Johnston Hurricane Bawbag Appeal

A humorous appeal has been doing the rounds (That’s just one random example) on the internet in the wake of Hurricane Bawbag, I’ve also seen it reffered to as hurricane Hamish and Hurricane Senga which is the earliest reference I can find to it way back in 2009 it’s been slightly changed since then, but the sentiment is pretty much the same:

Johnstone Hurricane Appeal – Please give generously!

Hurricane “bawbag” hit the Johnstone district of Renfrewshire in the early hours of yesterday morning. Victims were seen wandering round aimlessly muttering “Pure mental, man no?”

The hurricane decimated the area causing approximately £15,000 worth of improvements. Several priceless collections of mementos from Manchester and Seville were damaged beyond repair. Three historically important areas of burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their Giros arrived the next morning. Police state that incidences of looting, muggings and car crime were particularly high during the night, but calmed down when the hurricane struck.

Forty-two asylum seekers were rescued from an apartment in Dundonald Place , rescuers are going to search the second bedroom later today.

Radio Clyde has reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and were still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Johnstone .

One resident, Bernadette O’Reilly, a 15 year old mother of 5 said “It gied me a pure fright so’s it did. My little Chardonnay-Mercedes came running into ma bedroom greetin’. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Natasha-Jordan-Jade slept through it all. Ah wiz still pure shaking when I was watching Jezza the next morning, so ah wiz”. Neighbour Joseph ‘young young’ McGurn said “The noise wiz tremendous. At first ah thoat it wiz the young team coming oot of The Globe Bar, but it wiz even worser.

The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Bon Accord Pola Cola and two tons of Cheese Toasties to the area to help stricken locals..

Rescue workers are still searching the rubble and have found quantities of personal belongings including Benefit books and bone china from Poundland.

Residents in neighbouring Paisley offered to accommodate those left homeless, but the Johnstone people decided they were better off where they were..

A Council spokesman has indicated that it would take take at least a full morning to get things looking like normal and added “There has been a pure Blitz spirit, everybody’s been pure blitzed”.

Poundland has agreed to stay open 24 hours to allow residents to refurbish their homes. The Government has pledged to ensure that bookies, pubs, chip shops and other essential services will reopen as soon as possible.


This Appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster.

Clothing most sought after includes – Fila or Burberry baseball caps, Hoodies, Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers), Shell suits (female), white sport socks, Rockport boots or Adidas trainers. Food parcels are also urgently required. Please try to include – Microwave chips, Greggs Pies , Sugar Puffs, Tins of spaghetti, Gypsy Creams, Curly-Wurlies, Red Cola, cans of Special Brew and Diamond White, bottles of Buckie or El Dorado , glue or hairspray.

Just 22p buys a biro for filling in the compensation forms. £2 buys chips, crisps and Irn-Bru for a family of nine. £3 will pay for a pouch of tobacco, papers and a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.

Breaking News*

Rescue workers have found a 10-year-old girl in the rubble Apparently she was smothered in raspberry Alco- pop. When asked where she was bleeding from she replied ” Craigview Avenue , whit’s it got to dae wi’ you ya fudd?”

Welcome to Scotland…

The winds were quite strong, they caused a wind turbine to catch fire in the borders (Daily Mail)…

So the Clyde is Pretty Much Bursting it’s Banks in Yoker & Renfrew…


Anyone in Scotland at the moment probably knows about the Red Alert Weather warning,  The image above is taken from Yoker the River is over the banks.

Below are images of the cycle path that I take into work it’s under a foot of water, luckily in order to affect us it’ll need to rise another 2-3 metres. I guess this is why my insurance costs more for living next to a river…

It’s so windy out there that I had trouble standing still to take the pictures, and when we were on our way back to the house a gust of wind picked Avarinne up for a second…





Amazon UK’s riot gear sales soar



Apparently sales of aluminium baseball bats on Amazon have gone up 6000% due to the London riots…

I had a look at the list just now and it looks like the items on the movers and shakers list are for the most part part stuff you can use for self defense, although the top item is currently a camping stove:

The next few Items are mainly baseball bats, nunchucks and other hitty things…

Hopefully by the time they arrive in the post they wont be required.

I’m surprised that there are no cricket bats on the list, this being the UK, although I am heartened to see that one of the items is not a baseball bat but in fact a rounders bat.

