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Feb. 4th, 2008

andersonian, strathclyde, library

Scientology

 
 

 





Scientology isn't recognised as a religion in Britain.  Let's keep it that way.




 

Dec. 2nd, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

John Terry and Chelsea - Getting Away With Murder?

For a long time now I've whinged about john terry - i've always thought he was overrated, and since I read a piece on the internet about him a few months ago, my opinion has been growing that he, and chelsea as a whole, get away with too much.

First of all, did anyone see Jon Obi Mikel getting sent off at the weekend again? Man Utd must be laughing all the way to the bank, he's been absolutely rotten for Chelsea, as well as getting sent off and proving himself to be a complete lunatic time and again. (4 times he's been sent off now for chelsea, and do we remember him going mental when he got sent off against reading?)

But Mikel's indiscipline is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Chelsea are concerned. Four times in the past 2 seasons they've been charged with failing to control players: in the carling cup final; against middlesbrough; against man utd; and in april 2006 against west brom. Yet each time, the FA metes out the same punishment of a fine and warning - surely the punishments should get incrementally worse, resulting in something more severe than fines?

So - What is the cause for the indiscipline? Well I think it has to do with the manner and attitude which chelsea now have. Having won the title 2 seaons running, they picked up this mentality that everything has to go their way and when it doesnt, they go in a strop. This is an attitude which has been augmented by the carte-blanche john terry is given to challenge referees by virtue of him being England captain.

Most recently, at the weekend against west ham, we saw luis boa morte challenge cudicini for a completely 50-50 ball. When cudicini went down, terry was first over shoving boa morte in the face/neck. This should have been a red card in itself (raising hands to an opponent?). Later in the game, when Obi Mikel was sent off, Terry (and the rest of chelsea players) ran at the referee, hounding him and forcing him backwards.

Rewind a few weeks to chelsea v man utd. When Obi Mikel was sent off there, terry hounded the referee (mike dean i think) and even pulled the red card out of his hand. Was any follow-up action taken by the FA? No.

Rewind even further to tottenham v chelsea, john terry accused graham poll (publicly in an interview) of changing his mind about why terry was sent off, essentially criticising poll's integrity. Terry received a fine, but escaped a ban or any further punishment. Compare this with many other examples of players bringing the game into disrepute by making statements in newspapers/books/interviews, one of the main examples being roy keane's 5 match ban, and £150,000 ban for the comments in his book about tackling alf inge haaland. The two punishments don't compare, whilst in my opinion admitting deliberately injuring a player isn't much (if at all) worse than publicly criticising a referee.

So what is my point? Well I think chelsea have got a massive discipline problem, which is bred from john terry (as their captain) downwards. This is fed by their own attitude and egos having pretty much got their own way for 2 seasons, and further helped (worsened?) by the FA's leniency towards Terry in his position as England captain.

Nov. 30th, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

Clash of Cultures?

I have, over the last few years, as I'm sure many others have, been watching the tensions between the "western world" and "middle east" with a great deal of worry.  It is evident that these tensions have contributed to the rise in global terrorism, with both feeding off each other (a sort of chicken and egg type of quandary).

Over the last 3/4 days, therefore, I have been following the events of the Sudanese-based UK teacher Gillian Gibbons, her arrest, and subsequent conviction for insulting religion by calling a teddy bear "muhammad", with great interest.  Finding myself becoming more liberal over recent years, towards many areas of political and social life, my thoughts were that, whilst it did seem harsh to imprison someone for 15 days because of a cultural mishap, she should pay consequences for the naivety, and perhaps recklessness, of her actions.  Stories of 40 lashes and 6 months in prison frightened me, so when I heard yesterday that she had been sentenced to 15 days I was slightly relieved (although still with thoughts that it was a bit harsh) that some sort of cultural compromise may have been found.

