Friday, 9 November 2007

Book Review

The Weapon
by Michael Z Willamson

Published by Baen ISBN-13 978-14165-2118-1
Science Fiction

At £4.40on Amazon UK
or $7.99 Amazon US

Ken Chinran lived on an independent minded Freehold colony world that had declared independence from earth. A very bright and somewhat disaffected youth who joins the military and is recruited to an elite military unit.

The story follows his incredibly tough training and subsequent military career and development, during diplomatic postings and in combat, as he matures and his career progresses.

Meanwhile the diplomatic situation between his home world and the Earth Government deteriorates and he is recruited to lead a deep cover operation on Earth against the possibility of war.

Plenty of military action with a ring of truth, the novel also considers the impact of combat and war on all those involved, on causes and motivations. An excellent read, both entertaining and thought provoking.

Nu-Lab look at increasing Speeding penalties

According to the BBC ministers are looking at a scheme to increase the penalty points for drivers caught speeding. So travelling at 15mph above the 30mph limit could result in 6 points and £100 fine.

This seems a far cry from where Blunkett in one of his incarnations was talking about a graduated scheme where the penalty might be less for minor infringements.

The fact is, that this form of stealth taxation on drivers is now so prevalent, that having points on your licence has virtually lost any stigma - and is only relevant (to the generally law abiding) in so far as they mount up to a ban. That on some routes you see far more speed cameras than the Belisha beacons of zebra crossings.

Surely it would make sense if one got a point and a £25 fine for every 5 miles an hour over the limit you were clocked at. With the first 5 mph free. Oh and get rid of 80% of the ‘speed' traps.

Reasonably fair simple and easy to understand - so there is no way Nu-Lab will adopt that idea.

Quote of the day

“ We should be careful to get out of an experience, only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid.

She will never sit on a hot stove lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.”

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)