I wonder if in the aftermath of the riots there will be a sudden interest in people playing baseball in the UK? at least one of those kits comes with a ball…

See the list for yourself here it’s nice to see that despite the chaos a trampoline and a hammock still make the top 20…

Although it looks like it’s just the netting for the trampoline, I wonder if people are using it to seal up their houses and shops.

The comments on the reviews don’t leave you under any illusions as to why there has been a sudden rise in the purchase of these items:

I think a solid wooden one may do more damage, but these pretty good. The grip is very firm.

This item also doubles as a bat, for playing rounders. [link]


I never go to Hackney or Salford, without it. It feels much more solid than a wooden bat, and makes a substantial impact when it hits a ball or bone-like structure. I store it under my bed, for easy access.

Either size is fine [link]

Via CNN MoneyAug

Ryu Murakami Chimes in On the Crisis in Japan

I love Ryu Murakami’s first reaction to the quake:

The earthquake hit just as I entered my room. Thinking I might end up trapped beneath rubble, I grabbed a container of water, a carton of cookies and a bottle of brandy and dived beneath the sturdily built writing desk. Now that I think about it, I don’t suppose there would have been time to savor a last taste of brandy if the 30-story hotel had fallen down around me. But taking even this much of a countermeasure kept sheer panic at bay.

I have an awful lot of respect for Ryu Murakami (not to be confused with Haruki Murakami who is better known in the west) and I’ve read a few of his books, in this New York Times article he chimes in on his opinion of what is is going on in Japan at the moment.

In short: The Japanese people are openly helping each other out and standing together, but some people are being a little selfish when no one is looking by hoarding food and petrol. But above all the attitude of the people seems to be one of hope.

Via Amid Shortages, a Surplus of Hope –

I wish they would do this in the UK

Flying through Saudi Arabia? I know it’s unlikely for most people who read this but if you are you’ll be praying for your flight to be delayed.

A new byelaw issues by the Saudi civil aviation authority states that passengers will get compensation of  SR300 (£50/$80) an hour if their flight is delayed, up to SR3,000 (£500/$800) a day. That’s more than I get paid to work…

That’s pretty cool.

Arab News.

Land Of The Free

You would have to be living in a cave to miss the outrage that has been surrounding the American TSA’s adoption of “Backscatter” nude scanners, which may or may not pose a higher risk of cancer than just flying. Refuse a scan you get subjected to an “Enhanced Patdown” which by some accounts amounts to being groped and fondled by a TSA Agent.

People are protesting it be saying that they are going to refuse to fly. I wonder how long that will last…

There is the story of the Bladder cancer survivor who was subjected to an enhanced pat down which caused him to soil himself. The man with a prosthetic leg who was forced to remove his leg exposing his residual limb while his 4 year old son was made to sit across the room crying.

There have been some amusing stories like the professional sex worker who decided to strip down to her underpants and film it. On the basis that she would not be humiliated by the TSA but would turn the tabled on them. (Video below mostly SFW, also mostly just a film of the ceiling…) you can read about it on her blog though I’ve never managed to get it to load it’s supposedly NSFW, there is also an article about it on Boing boing.

My TSA Stripdown: Nov 21 at Seatac from Furry Girl's on Vimeo.

There is also the ridiculous story of the TSA confiscating nail clippers from a group of soldiers who were armed to the teeth with machine guns and worse.

I thought the 100ml of liquid rules were crazy, but the reaction to the backscatter, and the alternative extreme pat down are taking the piss.

This is bat shit crazy, do we actually benefit from this, to be honest I think we we are sacrificing freedom for the illusion of security. There are hundreds of other stories… Post your most amusing ones in the comments.

Image Via Pundit Kitchen

Nicaragua Invades Costa Rica Because Google Maps Told It To

Sat Nav has been blamed for people driving their cars into rivers, for lorry drivers destroying ancient bridges, and driving Belgian lorry drivers through Cornish cottages. But I don’t think it’s started any international incidents. Well now an error in Google Maps has caused Nicaragua to invade Costa Rica…

From the Search Engine Land article:

A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica. The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.