Fast-forward to today, and I find on the BBC website the one thing which I think many people could have predicted - riots by sections of the Muslim community at a "western conspiracy."  I was disgusted to see the calls for her to be killed, and that it was part of a larger western conspiracy to "slag off" or "bring down" islam.  Now before anyone accuses me of cultural indifference, I will try to mitigate what I am describing.  Firstly, I realise that this is not representative of the entire Muslim community, and that many (if not all) of the Muslim community in the UK have been behind Ms Gibbons.  It is, however, a large group of people choosing to protest this decision, described by the BBC as "thousands."  I have always been of the opinion that if the cultural differences which threaten to rip the world apart are to be solved, it will need a great deal of work by both sides.  And this time, I truly thought we had it cracked - on the basis of todays protests though, it seems not.

Lets rewind slightly and look at other "inflamed" situations.  These are situations, I believe, of extreme overreaction (even whilst I admit and realise the offence to the culture caused):

Earlier this year, protestors in India burned effigies and called for richard gere to be killed over the kissing Shilpa Shetty incident.

2005/2006 saw the massive fallout from the danish cartoon publishing.  The protests I could understand, but the burning of flags, burning of buildings, attacking of embassies, looting of stores, burning of effagies etc I could not.

Similarly, after the pope quoted from a medieval emperor, people were calling for him to be killed.

One of the only conclusions I can reach from these continued events is that, until these reactionary, over-the-top protests are condemned and stopped (and bear in mind I am referring to the burning etc, not normal, peaceful protesting), then it devalues and counters any good work that other cultures around the world may undertake.

Nov. 5th, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

Opinions please?

 Picture this scenario:

There is a cave.  It has only one (front) entrance.  A owns the piece of the cave closest to the entrance, while B owns the piece of the cave at the back of the cave.  Therefore, to get to his part of the cave, B has to effectively traverse A's land.

First question: Can A charge B for walking on A's land to get to B's land?

I would have thought (from Bow. v Ken.) that B has a right, flowing from ownership, of access to his property.  And even if this weren't the case, there would most likely be a servitude right of access across A's property to B's.  I would therefore have thought that A could not charge B.

Potential Issues:  Would the answer to that question be different if A was able to, for example, drill a hole down through the top of the cave to access straight onto his property.  So essentially what I'm asking is that does the right of access have to be reasonable?  As I wouldn't have thought that drilling down through the top of a cave would be a reasonably easy step to take to access your property.

Any agreeing/disagreeing opinions?

p.s. a correct answer to this will help clear up an argument between an "eminent professor" and I
andersonian, strathclyde, library

What Alec Salmond giveth with one hand...

When I first took out a student loan, I was told by almost everyone that the interest rate would be "negligible" or "the same as inflation."  I therefore did.  And have put some into shares/savings etc whilst spending some of the rest.  Four years on, I find myself oweing currently 8grand to the SLC.  Manageable I thought, especially as I have a fair amount of it stashed away.  Imagine my surprise though when I receive a phone call from my friend SF telling me to check the small print on the back of my yearly SLC statement.  Sure enough, the interest rate for this year has doubled to 4.8%.  This will result in me paying approx £500 next year in interest alone to the SLC.

Upon closer investigation, we found that the interest rate on student loans are not in fact linked to inflation (which is currently 1.8%) but the RPI (retail price index) which was a hefty 4.8%.  Therefore, for the next year, at least, I will be paying 4.8% interest on my student loan.  This having gone up from 2.4% last year.

Anyway, this isn't a tale of sorrow, or a cry for sympathy, because in a few years time I will be in a better position (hopefully) to pay most of it off.  It is, however, a cautionary tale to those of you who rely on your student loans to pay fees, buy books, pay diploma fees (ahem law students), and generally live.  Check the RPI when you take out your loan - whatever it is in March of that year will be what you pay for the following year.  It's not all it's cracked up to be.

PS, the title is a reference to the fact that, despite the graduate endowment being scrapped, I will potentially be paying much the same amount in interest over the next 4/5 years!

