Entitled to special treatment all the time

Every day I read or hear something that just floors me, and I had clung to the hope it was only China’s shenanigans that could do that. Today it’s news that MSPs plan to scrap ‘automatic early release’:

Prisoners currently serving under four years are automatically freed half-way through their sentences.

Under the plans, convicted criminals would be required to serve at least half their sentence behind bars but this may be increased to three quarters.

Erm, shouldn’t early release be the EXCEPTION, not the norm? WTF is going on here?

The Scottish Executive’s plans to overhaul sentencing are expected to be passed despite Conservative objections.

Well, then, they see some sense. But wait:

The Conservatives, who originally introduced early release, said the executive’s reforms were not tough enough.

So they were for it before they were against it.

IMHO, if you’ve been convicted of a crime and are sentenced to four years, you do four years. Maybe it’s partly custodial and partly community-based, depending on what the crime was, but you do your time. Where’s the logic in sentencing someone and then immediately eliminating half of their punishment? How did it become law in the first place?!

Lending to people with bad credit means you get bad debts

Possible US slowdown sparks international stock market fall.

This latest round of selling has been sparked by concerns over the US sub-prime mortgage market.

Sub-prime lenders, who target consumers with poor credit histories, have been hit by an increase in defaults and bad loans.

And no one could see that coming? Why am I not a highly-paid financial adviser that points out the bleeding obvious? Why, God, why?

Anonymous can sue me

Scotland’s overcrowding problems aren’t as bad as London’s, but the news of tacking on more carriages to existing trains is, frankly, underwhelming. I think people would be happier with more frequent services using these new carriages. We were discussing at breakfast how the less-clever proposal to add more carriages and renovating (and lengthening) platforms rather than adding services could be (given that I don’t know much about train scheduling and safety) due to a politician being lobbied by someone who’s got a bung from some construction company.

This would be a defamation alert, if I actually had any names to name.


Further to my bookmarking post about smart2go, I’ve since downloaded and installed it*. The maps I’ve got are for Scotland and Singapore.

If I’d also installed the screen capture software for my phone, I’d be able to show you some. But it’s basically like using Google Maps on your phone without connecting to the Internet. I did opt out of installing OpenBit, because I don’t need the temptation (or, for me personally, the pointlessness) of buying extra services.

I’m happy. I’ve got a map app on my phone**. If you’ve got a Windows Mobile 5 device and aren’t obsessed with GPS but, like me, have no sense of direction, smart2go is abso-fucking-lutely faboo.

* How did I manage to fill most of my 1GB card with music? I only use it for the gym!
** Yes, I know it’s not real-time and not necessarily the most up-to-date. But I only need the basics.

Cultivate that restless habit

Lucky for me my definition of sitting still equals shaking my legs and fidgeting a lot. Office Workers More Prone to Blood Clots:

The study found that 34 per cent of patients admitted to hospital with blood clots had been seated at work for long periods, its leader, Prof. Richard Beasley of New Zealand’s privately funded Medical Research Institute, told The Associated Press.

“There are considerably more people who are seated for long periods at work as part of their normal day than there are traveling,” he said, adding the main groups affected are workers in the information technology industry and in call centers.

The 34 percent finding is far higher than the 1.4 percent of blood-clot patients who recently traveled on long-haul flights, and the study showed a clear link between travel and work-related thrombosis.

Everyone around me says my fidgeting about is annoying, I call it prescient and an indicator of my good health.

I don’t want to ask again, but I will

Hey, people. I’ve got this fundraising widget on the right for Alzheimer’s Research Trust, a charity I am trying to raise £200 for by running in a six-kilometre road race in a couple of weeks’ time. I am raising funds offline for St Andrew’s Hospice. I’ll try to beat my current time of 40 minutes, so you know I’m making an effort.


Every pound counts, so even if you can’t afford to donate a lot, please consider £5, which is just US$10 or S$15. It’s not a lot of money.