The Edmondson Blog

Boris or Ken

I've been thinking about who I would vote for in the London elections, if I could (I'm registered to vote in Knockholt, outside Greater London). I'm an admirer of Boris Johnson, though I'm not convinced, yet, he is the right man to understand and tackle London's challenges. Also, you can't doubt the success Ken has had over the last 8 years.

Having worked at TfL, I know first hand how Ken has championed transport in London, always previously the forgotten child. Love him or loathe him, he has made a difference: The central congestion charge zone, his hand in the Olympics, pushing forward CrossRail, the various cultural initiatives and regeneration, including the Thames Gateway. His unique brand of maverick politics has enabled him to cut through the bullshit and get things done.

My problem is there's a stench of corruption around him and I'm unimpressed, now he's being held to account, that he's rolling out some pretty dubious defence. I despise his immediate grab for the race card over Lee Jasper, riding roughshod over public opinion in extending the Congestion Charge, his dismissal of the London Assembly when they try to hold him to account (calling them "sanctimonious hypocrites"), and his courting of some unsavoury characters. This is not the sort of man who should be running one of the greatest cities in the world.

I think the election will come down to those who recognise what has been delivered over Ken's last two terms, against those who now believe more strongly, like I do, that the office of Mayor of London has become stained. The only person who can unseat Ken is Boris. I would vote for Boris, more for the change rather than for the man himself. I urge you to do the same.

Stag Party Goes Wrong!

GENEVA - A fun-filled bachelor party at a strip club turned deadly when a 32-year-old groom-to-be who was enjoying the attentions of a well-endowed stripper suffocated while his face was buried in her breasts.

The mind-boggling drama unfolded, say cops, while Daniel Greene was attending his bachelor party at the Pretty Kitty strip club.

The club had been rented out for the private affair.

According to investigators, Greene was enjoying a lap dance when disaster struck: One of the strippers, Kandy Kane, got too into her performance and suffocated the man between her 72-DD breasts.

Witnesses said that Greene had had his fair share of beer, but didn't seem out-of-control.

When the song "I'm Too Sexy" began to play, Greene became excited and began to dance on the tabletop, hooting and hollering, pals said, "like an idiot."

Miss Kane, apparently pleased to see someone enjoying her choice in music, moved in closer.

When Greene took his seat, she began giving him a lap dance, shaking her breasts in his face.

The more she shook, the deeper Greene got lost in her cleavage.

"Daniel was having so much fun," partygoer John Gillman said. "We all thought he loved being in that gal's chest.

"Who could have known that when he was waving his hands around, he was signaling for help?"

Cheering onlookers eventually realized that Greene was no longer moving, and pulled him from between Miss Kane's breasts.

Now Greene's family is suing Miss Kane and the Pretty Kitty for wrongful death.

Greene's father, George, won't specify the amount they are suing for, but claims that it isn't about the money.

"Those breasts were lethal weapons," he told reporters.

"The Pretty Kitty should not have allowed Miss Kane to have her bust enhanced to the size that she did.

"We hope that by filing this lawsuit, we can send a message to other strippers: keep your bra size within a reasonable range."

Kandy Kane made a statement through her attorneys: "I thought he liked it in there. "

The Pretty Kitty declined comment.

The Knowledge

A London cab driver is required to be able to decide routes immediately in response to a passenger's request or traffic conditions, rather than stopping to look at a map or ask a controller by radio. Consequently, the Knowledge is the in-depth study of London street routes and places of interest that taxicab-drivers in that city must complete to obtain a licence to operate a black cab. It was initiated in 1865, and has changed little since.

It is the world's most demanding training course for taxicab-drivers; and applicants will usually need at least 12 'Appearances' (attempts at the final test), after preparation averaging 34 months, to pass the examination.

The 320 main (standard) routes, or 'runs', through central London of the Knowledge are contained within the 'Blue Book' (officially known as the 'Guide to Learning the Knowledge of London'), produced by the Public Carriage Office which regulates licensed taxis in London. In all some 25,000 streets within a six mile radius of Charing Cross are covered along with the major arterial routes through the rest of London.

A taxicab-driver must learn these, as well as the 'points of interest' along those routes including streets, squares, clubs, hospitals, hotels, theatres, government and public buildings, railway stations, police stations, courts, diplomatic buildings, important places of worship, cemeteries, crematoria, parks and open spaces, sports and leisure centres, places of learning, restaurants and historic buildings.

Shades of Green

Did you know the US Army has its own hotel at Disney World in Florida?

Shades of Green is a United States Department of Defense-owned resort located at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) resort and therefore a part of the military's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program (MWR).

Originally, the Shades of Green resort was a Disney-owned property first called The Golf Resort and later The Disney Inn. The original resort was more of a country club for the golf courses and it did not actually have any guest rooms until December 1973. The resort expanded in 1986 and was renamed The Disney Inn as well as receiving a new Snow White theme. It was leased by the Department of Defense beginning in 1994 for the MWR program. The resort was purchased outright January 12, 1996 and renamed Shades of Green.

The Four Corners

View Larger Map
The Four Corners is the survey point at the intersection of the four U.S. states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona and the high desert plateau region surrounding that point in the southwestern United States. It is the only point in the United States where four states touch. Three of the four state corners are on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The fourth corner, Colorado, is on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.

Fait Le Ski

Just got back from 9 days in the Alps. It was a poor second place to the original plan of heading to Banff, though some time away was just what I needed. We managed to ski Les Contamines, Le Tour, Grand Montets, Brevent, Flegere, Courmayeur and even made it down the Vallee Blanche. We even tried our hands at cross-country skiing, which was great fun. I managed to burn my forehead on the last day, so look like a bit of a plonker, but I can't complain about the weather: two days of dumping snow followed by a week of brilliant sunshine. Some snaps, if you care for them.

Bitter Sweet Symphony

Leadoff single "Bitter Sweet Symphony" entered the UK charts at #2. The single reached #12 on the U.S. charts, the band's highest position ever in the USA. The song borrowed a looped sample of a symphonic recording of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time". The band had obtained composition rights to the sample from ABKCO Records owner Allen Klein, which controls the Rolling Stones' back catalogue and permission to use the recording of the sample from Decca, the publisher of the original album.

Just before the CD came out, Klein obtained a copy of the song and decided that the band had used "too much" of the sample and threated a lawsuit. At that late time there was no way the sample could be removed, so the band and Klein came to a verbal agreement, “We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split" says band member Simon Jones. Later, when it was apparent that the song was a huge, worldwide hit Klein demanded 100% of the royalties or they would be forced to removed the CD from the record shops. The band settled out of court with Klein resulting in ABKCO Records obtaining 100 percent of the songwriting royalties. Further, as a result of the lawsuit, Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were given songwriting credits. With full publishing rights to the song, ABKCO Records could legally sell licenses to advertisers and did several times. The song appeared in a Nike commercial against The Verve's will and then in advertisements for Vauxhall automobiles. After the song was used in the movie Cruel Intentions, The Verve filed a moral rights (copyright) suit to ensure the song was not distributed commercially any more. The Verve is said to have not made a penny from the song.

I'll Be Back

Apologies to all for the lack of posting recently. Other events have taken priority. Thanks to all of you who have been in touch wondering why there's been radio silence. Unfortunately, I've had to cancel my ski trip to Canada, but luckily am leeching off two of Britain's most noted victims (W Kenney and I Hepburn) and their trip to Chamonix. I fly Wednesday. My fitness is atrocious at the moment so I've been hitting the gym trying to get some strength into my poor excuse of a body. The doors of hell could open if we go off touring next week.

You'll see I've added a Twitter box on the right hand side. It's like a status update on Facebook. I'll try to keep it updated as much as possible.

In the meantime, I'm trying to remember the Top 10 albums all teenagers would not be seen without circa 1993/1994. There's Guns and Roses (Use Your Illusion 1 and 2), Metallica (Metallica), Nivana (Nevermind), Eric Clapton (Unplugged), ACDC (Back in Black),... and the others? Leave a comment!

Imperial War Museum

For Your Eyes Only
Ian Fleming and James Bond
17 April 2008 – 1 March 2009

To celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, Imperial War Museum London will launch the first major exhibition devoted to the life and work of the man who created the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond. The exhibition will examine the extent to which the books and films reflect the reality of the Cold War and life in post-war Britain and how far they were a product of Fleming’s prodigious imagination.

The exhibition features fascinating material, much on display for the first time, including a selection of annotated Bond manuscripts and the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver presented to Fleming by the Colt company in 1964. Material from the films will include the ‘blood-splattered’ shirt worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, along with prototypes of Rosa Klebb’s flick knife shoes in From Russia with Love and Halle Berry’s bikini from Die Another Day.

This is on the list for a weekend visit. Who's coming?

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog