Thursday, 31 January 2013

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

On it Goes

Falklands 'belong to Uruguay not Argentina'

A forgotten 172-year-old treaty signed between Spain and the South American country gives it sovereignty rights over the British colony, they say.
Uruguayan architect Juan Ackermann, one of the two authors of the book, insisted: "Legally, the islands are ours."
Co-author Alfredo Villegas, an Argentine engineer, added: "For me, as an Argentine, it was very difficult to come to terms with this."
The book, whose title translates into English as 'The Falkland Islands – Are They Uruguayan?' argues colonial Spain controlled the region's seas, islands and coastline from naval bases in Cuba, Peru and the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.
Mr Ackermann said: "No one remembers a 1841 treaty signed between Spain and Uruguay.
"In that document, Spain cedes it the naval base's powers.
"Seventeen years later, Spain did the same with Argentina, but it couldn't give it something it's already given another. That is a very strong argument in favour of Uruguay."
A 1972 international agreement on the Antartic confirmed Uruguay as the rightful owner of the Falklands because it was based on the 1841 treaty, Mr Villegas added.
He told an interviewer: "It was signed first in the Uruguayan senate and then in the Argentine senate.
"The basis of that signature is the 1841 treaty.
"When the Argentine legislators signed, they were recognising that agreement.
"It's obvious they didn't read what they signed."
One option for Uruguay now is to do nothing and let Argentina and Britain carry on their war of words over the islands, the authors argue.
But they also claim Uruguay would be within its rights to start negotiations with the UK and Argentina about proposals to divide up the disputed territory.
International analyst Juan Luis Gonzalez-Perez described the book on Thursday as a "historical curiosity" but quashed the idea Uruguay had any sovereignty claim over the Falklands.
He insisted: "Uruguay has never shown any type of interest in that area and it would be a triviality for it to now make any sovereignty claim.
"The United Nations recognises that the only two countries who lay claim to sovereignty are the United Kingdom and Argentina."
Argentine president Christina Kirchner upped the ante recently over the Falklands.
She wrote an open letter earlier this month to David Cameron accusing Britain of stripping the Falklands from Argentina in an aggressive act of colonialism 180 years ago.
The Sun newspaper wrote a reply to Mrs Kirchner, published in Argentine newspapers, pointing out British sovereignty over the Falklands dates back to 1765.
The islanders are due to vote on sovereignty in a referendum on March 10 and 11.
They are expected to send a firm message to Argentina they wanted to remain British.


Last Chance Today

Please click on the link below and vote for our pal, Nea- number 10.  Voting closes tonight.  Ta, muchly.


Penguins are only found in the southern hemisphere primarily in Antarctica- excluding zoos above the equator.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 10

Set in the heart of the Huilo Huilo nature reserve in Chile, this surreal structure proves an architectural feat – yes that is a waterfall coming out of the top of the hotel. There are barely any right-angles in this four-star hotel that has been lovingly carved and architecturally curated by mother nature herself. Services include its own restaurant and a mini golf track that snakes its way through the forest on a course forty feet above the forest floor, and hot tubs made from dug out tree trunks on a deck overlooking the forest complete the fairy tale mountain retreat. Its remote location provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and the vibrant wildlife of the forest; with pumas and eagles scouring the land and skies.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 9

Propeller Island City Lodge is meant to be an 'aesthetic sensation for the eyes and ears'. German artist Lars Stroschen's has created a habitable work of art in the heart of Berlin that fuses innovation and pragmatism aimed to inspire guests with its ‘vision machine’. Each room is designed around a different theme to scramble the senses and perceptions. Think: fun house-come-hotel. With the likes of Sleep-in coffins for Nosferatus, a hidden attic room and even a room bathed in mystical blue light in which the double bed can be split by an illuminated barrier, the City Lodge is at the sharper end of edgy retreats.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 8

Already a hit in Japan, The new Sleepbox Hostel in Moscow city centre is set to be a sure fire hit with overworked commuters from all over the world. Banish those security fears of sleeping in public as you drift off in the midst of busy stations, airports or offices. The series of windowless pods can be constructed anywhere, even underground, providing a solution at long last for those who miss the last train home. Capsule hotels have already opened at Heathrow Terminal 4, Times Square and Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and seem to be a sign of things to come. For the claustrophobic and convenient experience, the minimalist future spells cheap and basic accommodation – with no extra services required. Still, since Sleepboxes can be booked for a whole night or just a few hours, it's easy to imagine that they might not be used just for sleeping...

