the Shark -

Science and Knitting:

An adorable story, basically some Norwegian school children visted CERN, and their teachers have knitted the scientists project-specific jumpers -


An interview with an F1 photographer -

Formula 1:

The perpetually adorable Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel explaining the 2014 technical rule changes -
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Three lovely things from the Rugby League World Cup.

Item 1 - The players have been doing a really good job of the fan interaction thing, Sonny Bill Williams in particular, but Billy Slater, having just been helped off the pitch with a re-occurrence of a knee injury that he had to have known would probably be tournament-ending, went above and beyond. I'll let the official RLWC 2013 facebook page, take up the story.

>>You may have seen Billy Slater being helped from the field during his side's win over USA today. What you didn't see was the Kangaroos full-back putting a smile on the face of a young fan, who had plucked up the courage to tap Billy on the shoulder in the tunnel area and say 'hello'. The Australian spent time with the boy and his family, before heading back into the changing room and hobbling back out to hand the boy a gift - his match-worn Kangaroos socks.<<

The man's magnificent.

From the comments section, very much [sic] - >>Coming from an English, I think every Australian player are the best(not playing wise) but like this, and also not so long ago Greg Inglis went up to a little girl at a souths match after a ball hit her on the head and rubbed it better and asked how she was. The Aussies also, 1st game of the WC were stood in the tunnel speaking to the mascots having a full convo with them! High respect for them all!<<


Item 2 - The various Pacific Islands tend to start their matches with a war dance. Not this Fijian team. They start with a hymn. They've also apparently managed to find the only rugby players in the world* that can sing. Because it sounds beautiful.

*I will grant that the French rugby league team are less out of tune than their union counterparts but dear lord, there's someone on the England team who sings like me and my mother, and with the same voluminous enthusiasm.


Item 3 - After the match, the Samoan and Fijian teams join together and prayed. The crowd, spontaneously, fell silent for them. It was nice.


The Formula 1

Short US Grand Prix Notes )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
But we were right to predict woobie!Lauda being a thing.

I am immensely glad no one on the internet can hear me cackling because yes, bwah-ha-ha.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Tumblrites may have seen a slightly shorter version of this earlier.

I've just seen the second trailer.

I am now torn even more because, seriously, they couldn’t find a British actor for James Hunt? I mean, I love you Chris Hemsworth and I admire your attempt at James Hunt, but it really doesn’t work.

They do at least seem to be giving Niki a fair shake, he’s just a bit harder to get across to begin with. This month’s Lufthansa in-flight magazine has an interview with him and he is still very much himself. A sort of mixture of “does not suffer fools gladly” and “my way or the highway” mixed with an acceptance of his (many) faults and the fact that he can be out-stubborned (mostly by his wife).

I hope the film gets across his sense of humour, which is particularly dry. (This is the guy who makes jokes about his own fiery near death experience) And he enjoys mocking everything.

Brühl does his best, but the voice isn't right, and never will be right (like by about half a pint of gravel and about an octave) and ... I still don't see why they're making this film. The dude that made the Senna documentary, if he chose to make a documentary about this, that's something I'd choose to watch.


In more minor matters, I also do not look forward to the fangirl German and the woobie Lauda fics that will come out after this. Because, if ever there was a man who was not a woobie, it is Niki Lauda.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Tour De France - As you might be able to tell from the previous post, I missed a lot of the sport today. Switching my mobile on on the train back, I got a series of texts from L. He mostly wanted to know WTF happened with the Tour stage today. So I was expecting there to have been a real disaster, rather than just a new form of the traditional chaos.

BBC report here -

Basically the Orrica GreenEdge team coach got stuck under the finishing line, they moved the stage finish, then they managed to get it unstuck so they moved the finish back to the original place again. Also, entirely separately, all the of the sprint favourites had crashes. So yeah, to me that's just the expected first day chaos.

Cycling has spoilt me.

Tennis - In the men's tennis, I'm down to one guy I like left in, and that's Jurgen Melzer who I don't even like but he's Austrian, so I'm kind of obliged, because if he wins I get to point out to my mother that an Austrian has won a Slam more recently than a Brit. Yes, this argument is vital.


Moto GP - I think Lorenzo might finally have won the hearts and minds. Also Valentino won, and that's always good. This picture - made me smile. A lot.

Now, if only we could get Aleix Espargaro a satellite (or even main team) bike.



Well yes, Paul Di Resta will go faster if his car is underweight. I love how this is all some huge conspiracy according to some people.

Also, no, dear British press, he was never going to be the Webber replacement, because he's never beaten his team-mate's point total.

The 2011 year where he "smoked" Sutil, he finished with 27 points, compared to 42 points for Sutil. In 2012 he got 46 points compared to Nico Hulkenberg's 63.

Yeah, this year, he's beating Sutil, but that doesn't mean he's being spectacular. Especially not when compared to Ricciardo or Vergne or Kimi-Kimi (not that Vettel is going to let them pick up Kimi-Kimi but never mind). My guess is that it'll be Vergne because of Renault.


Fanfic Meme - Day 20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Not really. Like sometimes, there'll be a canon event that causes lots of fic, and I try not to do the same thing, not out of peevishness but, well I like the quote [ profile] opera142 has on her profile page - "You have to be first, best, or different" (from Loretta Lynn). Other people write their own stories better than I could, so my stories have to be mine.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Some thinking about Revenge, spoilers up to the end of season 2 and some for the Count of Monte Cristo )

TNA, or trying to think why I don't mind AJ's new character but still loathe Anderson )

Fan-Fiction Meme Day 14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

I go where the story takes me, and since the disclaimer is the last thing I write, I put on whatever fits best.

