Archive for December, 2014

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 320 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Christmas in Aberdeen. A pictorial essay.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a colourful trio of lights in the winter night in Aberdeen.

From Russia with Love…. or the love of money!

      With the development of the internet one has seen many things migrate to the cyber world. Not least romance and a plethora of dating sites around the world.  In this area of romance many are  aware of the hurt and difficulties in such an emotional area.  Whenever a business goes online there is the danger that those of evil intent will be there too.  Not least to make money out of people who are fleeced and then are so ashamed and upset at being nieve to report the loss of money.   In recent times with web cams galore a new twist in this area of robbery, for that is what it is they are common thieves and deserve no other title than cowardly too.

In the new twist they found that people were being tricked onto cameras and doing some things they would rather not like people they know to see are blackmailed into paying hundreds of pounds usually but some have been robbed of up to 100,000.



With a shortage of  suitable men in various places women turn to these agencies some quite legitimate to find their significant other.  However, it is Russia I want to write about here.   There are a number of sites online offering various services.  SOme are travel firms who make introductions in Russia and indeed some make the clients pay for a trip there to meet thier to be Bride.  In some cases it is successful.  However, there are other scams which steal email lists and get thier staff to write many people and if they get a reply engage them in communication with the aim of later requesting money.   Usually for what appear plausible reasons.  but there is a pattern firstly if someone you dont know emails you be ware the safe no. 1 rule is delete it!  If you reply look for a pattern in the initial stage they will seek to find out much about you and sound interested they may even give detail of themselves or who they are supposed to be as this is taking place online then they will give you photographs.   However again be careful although these may seem above board they are probably stolen from  Photographic businesses as this is an organised Crime making millions annually.

In recent year the BBC did an investigation of dating sites in uk and uncovered a business which was full of smoke and mirrors.  Indeed many people whose photos appeared on some sites were more than surprised as they themselves had not signed up.  In the race to have a large choice for customers men and womens identities were mis used and in some cases the whole business was false and a fraud to get money out of the nieve customer who was vulnerable.

Indeed back to Russia there are several sites, but it is the direct mail out of the blue which is possibly the least easy to spot. Oftentimes the opening gambit is either complimentary towards the person receiving the email or suggests some aquaintance suggested the contact may be useful to both parties.   Several letters down the line money comes into the frame.  Either a plea of being hard up and a vital medical emergency in the close family circle demands some money they do not have they hate asking of course but beware and act as you may in real life on the street if a complete stranger requested the amount they ask for would you part with oyour hard earned money.

so the next time you are tempted by a a Russian Temptress remember the Golden rules.

1, do not under any circumstance send money.  If you do you will never hear again.

2. Check the website address or the email address and check the massive Scammers lists and the Survive Scammers lists too.  If the person you supposedly are communicating with is there just do not reply ever again.



There are two victims in this kind of crime.  The person who actually gets sucked in and sends money usually through Moneygram or WEstern Union, and of course the people whose photographs are sent around the globe.   They may not even know they are being used as bait. They too can help break up this crime by calling local police in their area.

So next time a Russian beauty suggests you are the one, beware of the money request, however plausible, it may not be from Russia with Love but rather The love of your hard earned money.

while we are on the subject can anyone on the planet tell me whom this may be.???




2015 Deja Vu!

As the year ends and time speeds past with the Christmas rush and a new year ahead it is time to do something I rarely do and that is some predictions .  However the older I get the more sceptical and  cynical, perhaps, I get Im brave enough to do just that for this year.  Firstly as we roll toward an American Election year is seems we have got caught in a time warp and a replay albeit not exact but in name certainly a Bush Clinton playoff!  Back in 1991 Bush took on the upstart Clinton this year I predict a Bush – Jeb playoff against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  – Clinton election choice once all the shouting is over that is in between if I turn out to be right and I so hope I am wrong, you heard it here first!

The mystery of MH370 will begin to unravel somewhat, and the chance of finding the plane in the seabed is less likely than in Diego Garcia as the shooting down of MH17 was more than likely a Ukraine shootdown not RUSSIA, while the price of oil will go back up but slowly as US and those in the background make millions out of futures suggesting the soaring price would drop and may be plateau for a while.  Putin will still be the bear they want to get rid of or at least clip his claws!   The Ruble may tumble but it the truth comes out about the economic terrorism against it in the eighties surfaces it may bounce back and China may well sell more us debt shooting the dollar downward if it ceases to be the currency for oil for China and Iran then watch that space life will get very interesting.

Turkey will become a lot less secular under Erdogan while the problem of Syria will not go away as will the PALESTINIAN PROBLEM !   The pound may take a pounding if us keeps oil prices low for their own ends but the shale industry will be dead in the water and that would be better for the water table as the chemicals pumped into the ground in this process tends to destroy water tables, it can even poison them, it also causes mini earthquakes where none was recorded before.  The Scottish independence based on oil revenues is being battered in order to try to shore up the idea that it is too volatile a resource to count on, yet the exchequer loves the massive revenues it has had off the North Sea.

A market economy means this industry  is always in flux, yet the product is vital to keep the world economy, which is built on the petrodollar system since the late 1800s, must be king and alternate energy is always the orphan economy.  After all free electricity would be possible if Tesla generators were in every town or small scale house.

Hydrogen engines would be in Cars as their only  burn off would be not a pollutant, but water H2O!   There is at least one car running in USA for years already on this system. Indeed in the sixties one Scot in Dundee figured out a part to put into the petrol engine which would make it very green doing 100 miles to the gallon of course an oil company bought the patent and destroyed the ev idence!  Also in the eighties Maggie Thatcher killed a research into Liquid Coal, by the way we had a couple of hundred years supply of the type of coal which could be liquified, as she wished to destroy the coal industry and its powerful Union.   Coal after all is a hydro carbon as is oil.  The research was at a near final stage.  The scientist was silenced by the official secrets act! So in 2015 we will still be paying over the odds for energy, cars will on the whole be petrol driven, Oil price will effect many economies and the idea of real democracy will have dimmed if there is a Bush in the Whitehouse or a ??? in number 10 and even a Sarkosy in power in France who knows there might even be a resurection of the political life of a Berlusconi in Italy! La dolce Vita however, is to be far from the ordinary citizen either side of the pond or in Europe or across the Urals.

As we get to December 2015 the only thing I can be sure of is death and taxes across the world for the poorest on the planet and the gap between rich and poor get to a level which is likely to cause history to repeat itself.  As the year ends we should learn from our forefathers, not ignore their mistakes or repeat them.  Let us hope we survive 365 days till my next new year blog where I catch up with Mentalist in skills  and give you a ringside view of 2016 !

Despite all this enjoy the season  LOVE MORE,  EAT LESS,  and exercise your vote while you still can.  Who knows there may even be another REFERENDUM OR NEVERENDUM after all Salmond will be back stirring up Westminster again and an election in Scotland may move more left than right and th SDA the new kid on the political block after a false start may put on its running shoes and go for GOLD – Independence!

I will be back after the celebrations, carol services with standing room only!, and the festive food!

2014 was quite a rollercoaster, but as Ronald Reagan used to say  YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET   and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!