Uncommon Crash Pads- 7

Latvia’s former military prison opens its metal-barred doors for guests who fancy more of an unlawful overnight experience. Karostas Cietums has remained unchanged since its beginnings in Tsarist times and is a treat for those who’d relish the chance to ‘do time’. It was built with the cheery ethos of breaking its inhabitants’ spirit, so forget the basic hotel rule of hospitality, these guests will be treated to the delights of an authentic prison meal and sleep in a prison bunk. Inmates get the opportunity to step into the shoes of a prisoner, as until 1997, it served as a place where military persons served their terms for breach of discipline. Prospective visitors must sign ‘The Agreement’ before their stay, contractually obliging them to be treated as detainees - abuse from guards included.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 6

Just off the coast of Portsmouth lies a historic sea fortress come luxury private island. Disposed of by the Ministry of Defence in 1982, it was originally home to the hundreds of soldiers who would guard the approaches to Portsmouth. It's now been converted into a luxury venue and hotel which boasts a hot pool and sauna on the roof, and a fire pit. Eight of the former gun emplacements are now the Fort’s range of suites all of which boast stunning sea views. But be warned, it was also featured on an episode of Most Haunted.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 5

This enchanted boutique Belgian B&B offers ten individually designed bedrooms, inspired by fairy tales from all over the world. Winding staircases and a stunning array of carved wooden features at La Balade des Gnômes bring the magic to life in this quaint and weirdly extravagant hotel. Journey through the Arabian Nights, outer space, a troll-hideout with its own goldfish stream, or an old captain’s ship where guests can gaze at the stars above in a boat floating in a pool. It even has a Trojan Horse suite - just in case you need to enter a foe's territory. This imaginative gem is hidden away in an unassuming farmhouse designed by the architect and visionary hotelier Mr Noël.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 4

ICEHOTEL is the ultimate luxury, ice-chic experience. In the space of a year, it shifts from frozen solid to flowing river – and back again. The temperature in the hotel ranges from –5 to -8ºC (but can drop to -30º outside) and guests sleep in a thermal sleeping bag on a bed built by ice blocks and a mattress topped with reindeer skins. The hotel boasts a range of activities from cocktailing at the world-famous ICEBAR to exploring Arctic trails, being mesmerised by the Northern Lights tour, dog sledding and skiing - it's also launched an art project with works made of ice. Picture this: a cup of hot lingonberry juice and the Aurora Borealis swirling above your head as you pet a husky.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 3

Tree houses for grown upsBased in the heart of the Sierra del Montseny, just outside Barcelona, Cabanas als arbres is an ecological haven where childhood treetop fantasies are brought to life. Surrounded by the beautiful Forest of The Guilleries, it offers nature-loving guests to spend the night in one of ten bespoke tree houses. It has an ecological commitment, so that means no electricity or running water, but all guests have access to The Vileta, a traditional fourteenth-century country house which has showers, a bar and swimming pool. You can become Mogli for the day, feeling part of the ecosystem to appreciate the charm of its surroundings in your very own nest.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 2

Located 155m underground in one of the world’s best-preserved mine settings, The Mine Suit in Sweden’s historic Sala Silvermine is certainly a distinctive hotel experience. Guests are treated to spectacular open water and cave diving environments and can explore the lakes in the close to freezing temperatures. Showers, toilets and a lounge are located above ground, about 50m from the mine suit and one member of staff is available above ground for guests throughout the night and can be communicated with through intercom radio. It is damp, dark and chilly, but with its winding galleries and vast cavities, it’s certainly a unique setting.

