Print Story Hugging up the big monkey man
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:21:12 PM EST) Reading, Watching, Me (all tags)
Reading: "The Zong". Watching: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". Links.


What I'm Reading
The Zong by James Walvin. Short history about the slave ship whose notoriety helped galvanize support for the abolition of slavery. Off-course and short of water, the crew threw a hundred and twenty-two slaves overboard in irons. This would have remained obscure except for an insurance dispute. The insurers refused to compensate the ship's owners for the value of these lost slaves, so the owners took them to court in London.

One interesting aspect is the way abolitionist campaigners were able to make this a sensation in the press. The ship owners seem to have been taken by surprise at this: this kind of action wasn't uncommon, and there was plenty of public information about it. In media terms it reminds me a little of the recent phone-hacking news: sometimes a story that journalists assume to be a minor matter that everybody knows but doesn't care about, starts to snowball into a huge scandal.

The Zong scandal helped change the abolitionist movement from a small, elite affair regarded as somewhat eccentric, to a powerful mass movement. However, it would be decades more before slavery was actually abolished.

Walvin is a historian who specializes in slavery: he's well-informed and writes lucidly without sensationalism. However, the sources are quite scanty: the ship's log was conveniently lost before the trial, the crew had scattered or died, and the trial testimony was limited to one witness who was probably unreliable.

The voyage itself was badly-run. The Zong was originally a small Dutch slaver captured by the British in war, already with slaves aboard. Another British slaver opportunistically bought the ship and its slaves, hastily assembled a skeleton crew of dubious competence, bought more slaves in West Africa and set off. The captain fell sick, nominated a passenger as replacement causing conflict with the first mate. Something went wrong with the water casks, possibly because a good cooper wasn't available, and the leak wasn't noticed till far too late. A better organized crew might have noticed the leak earlier and been able to ration the water. Then a navigation error led them to miss their destination port.

Overall, an informative and interesting book on an important incident.

What I'm Watching
Saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes at the cinema. Pretty decent movie: a researcher raises an chimp with increased intelligence. Has a good blend of drama, tearjerking, and some action at the end.

Worth seeing, while it's not original it's very well put together.

Rottentomatoes, Guardian review.

Web
West shows worrying signs of ‘Japanisation’, no don't worry. Why are house prices not falling?

Politics. Does UK have “more abortions than anywhere else in Western Europe” background, Daily Mash. Obama's 3 big mistakes.

Pics. Drawings of London from the air. Evolution of fictional characters. Victorian couples, via. Origin of the XP wallpaper picture.

Random. Doom cakes. Picture of horseshoe crab blood harvesting. Bonn prostitutes to pay tax by meter. Time Warner gets cut of Anon's Guy Fawkes mask. Freedom of Information act request. If the Earth were a cube.

Video. London buses in 1968. Cleverbot talks to itself.

< Always go to bed angry. | My final analysis of Sucker Punch >
Hugging up the big monkey man | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Japanisation link by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:33:01 PM EST
Requires a Financial Times subscription.

In regards to "Why are House prices not falling?"  It's pretty simple: If you have negative equity, it's not in your financial interest to sell unless forced.  No matter how high the supply is, people won't "sell" for less than zero.  If you have an underwater mortgage, that's essentially what your current house value would require.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Financial Times by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:40:38 PM EST
Go to http://news.google.com/, search for "west shows worrying signs of japanisation" and click on the top link.

That argument makes sense in the US where house prices have fallen significantly. But in the UK, house prices have only dropped slightly, depending on region.

One of my co-workers was telling me about a house he viewed at the weekend way outside London, which he aims to buy to rent out and as as an investment. Last week, another was confidently explaining to me why I was wrong to think prices wouldn't keep rising, because everybody wants to come to London. Many people seem convinced that this is just a temporary lull before house prices start skyrocketing upwards again.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Crabs by ni (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:38:36 PM EST
An interesting link, although it rather misses the point in one place:

How are the horseshoe crabs collected? Are they harmed?