I wish that the big fic archives still did their ratings like film ratings because I know where the line is between a 12 and a 15 but I'm a lot less sure about what the difference is between the top end of teen and up and the bottom end of mature. Also, what the hell is a mature fic, does it have to include discussion of mortgage repayments.

I prefer to rate too high rather than too low, and because I'm one of those horrible European hippies I'm more likely to rate something higher if people are being unpleasant to one another than if there's sex (see also why Bitten By The Love Bug" is rated the way it is).

That being said, if you read something I've written and you feel there's something in there that I haven't warned for properly, please tell me and I'll fix it immediately. I'd rather over-warn than under-warn.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Did the Allstar/Uhlmann/Leeds Open Part 2/whatever it's really called yesterday. Managed to get knocked out 15-0 by a 15 year old. She's damn good and a lovely girl so it wasn't too bad, but 15-0 :( Actually, the funny thing was, the person that beat her in the final was one of the people I beat in the pool stage. It confuses me greatly.



Dear Mark Webber, I suggest exorcising the car.

A curse is starting to be the most sensible explanation of his luck.

Other than that, much like the Aussie GP, that's was boring. Any over-taking was due to tyres or the DRS button.


Fic Writing

I've made a start on my lgbtfest fic. This year's panic is a return to the first year's panic of "does this contain enough lgbt-related content to be suitable?" I think it does, there's just a very long prologue.
redfiona99: (f1)
To the formula 1 part of this ( post.

The hypothesis I was talking about in the last post was that the reason the 2012 Formula 1 season's racing was closer was due to the lack of blown diffusers, more particularly, I thought that this was because the diffusers and the way they worked ( aided smoother drivers, or hindered the less smooth.

Now I admit this was mostly based on a gut feeling that Mark Webber was a much better driver than his 2011 results showed, and that, with the removal of the blown diffusers, his results would be closer to Sebastian Vettel's.

Unfortunately, I can't actually prove my hunch with numbers, because, Webber's average placing in 2012 in races where both drivers finished, was actually slightly lower than his position the year before, in comparison to Vettel (on average he was 1.9 places behind Vettel rather than 1.8 places). I blame being Grosjean'd a few times. However, at the same time, he's finished ahead of Vettel more times this season (five times as opposed to twice). I therefore decided that I needed more evidence to back up my theory. Or, you know, prove it at all. I needed another team where one driver is general regarded as smoother than the other and the drivers haven't change between 2011 and 2012.

Bring on the McLarens.

Thankfully, the McLarens actually do bear out my theory, even with Hamilton's various misfortunes. There's a swing from Hamilton being -0.71 of a position behind in 2011 to being 3.3 of a position ahead in 2012. The other thing screaming at me is that really, McLaren's reliability issues have really hurt them. Both Red Bulls finished 16 times, both McLarens finished 10 times.

Unfortunately, I'd planned to use the difference between the Ferraris as a baseline but it turns out that Massa is less capable of coping with a terrible car than Alonso is.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Rugby Union - Found my Alternative Rugby Commentary t-shirt so I've got something to wear for Sunday.

Formula 1 - The Jerez test is not going well for Mercedes - 2 days and 2 total car failures, both of which could have been bloody dangerous, what with Nico Rosberg's car setting itself on fire and Hamilton having a rear brakes failure which thankfully only led to him shunting into a tyre wall but could have been so much worse. Much though I am relieved that for once it's not Ferrari having the terrible testing time, at least Ferrari's were normally "this car is terrible" not "this car is a death-trap".

Football - Austria lost to Wales 1-2. Apparently they were the better team but just couldn't score goals. This is an improvement on hopeless and can't score. These are the depths to which the Austrian national team drive me.

TNA - The joke about it being WCW all over again is sadly so true. The first hour is interesting, the second hour is less so. )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Re: last rugby post - this is what I meant by Castrogiovanni looking like he was ready to murderise someone - So glad I wasn't playing against him.

The French rugby union team continue to be ... themselves. Trying to guess how they'll play is a fool's game, but I think they were paying for not having specialists in their second row. I have no doubt that over a 100 yard dash or bench pressing, the French would win, but in rucking and all the various diabolic arts thereto attached (i.e. the stuff that actually goes on on the pitch), the Italians were going to win every day. See also, the basis for a lot of recent Irish victories against England.


Formula 1 - The best thing about the new season is Gary Anderson talking about the new cars and the changes from last year's specifications. Of particular interest are his comments about the new Red Bull ( I also like that he apparently grades on a scale, because he's nice about the Marussia ( and scathing about the Mercedes (, even though Mercedes will probably finish higher in the end of season standings.


Guess who is ranked 100th in the country? Boom!!

Now to stay there, despite one of my favourite competitions not being run and me having points to defend from it.


Some fun links -

A photo gallery of this season's F1 cars -

ATOS declare Richard III fit for work -
Well, it makes a change from the Blackadder jokes and all the locals pointing out exactly how much Richard III owes in parking fines :) (Link care of [ profile] nwhyte)

Someone else's Castrogiovanni picspam - Castro owns an Italian restaurant out in one of the little villages round Leicester, and is apparently beloved by every small child that has ever entered it because he does things like jumping out at them and pretending to eat them.

Sebastian Chabal's comment on France vs Italy - In his defence, he was really nice about Italy after the match, making it quite clear that they'd won the match rather than France losing it.

A taxonomy of wrestler's names -


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