Sep. 27th, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

(Back) Into the Fray

Well today was my first day back at uni, for an honours "induction seminar."  Much scaring and "your life depends on this" chat from cyrus, then a brief chat with gareth from the library who ran over all the new online materials etc we have, then the careers woman came.

To the real meat:
I picked my classes too.  Obligations with John Blackie, and Computer Law with Konstantinos Komaitis, for 1st semester.  Quite looking forward to both, although with slight trepidation towards obligations. Still, Prof Blackie is extremely thorough and has already informed that there will be 4 unjustified enrichment seminars this year, instead of the usual 3.
- Any past/present strathy hons students (i know you're there!) got any thoughts on these?

Also, as a follow up to an earlier post+poll on here, I have decided on forum shopping&the EU as my dissertation topic, to be supervised by barry rodger.

Must admit, on a personal note Im quite glad to be back into the busy lifestyle of university and studying. And i'm also looking forward to seeing what seminars are properly like.
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Sep. 26th, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

Summer Ends...

Well, a highly eventful and fun summer is over.  Few highlights:

Spending a nice week in italy; being on placement at the scottish law comission; scotland beating france; returning to matalan after summer placements; blue peter defrauding loads of kids (in both their programme and annual) by creating socks; etc etc

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May. 18th, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

University of Strathclyde Pic of the Week.

yes its back, by popular demand....



The raging torrent that is the 'stenhouse river.' Out the back of the stenhouse building. to the right you can see what is now the new 'java cafe' in the conservatory. in the background is the masterful livi tower.
andersonian, strathclyde, library

This (academic) Year: a Recap

Well that's it, my third year over.A quick recap:

First Sem
IPL1 - A resounding success for me, came out with good marks and good banter with barry rodger. also enjoyed the subject more than others
Labour 1 - Another success. enjoyed the class and came out with good marks. thought jenifer ross was a really good lecturer, if a little scatty.
Tax - Well i'm never a fan of 100% exams, i generally tend not to do so well in them. but i did ok. phil was a good lecturer, great laugh and really spiced up an otherwise fairly dry class.

Second Sem
IPL2 - loved the class, thought dr carruthers was immense but I think i may have failed my first exam ever. exam was really difficult, not to mention its 100% of marks. any other lecturer I think I'd have done enough to pass, but not her.
PIL -  found the logistics of this difficult, cos i had class at the same time as planning, so could only attend half the classes.  therese was good but the lectures were really hard to follow, being the first year that the class was in 1 semester. assignment (mock SC meeting) was really interesting, although lots of work. between that and exam think i've done enough to pass
Labour 2 - jenifer was good again, although this was more difficult than the partner class in 1st sem. think i've done just enough to pass though.
Evidence - yuk, boring. couldn't get into this class at all. i find donald N's theory+pyscological+socioligcal theory stuff incredibly hard to follow. although it was great to have JB back - he's a leg! think i've managed to pass this one too.
Planning - Was difficult because the classes were at same time as PIL (see above), but another class I enjoyed. mark poustie is a quality prof, I think he'll do a great job as new HoD. Have to admit though I'm disappointed its taken 2months and the essay marks still aren't back.

What Now?
Honours next year. My timetable is as follow:
Obligations. Really lookin forward to this class, gettin back to doin things I kinda enjoyed. and it'l be mad havin guest lecturers and stuff in.only regret is that norrie won't be there to do his usual birth class.
Computer Law: What am i thinkin?  well its 50-50 assignments and apparently enjoyable.

Environmental Law: Couldn't turn down poustie's charm :)
Legislation with singeon bates, or international trade with jenny hamilton: undecided yet

My Rant:  the fact that strathclyde has cut more than 5 classes at hons level in the last 2 years.  there's really not a lot of options left, short of going to glasgow for hons. sinking ship? i truly,truly hope not (cut me+i bleed strath)

May. 3rd, 2007

andersonian, strathclyde, library

If you goat-to go, you gotta go

Poor beastie.  At least the child still has its dad to look after it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6619983.stm
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