Uncommon Crash Pads- 1

As plans are revealed for the first underwater hotel, here are the top 10 most unusual hotels around the world as per TInd:

Deep Ocean Technology

Although technically the hotel doesn’t exist yet, it is certainly the most original and obscure yet. Deep Ocean Technology is a company on a mission to build the world’s first underwater hotel and it has recently been reported that Dubai, that lavish playground of the tax-free, may play host to the world’s first one. Comprised of two discs, each above and below water (up to 10 metres beneath the sea surface), the hotel would enable guests to appreciate the beauty of the underwater world without the need for breathing apparatus. The design looks like something Disney would be proud of.

In Second Spot

The latest figures from the 2011 census reveal Polish has overtaken Punjabi as England's second language.  546 000 citizens now cite Polish as their native tongue, a rise which can be attributed to the influx of Polish immigrants following the expansion of the EU in 2004. (If this seems a small number, it should be noted many second generation immigrants speak Polish, Punjabi or another language as a second language after English.)
As well as an interesting insight into modern Britain, it seems a perfect opportunity to brush up on our Polish. So here are some phrases you might like to try out during your next trip to the local Polski Sklep...  TInd
1. "Zubrowka vodka seems so passe. What should I serve at my dinner party?"
TRANSLATION: "Wódka Żubrówka wydaje się tak passe. Co mam służyć w mojej kolację strony?"
2. "I hear the weather is delightful in Białowieża Forest at this time of year, but personally I prefer the driving sleet of Manchester."
TRANSLATION: "Słyszę pogoda jest wspaniałe w Puszczy Białowieskiej w tym czasie roku, ale osobiście wolę jazdy deszcz ze śniegiem w Manchesterze"
3. "Yes, the transition to a free market economy can be a bitch"
TRANSLATION: "Tak, przejście do gospodarki rynkowej może być suką
4. "Phew! That Robert Lewandowski is on great form. I hope to see him in the Premier League soon."
TRANSLATION: "Uff! Że Robert Lewandowski jest w świetnej formie. Mam nadzieję, że zobaczymy go w Premier League wkrótce."
5. "As I've always said, Three Colours: Red is the most under-appreciated of Kieslowski's trilogy"
TRANSLATION: "Jak zawsze mówiłem, Trzy kolory: Czerwony jest najbardziej niedoceniany trylogii Kieślowskiego." 

YouTube Blockage

Photo: DPA

YouTube’s dispute with Germany’s music rights authority GEMA has resulted in the country being cut off from more than 60% of the website’s most popular videos, according to a new analysis.

An app developed by the Berlin-based data journalism outfit OpenDataCity shows for the first time the extent of the digital embargo.  Germany cannot see 61.5% of YouTube’s top 1 000 videos, far more than the 15% blocked in South Sudan and the 5% that is taboo in the Vatican.

The reason for the web blackout is YouTube’s row with GEMA, which is demanding 0.00375€ each time a video is played.  YouTube, on the other hand, is offering a share of its ad revenue, seeing itself as a platform rather than music provider.

Though GEMA has made itself very unpopular in Germany for its much-criticised approach to collecting royalties in the internet era, most of the videos are blocked pre-emptively by YouTube.

GEMA is now suing YouTube for making it seem like it is condemning German web users to the digital dark ages.

The Local


The number four is the only number that has the same number of letters in it.

Worrying Trend

German beer consumption has hit the lowest point since 1990, according to official figures, which showed Germans brewed 96.5 million hectolitres of their national beverage in 2012, down nearly two percent from the year before. 

A quarter of the country's beer was made in the densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  Bavaria, home of the legendary beer festival Oktoberfest, only came second, accounting for 22.9% of all German beer.

