Reader demands fluorescent dog

Plus aquahotels, body scanners and Sith revenge

Letters Today is Friday 13th, so what better day* to conclude our correspondence on WW2 british bombers, and specifically, the Google Earth Lancaster as featured in Tuesday's letters:

Regarding comments made by Tom and Mike Henderson in the letters page about the Lanc in Google earth...

1/ A Lancaster's wingspan is 102 ft (31+ M) and it's 69 ft 6 in long (about 21 M) so it might very well be long/wide enough to cover several houses in the photo, at ground level, let alone at a few tens of feet up as Google suggests, if the distribution of the houses fits the modern 'squashed together until you can't breathe' norm...

2/ Looking closely at the shadows cast (incidentally the shadow directly north of the Lanc is clearly that of some garden fences), you can see from that of a tree roughly NE of the Lanc's starboard wingtip that the sun is certainly not high in the sky. (It's much easier to get the sun's position from a tall, thin object like a tree or tower-block than from a low, wide one like a house or car) You also need to consider that the sun in the UK is always significantly south of us and so that shadows tend to be cast northwards at all times of year, but especially in the winter, so the Lanc's shadow is somewhere off to the NE & probably obscured by other shadows cast closer to ground level.

My guess is that it's really a Lanc (I seem to remember it lives at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, so a flightpath over Huntingdon is fairly likely) and it really is there...

Keep up the good work El Reg!


Yes, that all more or less makes sense. On the other hand...

It has to be a wind-up. If you go just a little north (almost where the Lanc is headed) to around and , you find Lancaster Way, Spitfire Close and Hurricane Close.

Wizzo prank old bean! Over and out

Bob Greenwood

Another explanation is that the ship is resting on those two rooftops; you can clearly see two or three southbound vehicles on Lake Way waiting in line to get past the left wingtip.

Greg Smith

Hmmm. The jury is still out on this one and the truth may never be known.

More flying objects now, of the feathered variety. Seems that the use of livestock painkiller Diclofenac is threatening India's vulture populations:

Re vultures in india: contingent problems (over rotting carcasses everywhere) are that the Parsees have a serious burial problem since a few years.

As they are used to 'open air burials', in which bodies are laid upon tall 'towers of silence' to be disposed by vultures in a short time, the bodies have been stacking up to untolerable levels.

You better change your logo to AK47 - it is to stay forever.

P.S. And change language to Chinesish. After all, it native tongue of every 4th living on the Earth.

Ihar Filipau

Er, right. We assume that the first bit is a reference to our vulture logo. As regards the lingo, would Engrish do?

Ho, ho, ho - Microsoft recently dumped a hotel in the middle of the English Channel. How we laughed:

Maybe they have off-shored their hotel?

Phil Standen

If you've ever been to the Holiday Inn in Eastleigh, you'll know that the bottom of the sea is indeed the only place it belongs, along with the whole of its surrounding town. Congratulations to Microsoft on its far-sightedness.

I look forward to future map links to the South Bank Centre in the middle of a volcano, and the whole of Portsmouth in the Marianas Trench.


Microsoft MapPoint is not the only mapping product with problems. I was alarmed to discover, when using Google Earth the other day, that Dover (in Kent) has been relocated into the English Channel just off Romney. Take a look for yourself.

As I used to live in Dover as a child, I take this personally.

Regards, Paul Fowkes

For the record, an MS rep got in touch to say that the latest version of whatever software it was that dumped hotels in the Channel no longer does so. Which came as a bit of a relief, we can tell you.

The powers that be are testing an "X-Ray spex" scanner at London's Paddington station - on random Heathrow Express passengers. Readers are less than impressed:

Random my arse. Unless random now means "having dark skin, long hair, or wearing a denim jacket"


Are people really willing to stand for this? Being zapped with a government-mandated, "perfectly safe according to the manufacturer" dose of radiation? Disgusting.


I suggest that when the operator has scanned someone, they be made to scan themselves and show the selected public person afterwards. This fixes:

a) Privacy concerns - you know what they can see and the operator must be OK with that b) Health concerns - the operator will croak before a member of the public does

A strong stomach may be necessary for the viewing, however...

Mark Hackett

The "see through clothes scanner" is very effective. I got shown images of myself when I recently passed through the one being trialled at Heathrow Terminal 4. There I was, in all my glory, butt naked.

Thankfully I was wearing button-fly jeans which covered up my "you know what" (not that I have anything to be embarrased about).

On the up side, it made me start going to the gym after a substantial break after seeing the dreaded rubber ring starting to appear. On the other hand, this surely has privacy implications and I think "volunteers" should be asked if they feel comfortable with someone looking at them like that. You have to ask, are they storing the images, and where? Now all sort of bad problems are flooding into my head.....

Paul [Surname deleted for reasons of genital immodesty]

What people don't know is that these nude scanners (by Intellifit - are being deployed at a few Levi's stores including one in London.


Yes they are - although we hasten to add it's all aimed at making sure your iPod controlling jeans really are a snug fit.

Robert Fripp, who doubtless owns several pairs of iPod-controlling Levi's, has recorded some ambient sounds for Windows Vista. Cue incredulity, despair, ire, etc, etc...

So Robert Fripp, one of my favorite artists from my checkered past, is now shilling for Bill Gates? When the "Elephant Talks" Fripp listens.

And Brian Eno created the startup sound for Windoze 95? Lester, you are a "Font" of information, useless or otherwise.

I, for one would have figured Fripp & Eno to be Apple proponents. Steve, you missed a great opportunity! But perhaps Jobs was only limiting his "Exposure"!

I would have thought that "21st Century Schizoid Man" would have been more appropriate music for a Windoze operating system since Micro$oft seems to be responsible for the bipolar disorders that Windows users have "experienced" over the years. Talk about your "Multi-Tasking"!

Given Eno's propensity for "ambient" music, I have to wonder what the 95 startup sound would be like if played backwards. Both Fripp and Eno experimented with voice modulation and synthesis of musical notes so I'm given to think that there might be a little "subliminal suggestion" going on as well, though it must be rather difficult to make "Open Source Software is Evil" sound musical in any case.

Frippertronic's anyone? League of Crafty Guitarists, indeed!

Frankly, I think the "Vista" for Windows users is rather "Starless & Bible Black" don't you? Especially given the "Paranoia" from Windows vulnerabilities we have been exposed to by Micro$oft.

Given M$'s abysmal record in providing a stable, new OS that is complete and bug free at time of release, I'd have to suspect that years of abusing small squares of blotter paper must have caused Mr. Gates ( & many of his employees) to have a raging case of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. They can't seem to finish one thing properly before releasing another.

"No Pussyfooting" around, M$ needs a little "Discipline"

Since no one at M$ has listened to user complaints, I guess we should just "Talk to the Wind".

Anyone remember the Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp? Must have been infectious among those who do.

Puntastically Yours,

Dan Paul

'Of course, Fripp is an old mate of Brian Eno - the man responsible for the Windows 95 "startup sound". Eno was reportedly paid $35k for his contribution to the advancement of computing, so we can hazard a guess as to how much Fripp will have trousered for his efforts'

As I've always said, rock guitarists are whores; anything for a buck. Look at Metallica, for example.

You don't see jazz saxiphonists recording for Microsoft, do you?

Morely Dotes

All this all the richer as Fripp is an avowed Apple fan-nothing but Macs, Powerbooks and an Ipod.

Mike Barlow

Really? We wonder how he got past the Redmond body scanner carrying that lot under his coat...

Revenge of the Sith was the People's Choice of top movie. Hmmm...

Ah in fairness now the last one was really good. I'd agree about 1 n 2 being shite but 3 was a damn good flick.

If only it had Ford...

Mark Lynch

That's Harrison, we hasten to add, not Mondeo or Fiesta.

Lester, I'm curious. What exactly do you have against the movie Revenge of the Sith? It's a fine movie that falls right in line with the rest of the Star Wars movies. It tells of the struggle and the fall of the hero on an adult level, and does it on a level that won't leave kids (you know, the intended audience for the films) saying, "Huh?". These movies should appeal to the kid, the dreamer, in you, not the movie critic. Perhaps you've grown up a bit since Empire Strikes Back, but that doesn't mean the kid inside has to perish. Life is short, enjoy the films for what they are.


Actually, this is very worrying. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge sci-fi fan, but ROTS had some terrible defects... like appalling wooden acting... a dreadful script... a complete lack of concern for half a gigantic spaceship falling somewhere in the city and presumably killing thousands... and worst of worst of all... we all knew where the story was going, where it would end, and it was utterly unconvincing.

Perhaps if we took George Lucas to Hawaii and plonked him on a decaying piece of machinery in the middle of a lava flow so he could see what actually happens.... I mean, just a smallish flow... nothing too grandiose..

Jerry Dawson

WTF!?! StarWars III voted best film? Who votes for these things?

George Lucas, I want 2 1/4 hours of my life back for sitting through that piece of shit!


Of course, if you polled those same 21 million people for "best book" they'd choose the Bible, so I guess good writing and even the tiniest shred of believability aren't that important to them...

Mark Rendle

Penultimately, let's have a couple of musings on the wirelessless MPs - demanding as they are some proper on-the-go internet access:

Sounds like the real complaint is the mailbox capacity.

Therefore, the complaint is not about connectivity, but what they can connect to. That is a common issue dealt with by most of their constituency - I cannot directly access my personal mailbox whilst at work, either. I have to use an SSL-encrypted webmail interface instead - it's not ideal, but it's something I have to accept as part of my job.

My work-based internet access is through a corporate-standard build PC (Windows XP - I'd use Linux if it was my choice) through the corporate firewalls and proxy servers. That is something I must accept as a member of the corporate workspace. It is the only way the company's network can be considered securable (if not secure). If I brought my home-built laptop to work, and attached it to corporate resources, I would rightly be subject to disciplinary action.

The Commons network is no different. These MPs might consider their laptops to be their property (maybe they are), but that does not give them the right to attach unprotected machines to the Commons network.

Steve Parker

So Adam Afriyie doesn't know where he's getting his free WiFi from, and assumes it's from the coffee shop. Doesn't this make the MP just as bad as bandwidth thief Gregory Straszkiewicz ?

Hywel Thomas

Yes it does. We have made our dossier available to the authorities.

And finally, here's one reader's thoughts on the Taiwanese fluorescent pig:

I suppose all the animal rights do-gooders will oppose me on this, but I think they should shift their attention from pigs to dogs.

As a marketable product, the pig is not really up there with plasma tvs or nextgen game consoles - but a glow in the dark dog would be massive.

In fact I want one, bad enough to quit my job and cash out my pension to get one.

Maybe my wife and kids wouldn't appreciate the importance of such a purchase, especially when we're made homeless from the ensuing foreclosure, but in bragging rights, this would be right up there with owning a flying car.

Screw finding cures to diseases or other such twaddle, I want a glow in the dark dog.

Andy Bright

So do we. Stuff the flying car: where's our bloody glowing dog? ®


*I know - you're thinking "Friday 13th? Bombers? Has he finally lost his marbles?" Not so. Click here to find out why (you'll need to read to the end...)

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