Tianjin 天津市


Photos of Tianjin, 天津市

Update2021 – all these originals dropped off the web so I thought I’d upload some of my own to replace them.

Nankai Campus

Duliujian River

See here for some of my flickr pics and here for general China pics.

Papers, Please! The Identity Project

Update 2021 : failed in both countries thank goodness, but the Papers, Please! The Identity Project website is still going which is good as these issues remain relevant.

Papers, Please! The Identity Project:
“There are good people with bad papers; and bad people with good papers.”
– Bertolt Brecht

I’m horrified that the USA could be getting compulsory ID cards too. The perpetrators of 9/11 all had valid ID’s .


When I was younger I used to travel to Europe and I hated the way the gendarmes would demand ‘Papiers, papiers!’ to intimidate and hassle foreigners. In a manner only one step removed from the Geheime Staatspolizei.

It’s incredible that the present US Administration wants to make the USA resemble France.

Incidentally, these old stumbleupon pages are often in the interesting links category which you may like to check out

From the site:

What’s Wrong With Showing ID?

What does an ID, any ID, do for security?  The honest answer is ‘not much’.  If anything, relying on ID for security purposes actually makes things worse: a false sense of security fosters complacency.

Showing ID only affects honest people.  If you’re dishonest, you can obtain false documents or steal the identity of an honest person.

If a 19 year-old college student can get a fake ID to drink, why couldn’t a bad person get one, too?  And no matter how sophisticated the security embedded into the ID, wouldn’t a well-financed terrorist be able to falsify that, too?  The answer to both questions is obviously ‘yes’.

Are you good or evil?


Update Can’t find the original so here’s something approximately the same:


“You come from Heaven. You’re the purest of pure, a saint. You’re probably an angel sent directly from Heaven.”

No, not that sort of angel…

Mass Destruction – Faithless


This week I is mostly listening to…

Mass DestructionFaithless

Whether long range weapon or suicide bomber
Wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether you’re soar away sun or BBC 1
Misinformation is a weapon of mass destruction
You could a Caucasian or a poor Asian
Racism is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether inflation or globalisation
Fear is a weapon of mass destruction

FreqWizs reviews – StumbleUpon

I also ran into FreqWiz in SecondLife which was a nice surprise


Wayback machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20051104043017/http://freqwiz.stumbleupon.com/

“…even though what you might say about my country, my president, my job, or me might hurt, I will gladly die defending your right to say it!” This is a sentiment I can agree with, however, I will respectfully remind you of what your general George S Patton said “Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway


Update: Link expired so here’s the actual footage:

‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway is a man with whom I do not see eye to eye. He is basically a communist, and I do not like communism.

However, I do respect him personally. He defeated the Daily Telegraph in a libel case, defeated Tony Blair by overturning a huge Labour majority and convinced the voters of Bethnal Green that he should represent them in Parliament.

So he went to the US Senate and turned the tables on his accusers. They had, he said, committed a ‘schoolboy error’ in stating that he had personally received money out of the Iraqi ‘oil for food programme’. I watched him live on BBC TV yesterday for a full 20 minutes. It was a barnstorming performance and despite what you may hear from other media sources he wiped the floor with Senator Coleman who looked stunned and could only think of a rebuttal after he had had time to consider it.

George, I REALLY disagree with your views on most things but like your party’s name you have my respect.

Daleks are not for kids?

Too scary apparently


‘Exterminate! Oh why do I bother?’
The nanny state is wagging its finger again – this time wrapping the nippers in cotton wool over Dr Who and the Daleks.

An episode from the current, excellent series of the Time Lord caper – called ‘Dalek’, confusingly – had scenes where Dr Who’s pepper-pot shaped sworn enemy was shown being tortured.

The ‘torture’ scene has proven enough to see the great and good at the British Board of Film Classification refuse to give the new DVD release of the hit BBC drama a PG certificate.

So Daleks are not for kids then – got it.

Indian Railways and London Underground signs



From the site:

“THE ROUNDEL, or the diamond-shaped signs at railway stations mentioning its name, may seem like a humble identity marker for railway stations, but it has over the years seen changes, from its design, the number of languages in which it identifies stations to the recent changes to its shape. At its core, however, the roundel, like several other railway features, owes its design to the British, who laid the foundation of the present-day local railway lines.

Talking about the history of the roundel in his book, Halt Station India, railway historian Rajendra Aklekar says the signage, also termed “bulls eye”, has its origins in London. He says in 1908, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London used a winged, spoked wheel for its stations’ name boards and “fashioned a bright red circle with a blue bar across”.

BBC Monsoon Railway


Update: – No longer on iPlayer , but it is on Youtube (resolution 480 so just about watchable)

Information is still present on the BBC website though

BBC4 Monsoon Railway

Fascinating BBC television documentary about the Indian Railways which brought back memories of my trek across India and Nepal many years ago.

Olivers Army by Elvis Costello

Olivers Army by Elvis Costello


Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello

Don’t start me talking
I could talk all night
My mind goes sleepwalking
While I’m putting the world to right

Called careers information
Have you got yourself an occupation?

Oliver’s army is here to stay
Oliver’s army are on their way
And I would rather be anywhere else
But here today

There was a checkpoint Charlie
He didn’t crack a smile
But it’s no laughing party
When you’ve been on the murder mile

Only takes one itchy trigger
One more widow, one less white nigger


Hong Kong is up for grabs
London is full of Arabs
We could be in Palestine
Overrun by a Chinese line
With the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne

But there’s no danger
It’s a professional career
Though it could be arranged
With just a word in Mr. Churchill’s ear

If you’re out of luck or out of work
We could send you to Johannesburg


the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne

The Blue Boar and The Fox, Chipping Norton


I like pubs, and here are some good ones from West Oxfordshire. They all serve food and the best cuisine is to be found at the Blue Boar, Chipping Norton

However, the Fox Hotel is firmly at the top of the list. Reasonably priced accommodation, lovely atmosphere and excellent staff.

As a bonus it’s also a Hook Norton pub.

The Fox Website

Halifax Gibbet Capital Punishment in Yorkshire


The Halifax Gibbet in Yorkshire

What is the Halifax Gibbet?
The Halifax Gibbet was a machine like a guillotine that was used for public execution between the 13th and 17th centuries. It is in Yorkshire, England. The earliest recorded execution was in 1286. It is suggested that the Gibbet was built to punish thieves who stole cloth, especially from tenters (a wooden frame that cloth was stretched and dried on).

Escaping the Halifax Gibbet
Convicted criminals did have one of escape. A law stated that if a condemned person could withdraw his or her head before the blade was released and hit the bottom, they could escape to the next town – Hebble Brook – and then they would be free. The one condition: that person could never return. The only lucky and quick guy to do this was John Lacy. On January 29, 1623, John managed to scape and run to freedom. But after seven years, Running Man, as he was nicknamed, foolishly believed that because he had done the impossible he would be allowed back. He was as wrong as he was dumb. As soon as he came back he was immediately put back under the blade again and this time he didn’t stand a chance.

Finding the Halifax Gibbet
Almost 60 people, both men and woman, were executed by the Halifax Gibbet. The town finally stopped using it in 1650. The Gibbet originally stood at Cow Green but it was later moved to a marked site on Gibbet Street. The actual site of the Gibbet was lost after the 17th century until it was rediscovered in 1839 when workmen discovered the skeletons and skulls of two bodies. Possibly the last two men executed. The original blade (the head of an axe) was returned to Halifax in 1970. It can be seen at the Calderdale Industrial Museum. A replica of the Gibbet was reconstructed in 1974.

Burke’s Peerage, genealogy and heraldry 

the definitive guide to the genealogy and heraldry of historical families worldwide


Update: Website has moved URL. The above doesn’t work but Burkes Peerage can be found here


The original post linked to some notable dates in Scottish history from 560 to 2000 AD. Alas I couldn’t find it.

However, there is still a lot of interesting stuff on the Burke’s Peerage, genealogy and heraldry website.

EdwtheLongshanks reviews – StumbleUpon

Stumbleupon user EdwtheLongshanks



Update: Another fellow stumbler and his Stumbleupon Blog has survived pretty much intact.

Looking for other Stumbleupon users?

Try looking here

Category: Stumbleupon

Edwardus Primus Scottorum malleus hic est. Pactum serva.

– “Edward the First, Hammer of the Scots, keep the faith

The Halifax Gibbet

In memory of:

1286 John of Dalton
15th January 1539 Charles Haworth
20th March 1541 Richard Beverley of Sowerby
1st January 1542 Unidentified stranger
16th September 1544 John Brigg of Heptonstall
31st March 1545 John Ecoppe of Elland
5th December 1545 Thomas Waite of Northowram
6th March 1568 Richard Sharpe of Northowram
ditto John Learoyd of Northowram
9th October 1572 Will Cockere
9th January 1572 John Atkinson
ditto Nicholas Frear
ditto Richard Garnet
19th May 1574 Richard Stopforth
12th February 1574 James Smith of Sowerby
3rd November 1576 Henry Hunt
6th February 1576 Robert Bairstow alias Fearnside
6th January 1578 John Dickenson of Bradford
16th March 1578 John Waters
15th October 1580 Bryan Casson
19th February 1581 John Appleyard of Halifax
7th February 1582 John Sladen
17th January 1585 Arthur Firth
4th October 1586 John Duckworth
27th May 1587 Nicholas Hewitt of Northowram
ditto Thomas Mason (Vagrant)
13th July 1588 The wife of Thomas Roberts of Halifax
5th April 1589 Robert Wilson of Halifax
21st December 1591 Peter Crabtree of Sowerby
6th January 1591 Bernard Sutcliffe of Northowram
23rd September 1602 Abraham Stancliffe of Halifax
22nd February 1602 The wife of Peter Harrison of Bradford
29th December 1610 Christopher Cosin
10th April 1611 Thomas Brigg
19th July 1623 [?] Sutcliffe
23rd December 1623 George Fairbank
ditto Anna Fairbank, daughter of George Fairbank
29th January 1623 John Lacy of Halifax (He escaped from the execution, but returned 7 years later where he was caught and executed immediately)
8th April 1624 Edmund Ogden of Lancashire
13th April 1624 Richard Midgley of Midgley
5th July 1627 The wife of John Wilson of Northowram
8th December 1627 Sarah Lum of Halifax
14th May 1629 John Sutcliffe of Skircote
20th October 1629 Richard Hoyle of Heptonstall
28th August 1630 Henry Hudson
ditto The wife of Samuel Ettall
14th April 1632 Jeremy Bowcock of Warley
22nd September 1632 John Crabtree of Sowerby
21st May 1636 Abraham Clegg of Norland
7th October 1641 Isaac Illingworthof Ogden
7th June 1645 Jer. Kaye Taylor of Lancashire
30th December 1648 (sic) – should read April 1650 Jo. Wilkinson of Sowerby
ditto Anthony Mitchell