German Humour

Photo: DPA

An extortionist Cookie Monster has struck in Germany, demanding ransom for the stolen golden cookie of the country's most famous biscuit maker.
The famous golden Leibniz biscuit which has hung outside the Bahlsen headquarters in Hannover since 1913 was stolen at the weekend, leaving police and managers at a loss. Company chairman Werner M. Bahlsen put up a €1,000 reward for information leading to its recovery. 

After allowing investigators to work up an appetite, the culprit has got in touch - in time-honoured fashion with a photo of the booty, and a demand note made up of cut-out letters from newspapers. 

The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) received a letter on Tuesday replete with everything any self-respecting biscuit kidnapper could think of. 

The photo shows a person wearing a full suit of the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, holding the large golden Leibniz biscuit and seeming to take a bite, while the lengthy letter lays out a series of demands. 

"I have the biscuit!" it starts off triumphantly. "You want it and therefore you want on one day in February, to give biscuits to all the children in Bult hospital. But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate. And a golden biscuit for the child cancer ward."

The €1,000 being offered as a reward for the return of the mascot should be donated to the animal shelter in the Langenhagen area of the city, the letter reads. 

"This is serious!" it continues. "Otherwise it will end up with Oscar [the Grouch] in the dustbin, really!!!"

The police at least are taking the matter very seriously, Bahlsen spokeswoman Jacobe Heers told the HAZ. "We will get the letter checked by our experts to see if it is genuine and plausible."

Bahlsen denied any speculation that the entire affair could be a publicity stunt. "It is not a marketing action by our company, no way," a spokeswoman said. 

The HAZ asked a local photography expert whether the photo could be a fake. "Theoretically you could put something like this together on a computer," said Frank Westphal. "But in this case I don't believe that someone has done that." He said a computer-generated image would have been better quality.

"But whether the biscuit in the photo is the actual golden Bahlsen biscuit, of course I don't know," he added. 

And the Bult children's hospital said they had no complaints about the generosity of the biscuit company. "One must not forget that this is theft and blackmail," said hospital spokesman Björn-Oliver Bönsch. 

"Bahlsen has already done a lot for us - they do not need to be pushed like this."

One woman said she thought the idea was brilliant. Erika Klein, who runs a youth hostel in Hannover offered on the HAZ comment page to pay the ransom amount to the animal shelter.

"I think the idea is wonderful," she told The Local. Of course I'm serious about paying the ransom myself, for such a great idea - and of course I would get the biscuits for the children too. I don't think the company will pay, and I'm sure the police will tell them not to pay, but I think the stunt is inspired."

The Local


Kensington and Chelsea council is to remove litter bins from residential streets, claiming that they encourage “abuse” of the facility.  It will only offer passers-by a place to dispose of their rubbish in busy areas, including shopping and tourist streets and outside schools, fast food restaurants, Tube stations and bus stops.

The council feels that the bins are being used to dispose of large quantities of business and residential waste rather than the small items for which they are intended.

Another ruse to raise more revenue?  Lets see how much they make from littering fines, eh?

For Major Headaches

Being British

A NEW version of the UK citizenship test will be based on the country’s warped value system, it has emerged.
How much is this house worth?
How much is this house worth?
Instead of answering questions about British history, foreign nationals must now prove they have the right kind of psychosis to thrive in modern Britain.
A Home Office spokesman said: “To truly belong here you must be borderline insane as well as completely obsessed with money and property.
“For example, you need not know when or why Hadrian’s wall was built, but you might be asked roughly how much it’s worth and whether you could get planning permission to add a double garage.”
Take the UK Citizenship test
Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following questions:
1. Would you describe your mental state as ‘quiet desperation’?
2. Are you unable to shut the fuck up about how much you earn?
3. Is the culinary highlight of your day a Boots ‘meal deal’?
4. Are you scared of foxes?
5. Do you spend over ten hours per week looking at pictures of strangers’ houses on the internet?
6. Do you either never read, or only read books that have won some sort of coffee award?
7. Do you consider Stephen Fry and Stephen Hawking to be the only clever people Britain needs?
8. Are you only able to empathise with amusing animated creatures in television adverts?
All yeses: Welcome. Come and join us in the darkness.
7-5 yeses: Close – try again after you’ve exhaustively studied Mail Online.
4 yeses: One day you might be suitable to come here and do some horrible job involving potatoes.
3-0 yeses: Back in the wagon, Johnny Foreigner, or I’ll thrash you until even your hair hurts.

Not Polish

BOLLOCKS has replaced English as the UK’s mostly commonly spoken language, it has emerged.
Bollocks is often spoken loudly so everyone can hear
Bollocks is often spoken loudly so everyone can hear
The Institute for Studies found that most Britons were fluent speakers of bollocks, and could talk bollocks on almost any subject without the need for facts or logic.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Bollocks is a rich and vibrant language that enables the speaker to sound knowledgeable despite being what we linguists call ‘a knob’.
“For example, in English we might say ‘The cat sat on the mat’, whereas if we’re talking bollocks we say: ‘Did you know cats are descended from velociraptors? That’s why they’ve got claws.’
“Some subjects are more conducive to bollocks than others, for example football.
“An accomplished bollocks-speaker can leave the listener wondering why they aren’t managing an international club instead of sitting by a fruit machine in urine-stained trousers.
Taxi driver Norman Steele said: “It’s pretty much expected that cabbies can speak bollocks.
“If I haven’t made passengers feel deeply uncomfortable with an ill-informed rant about immigrants, I feel as though I haven’t done my job properly.”
Middle manager Nikki Hollis said: “A sound grasp of bollocks is a job requirement for me. How else would I be able to action a paradigm shift in our company’s strategic vision?”
Historians believe that bollocks was first spoken in 1649, originating from a group of rural freeloaders called the Blaggers.
In 1666 their leader Tom ‘I’m Taller Than I Am’ Logan wrote the first bollocks book I Punched A Bear And It Didn’t Even Do Anything.

Evenly Matched

Aston Villa vs Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg is to relieve the pressure on his leadership of the Liberal Democrats by playing Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.
Clegg is keen to arrange a fixture after being alerted to the fact that a number of sides have been able to get their campaigns back on track after facing the Midlands club.
“Nick has faced much opposition from within the party, so he is keen to face something that will offer no opposition whatsoever,” confirmed a spokesperson.
“He admits that has made promises that he hasn’t kept, and much like Aston Villa he can offer little in defence, but he hopes a morale boosting victory will act as a catalyst for turning things around.”

Clegg to face Villa

Villa, who are currently languishing in the drop zone following a defeat by an episode of Loose Women, have the worst goal difference in the Premier League and have been knocked out of both cup competitions by lower league teams.
With Paul Lambert’s side facing a run of tricky games against a painting of the Duchess of Cambridge, a small child playing a recorder and a broken umbrella that has been abandoned in a public bin, the Aston Villa manager has urged his side “to fight like hell”.
“We’ve got to believe that we can beat anyone,” he insisted.
“We’ve been working hard in training and hopefully all that hard work will pay off.
“The defence have had a sit down and a chat amongst themselves about how they can improve their performances.
“Unfortunately they were playing in a game at the time and we went 3-0 down.
“It’s all about getting the basics right.”

Holiday Reading?

1. "Satan Was A Lesbian"

"Satan Was A Lesbian"

2. "The Transvestite"

"The Transvestite"

3. "Gay Safari"

"Gay Safari"

4. "The Occasional Man"

"The Occasional Man"
Via: www

5. "Female Convict"

"Female Convict"

6. "A Few Of The Boys"

"A Few Of The Boys"
Via: www

7. "Born To Be Gay"

"Born To Be Gay"

8. "The Devil Is Gay"

"The Devil Is Gay"

9. "Lesbian Gym"

"Lesbian Gym"
Via: www

10. "Am I Ready For Chest Hair?"

"Am I Ready For Chest Hair?"
Via: www

11. "The Magic Touch"

"The Magic Touch"
Via: www

12. "Alaskan Huskies"

"Alaskan Huskies"
Via: www
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