Major John Fenwick
Major John Fenwick was, like my great etc uncle George Fenwick, an officer in the the parliamentatian army, who saw active service during the civil war and then, a couple of weeks before the trial of King Charles I, was given the task of commanding his squadron of cavalry, in conjunction with the foot troops, to keep order at the King’s execution (the commission was dated 13th January 1648). John was a barrister as well as a soldier, and it might well have struck him that this order was hardly consistent with the presumption of innocence. Anyway, he did what he was asked to do, the King was duly convicted and beheaded, and order was duly kept during the execution process.
There is an engraving which shows John on his horse, looking a bit debonair. But a bit more digging discloses that Continue reading
It must be hard for some people to work out which they hate the most: Steve Jobs and Apple or Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Bill Gates made the early running in terms of his fall from grace: it seems that the nerdy youth of today will do almost anything to avoid Microsoft, which has made the transition from young upstart (it started way after Apple) to international monolith. So Apple became the favoured underdog, with its cool minimalistic design ethos inspired by Steve Jobs.
Then Steve Jobs died, and people started dishing out the dirt. It seems that he was a complete shit, trying to Continue reading
The clerk at my chambers – Jane Alexander – has been one of those over the years trying to secure the release of a young man wrongly convicted of murder, and has finally succeeded. She writes:
Justice has finally been served – Ryan Ferguson from Missouri, USA, has been freed from prison after serving 9½ years for a murder he had nothing to do with. The story is rife with corruption and misconduct; his conviction was unanimously vacated after the Court found that the prosecutor (now a Judge) withheld crucial exculpatory evidence during his 2005 trial. Ryan was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder. It has taken more than 10 appeals for a Court to finally see sense and have the courage to right this wrong! Continue reading
The bank in Stockholm where hostages were documented with Stockholm Syndrome
I got a telephone call on my mobile the other day from my phone service provider, Telstra. It was a robot calling. It told me immediately that this was not a telemarketing call, that my mobile phone bill was some $157 overdue, and that if I did not sort out it right now, I was toast. It then invited me to embark of a series of telesteps which were quite impossible, since I was in a busy street at the time and just about to go into a meeting. Being a robot, its understanding of the situation was very limited. So I hung up. Big mistake. Continue reading
FreeCell is a sort of Patience (Note to Americans: Solitaire) which comes bundled in with Windows.
Obviously it would be better, at 4 o’clock in the morning, to be fast asleep. But we do not always get what we want, and playing Patience is soothing enough, in its way.
I have now won getting on for 1,000 times without loss, thanks to the Undo feature: if you lose, you can rewind again and again until you win. Apparently there is just one FreeCell deal which is impossible Continue reading
The 13th Act
I was very pleased the other day to see that the Construction Contracts Act 34 of 2013 has now been passed into law in Ireland. The legislation was brought in by Senator Feargal Quinn as a private member’s Bill, and it is apparently somewhat rare for private members’ measures to pass their way through the legislative process in Ireland. By my reckoning, this brings to fifteen the number of jurisdictions around the world which have now adopted a legislative scheme for the adjudication of construction disputes. But it is the thirteenth Act, because the UK legislation covers three jurisdictions (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). I was involved in the process of advancing the cause via the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 in the United Kingdom, and whilst the quality of the legislation has varied considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is good to see that the undoubted benefits of adjudication are spreading around the world.
There are two particular reasons why I am especially pleased in this case. The first is that Senator Quinn took the trouble…
I wondered why this blog got more hits than usual this morning; it is because James Delingpole posted this overnight:
As you’ll see at this website, one of the few things that Flannery is indisputably brilliant at is making idiotic statements and alarmist, pseudo-scientific predictions which seem to bear no relationship whatsoever to observed reality Continue reading
When Jane Austen wrote, in the opening words of Pride and Prejudice about universal truth (“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”) she almost certainly assumed that there was only one universe. As did I, as a schoolboy, when I wrote my address as
34 Beaufort Road
The Solar System
I might of course have identified our galaxy after the solar system bit if I had known that there are in fact a couple of hundred billion other galaxies. Continue reading
Some time or the other, I suppose, I must have signed up to LinkedIn, since I get many notifications from people asked to be linked to me. Some of these people I know, and some I don’t.
Having recently got a bunch of requests from people I do not know, I clicked the button that gets to add people. Lots of them popped up on screen. I added some people who I know and like, just for balance really. After a few minutes, I realised that it keeps on and on suggesting names, with surprising insight into the extent of my acquaintance. If I had nothing better to do, I could have kept going for hours. But I really have no idea what useful purpose the whole thing serves, Continue reading
Louise has today opened her shop, not on the local high street, but on-line.
It is all beautiful, I reckon. But for those who really love flowers generally, and Louise Woodhouse Flowers in particular, the Flower Addict is pretty good stuff: someone (who could be you if you live in South Australia) gets fresh flowers delivered every month for a year. Continue reading