No-one messes with Eurovision

From Scandinavia and the World:

I love the comment from Russia: “I can influence American presidential elections but I have no power over Eurovision”

And rightly so.

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Percussive maintenance FTW

NASA fix for Curiosity rovers’s damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly

NASA’s top engineers think they’ve figured out a way to get the Curiosity rover’s drill back to work holing the rock faces of Mars.

The new technique is called Feed Extended Drilling (FED) and uses the rover’s robotic arm to direct the drill bit. Tests conducted in February 2018 proved the technique didn’t work very well so the NASA boffins added a percussive element to hopefully drive the spinning drill bit into rock slabs on Saturday.

Percussive maintenance: If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for me.

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I miss the 1980s

Before the world lost it’s collective mind.

From The Devil’s Panties

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Smurfing Beer

The other night the boys were talking about drinks and one of them expressed the view that beer is bad for you.

“Not if it’s Smurfing Beer,” said I.

“What?” They chorused.

Thank Google for YouTube.

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Imperatives and Explanations

While on the subject of workplace toilets, Alistair Dabbs observes:

Also highly revealing about a workplace is the signage displayed in office restrooms. Wherever I go, no matter how posh the surroundings, workers appear to need wall-mounted directives printed in large font sizes on how to use — or rather, how not to misuse — the facilities.

This reminds me of the facilities I encountered at a previous employer. The cubicles on the first floor (which was inhabited mainly by IT folks) all carried a sign instructing you to clean the pan after use.

On the second floor (where the accountants lived), the cubicles carried signs explaining how to clean the pan after use.

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Quote of the Day: Eternally outraged

Mrs May and her cabinet are daily lambasted by their opponents and the same hyperbolic language tends to be employed over any issue, whether it be significant, second rank or trivial. Words such as “shameful” and “disgrace” and “despicable” are hurled around in parliament, in broadcasting studios and even more so on social media. They are thrown about in such a routine, ritualised way that the words are losing their power to sting ministers on the occasions when excoriating language is entirely deserved. The trouble with using the vocabulary of outrage to describe everything about this government is that it makes it harder to nail ministers when there is an authentic scandal. It is making it easier for Ms Rudd and Mrs May to weather this one.

Andrew Rawnsley

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Money for Nothing

UK government paid consultants £680K for Brexit customs plan

Government records show the U.K. tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), spent £680,000 on a contract with consultancy firm McKinsey & Company to, among other things, assess the “commercial feasibility” of the “new customs partnership model.” That is one of two customs proposals put forward by U.K. Brexit negotiators last week in talks aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The customs arrangement designed by McKinsey was, of course, dismissed as unworkable as soon as the rest of the EU saw it.

Hiring consultants is like wishing really hard. It doesn’t mater how much you spend — or how much you wish — the impossible will remain impossible.

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