The Associates of Cape Cod and other LAL manufacturers have studied horseshoe crab mortality following the bleeding procedure and have found it to be quite low, less than 3% when compared to controls handled similarly but not bled.

Oh, don't worry: bleeding them only kills 3% of. Now, yanking them out of the water and dragging them to the plant on the truck to bleed them -- that kills a fair number -- but the bleeding process itself is quite harmless.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

Apes by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:22:40 PM EST
I have no intention of ever seeing the movie.  The one thing I want to know is how they get around having a SWAT team fill the apes with holes.  Or the National Guard or any number of military or para-military organizations. 

The problem with doing a movie like this is that to plausibly allow for the evolution of apes into intelligent beings it really requires the current dominant intelligence to be removed.  Nuclear war appeared the obvious approach in the Heston movie.




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Spoilers by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:38:01 PM EST
A virus is used to genetically engineer the apes for better brain function, the scientist uses it to temporarily cure his father's Alzheimers. However his father's immune system fights back so he creates a more virulent form of the virus. Caesar uses that on the other apes at the ape farm/zoo. The new form is fatal to humans and is seen spreading via an infected airline pilot at the end of the movie. The fight with the SWAT team takes place as the freed apes cross a fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge at the end. The apes use a combination of tactics to overwhelm the SWAT team: fog as cover, a bus as a moving barricade, climbing beneath and over the top of the bridge.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Thanks <n/t> by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 06:30:14 AM EST





---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
This movie by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 06:32:16 AM EST
Is definitely not something I could or would enjoy. 




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
EDL by Herring (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 06:06:54 PM EST
I've seen a couple of people come out and say a combination of a) They should be allowed to march because freedom of speech and b) the blanket ban on all marches for 30 days is draconian. I do have a slight feeling that banning their march allows them to play the martyrs a bit.

The problem with the EDL is that their stated aim are something a lot of people can get behind. The papers have really fanned the flames on this one too even though it is illusory (I reckon you could get the whole of Muslims Against Crusades into a people carrier with plenty of space for their placards and poppies). The problem is their unstated aims - which seems to be getting drunk, fighting and shouting about "fucking pakis".

The stand-out bit of the Daily Mash article is the last bit:
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, added: "The government of the world's fifth biggest economy and permanent member of the United Nations security council is listening to Nadine Dorries now.

"Sleep tight."


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

I think having a reasonable-sounding stated aim by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 02:14:23 PM EST
Is pretty much standard for extremist groups. I think in the age of churnalism though, journalists are more likely to just regurgitate their press releases at face value.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Like by Herring (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 05:34:06 AM EST
the "Taxpayers" Alliance.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Bonn prostitumeters by brokkr (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 12:04:14 PM EST
The local rag reports that they have brought in €264 over the first three nights. That's a whopping €32,000 annually for the city coffers, which are currently more than €1.3 billion in the red.
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

Does the rag say by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 08:00:29 AM EST
how much the meters cost to install?

[ Parent ]
Nope [nt] by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 04:19:25 AM EST

--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

[ Parent ]
Found it! by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:28:10 PM EST
http://ksta.de/html/artikel/1314765883294.shtml

€8000 to retrofit a parking meter for the purpose. The city is budgeting with an average of 20 hookers per night = €120.

The cost to fit the meter is insignificant, though, as the city is paying €120,000 per year for leasing the parcel and providing a guard and a sanitary shed.
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

[ Parent ]
That's reasonable, I suppose... by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:37:03 AM EST
...if there were 1000 days in a year.

[ Parent ]
Well by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 08:28:46 AM EST
You're paying the €120,000 per year regardless. As long as the machine hauls in more than €8,000 over its service life, it's a net win. This is more about appeasing the owners and workers of the brothel across the street who were pissed that they were paying tax and the desperate Eastern European women outside weren't.
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

[ Parent ]
Hugging up the big monkey man | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback