Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture Deferred ?

The Reverend Camping should be brought before the international court for his crimes against Mathematics.
I don't mind that he's stared at the Bible so long that he has seen hidden messages in it - as a godless heathen this is none of my business. But when he claims to have some Mathematics to back up this assertion, that's when I get interested.

Although, when you actually look at his reasoning, it isn't anything like Mathematics at all - more a kind of painting with numbers.

The argument runs like this :-

(1) The bible contains words about judgement day that can be substituted by numbers :-

Atonement = 5
Completeness =10
Heaven= 17 (no, really - Heaven 17 !)

(2) Therefore obviously (5 x 10 x 17) squared is a special number - 722,500.

(3) The bible contains more words about judgement day that can be substituted by numbers :-

Those who are to bring the Gospel = 2
Wrath = 23
Judgement = 43

(4) 2 x 23 x 43 =1978
(5) Therefore judgement day will be 1978 years after the crucifixion of Christ.

(6) Christ was crucified on April 1st in the year 33

(7) Therefore judgement day will be in 2011

But which day ?

(8) Let's convert that 1988 (solar) years into days using the conversion factor 365.2422

1988 x 365.2422 = 722,449 (and a bit left over that we'll ignore)

(9) Whoa, Nelly ! Stop the bus !! That's just 51 short of the special number 722,500 we derived in point (2)

(10) So judgement day will be 51 days after the crucifixion date of April 1st - i.e. MAY 21st

Q.E.D or Amen - it even fits in with another of his theories that the end would be 7,000 years after the Great Flood, which was obviously in 4990 BC

Hard to know where to start with this - a few questions spring to mind
  • Why those numbers for the first set of words ?
  • Why multiply them ?
  • Why square them ?
  • Why those numbers for the second set of words ?
  • Why multiply them ?
  • Why NOT square them too ?
  • Why solar years ? Surely your God works off the lunar calendar (hint: Easter)
And that's without arguing the toss about whether the date of the crucifixion was definitely that day.

It's all a bit messy too - bits of days left over - a totally meaningless 51 days.

You'd expect more from The Creator.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Serious, Proper Rape

"the classic rape, where someone jumps out of a bush...serious proper rape" : Ken Clarke

Dear Kenneth Clarke,

Anyone who works in the criminal justice system knows that their words are like live ammunition when they speak. The issues involved are so raw and personal for the victims that any off-hand insufficiently sensitive remark can cause offence and anger. Does the man in charge of the whole system not get that ? You patronising simpleton.

Why didn't you simply say that all rapes are serious, but that some rapes deserve extra punishment ? If pressed on what rapes those might be,  you could have quoted from a Crown Prosecution Service sentencing guide:-


  1. Offender ejaculated or caused victim to ejaculate
  2. Background of intimidation or coercion
  3. Use of drugs, alcohol or other substance to facilitate the offence
  4. Threats to prevent victim reporting the incident
  5. Abduction or detention
  6. Offender aware that he is suffering from a sexually transmitted infection
  7. Pregnancy or infection results
It's almost impossible to read the above without imagining just how bad an offence rape can become at the extreme.

Especially when you bear in mind that those aggravating factors are taken from the guideline "S5: Rape of a child under 13". Would the rape of a 12 year old without any additional aggravating factors be considered as not serious or not a proper rape  ? You total cretin.

All rapes are serious, all rapes are proper rapes.  You absolute buffoon.

Please be more sensitive with your language when you speak about these matters in the future and maybe I'll be more careful with my language when I speak about you.




Monday, May 16, 2011

England and Wales and the Border Esk

Some days in court you wonder why you bother.
The morning was composed of trials that couldn't happen because some people or some paperwork was missing, and usually the absence of people was due to them not being sent some paperwork in time.

I blame the royal family - these wedding bank holidays have caused chaos in the government bureaucracy. Although someone in the previous court should have realised that setting a court date two weeks in the future was optimistic considering so few of those days were working days.

We did some busy-work (statutory declarations and the like) but even so, we had finished the morning business well before 11:00.

The afternoon was given over to private prosecutions, which can be very interesting indeed. We've seen everything from illegal truckers to truancy enablers, copyright criminals to benefit fraudsters. This afternoon though was devoted to fishing licence evaders.

Now don't get me wrong, a crime is a crime, and fishing without a licence involves entering a business premises and taking goods without making an attempt to pay. Fish larceny if you like.

But the police deal administrative with way more complex crimes than this with on-the-spot fines and cautions, and traffic wardens hand you a ticket if your car is illegally parked - so why oh why oh River Wye does this stuff end up in a Magistrates Court ?

Nobody bothered showing up to plead guilty or to attempt a defence so we managed to sentence a half dozen of these cases in less than an hour and that was the business of the day concluded. We had been in court for less than two hours total and had not seen a single defendant.

One interesting bit of trivia though : Scottish devolved government took over control of fishing on Scottish rivers - except for the Esk, which meanders back and forward across the English border. And so, the whole of the Esk (even the Scottish bits) remain under English law. This means that it is possible for Scottish people to be well inside Scotland doing some fishing and end up in an English court because they haven't got an English fishing licence.