Archive for April, 2019

Misogyny in the US of A

Monday, April 29th, 2019

It was quite disheartening to read the recent coverage of the appointment of the new Chief Flight Director at NASA. The successful candidate has worked at NASA since 1998, was the “outstanding leader in the group” and the unanimous choice. She also happens to be a woman.

This is not newsworthy. If a child, or a chimpanzee, or a single cell amoeba had been appointed to the role, that is newsworthy. The headlines should have read “most appropriate person gets job”, but that’s not very interesting is it?

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Routinely insane or insanely routine?

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

I don’t know which was the first Masters tournament I watched the final round of. I think it was Bernhard Langer’s win in 1985, because I definitely remember watching Jack Nicklaus’s astonishing win the year after. Thereafter, with one or two minor exceptions, I’ve watched every one.

Within each one, there is a little routine, normally involving far too much red wine (record set during the Faldo/Norman encounter in 1996) and a very late night as the tournament is not over until the final putt, such is the trickiness of the course and the pressure that leading can bring to bear. I vividly remember Tiger Wood’s first win, in 1997, the only time it really was all over bar the shouting at the beginning of the final round. Often the drama is not so much in the thrilling strokeplay as in the mental disintegration – for every Phil Mickelson charge there is a Rory McIlroy or Greg Norman combustion.

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Don’t bet on it

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Last weekend saw possibly the biggest betting weekend in the UK calendar, with the Grand National, Boat race and two FA Cup semi-finals taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Ordinarily you would expect it to be a good weekend for the bookies, but with Tiger Roll winning the National, Cambridge the Boat race and Manchester City winning the first semi-final, it was probably a bad weekend for the bookies.

Not that we should shed too many tears for the bookmaking industry; after all, it’s much more rare for them to lose out than cash in. It’s always the stories of a fluke result (Leicester City anyone?) or a lucky accumulator (the punter who won £182,567 from a £2 bet at the Cheltenham festival recently) that grab the headlines rather than the results of the betting companies (bet365 posted turnover growth of 25% and 26% growth in profit for 2018, £2.86bn and £587.6m respectively).

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April Fools!

Monday, April 1st, 2019

To mark the fact that today should have been the first day that the UK spent outside the EU since 1973 (really, did nobody spot the irony?), we are pleased to announce a very special competition.

We will be giving away free flights on BA to anywhere in the world (well probably just Edinburgh given their recent track record) to the first ten callers who can give us a concise explanation of exactly what Theresa May is trying to achieve by constantly putting the same Brexit deal in front of Parliament.

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