La Nacion — the largest newspaper in Costa Rica — says the Nicaraguan commander, Eden Pastora, used Google Maps to “justify” the incursion even though the official maps used by both countries indicate the territory belongs to Costa Rica. Pastora blames Google Maps in the paper…

Via Search Engine Land

Because that makes it okay…

So picture this, you are an Arab (Kuwaiti) man, you come home stinking drunk and are really pissed off with your wife. You see her sleeping on the sofa so you take off your head dress and you proceed to beat the living shit out of her with it.

Only it’s not your wife, it turns out it’s your house maid.

Does the maid press charges? No because you are “Nice”. Does anyone say anything about the fact that you wanted to beat 7 shades of shit out of your wife? No… Why well I don’t know. But it’s messed up.

This guy deserves to be put in prison but to be honest I doubt he’ll even get a slap on the wrist…

Via Emirates24|7.

Yoker Fire

So I got a panicked phone call from Annabel this afternoon, she said the flats across the the road were on fire, I have to admit that at first I thought she was being a bit silly the flats have been empty for the past 18 or so months and have been the target of random acts of arson and a small scale at least twice in my memory, but this was a little different.

Turns out the whole block of flats were on fire, and in a really big way. The fire crew soon arrived and the flats were evacuated, Annabel wasn’t given a chance to get the kittens together and take them with her, the firemen assured here that the cats would be okay and asked her to leave, so she did.

I rushed home as soon as I could at this point not realising how serious the situation was, my taxi got caught in traffic and I ended up just getting out and walking the rest of the way. Everyone had been evacuated to the community centre by this point, and I met Annabel there. When I got there I was confronted with a distraught Annabel she was heart-broken that she had left the kittens in the house all by themselves.

Annabel was interviewed by a lady from Clyde One, the self same lady asked Annabel to send her a picture she’d taken of the fire. the picture is on the Clyde One article on the subject. The quote about the Sun being blotted out is also Annabel, I’ve not had a chance to listen to the sound byte, because I’ve not got Audio at the moment.

The BBC and STV also have articles on the subject. A while after we had been in the community centre we were told that we wouldn’t be able to get back in for a few hours so Annabel my Mum and I decided we’d go and get dinner at Brae Head. As we crossed the river on the ferry I took a couple of of photos of the burning flats.


It’s crazy that those flats were essentially turned to rubble.

We got a phone call while we were having dinner and were told that we were allowed access to our house, unfortunately for the people who told us this they had not been allowed to stay in their house, apparently their house was too close to the flats and the flats were unsafe. The scary thing is that their house is right next to ours, that could have very easily have been us.

We are luckily safe and sound, there is little to no damage to our house, there is a lot of ash lying about, which is a mess, and there is a little melted bit on one of our window sills, it could have been much worse. Our neighbour has just had new decking put in and it was set on fire and the fire crew had to hack big bits out of it to stop the whole thing from going up.

Thank god for insurance…

Anyway the whole block has been reduced to rubble and at a little after 9 this arrived:


What remains of the flats are being demolished as we speak, I don’t think we are going to get much sleep tonight…

Riots in the streets of Khobar

UPDATE: (25/09/2009) Saudi media has picked up on this There is an article in the Al-Youm (Today) newspaper.

Last night (23rd of Sept. 2009) marked Saudi Arabia’s national day, and as a Saudi I am absolutely disgusted by what has happened in Khobar, my home town. I wasn’t there, I’m safe and sound on another continent, but thanks to the internet I’ve seen videos of riots on the corniche where hundreds of youths just smashed the place up.

As of this writing there is zero news coverage of this, I only found out about it because I saw some pictures on facebook which were posted by some friends of mine who live there. The people of Khobar are disgusted and embarressed by this behaviour.

View Larger Map

The people of Khobar are some of the most westernised people in the Kindgom, mainly due the the heavy influence of Saudi Aramco the countries largest oil company which used to hire a great number of Americans, and from what I understand most of the people involved in the riots are from other parts of the country, but who’s to tell.
Regardless It’s still disgusting, I’ve seen Photos and videos of people just smashing shit up!

People opening Fire in the middle of the Road:

Another video of people smashing up a starbucks:

According to the local authorities (Police, National Defence and SWAT teams by my translation) were involved in a number of skirmishes with the rioters in teh city center, which led to the rioters fleeing and congregating on the corniche. The rioters were assaulting the emergency services by throwing stones at them, and attacking them, gun shots were also apparently heard within the crowds.
This lead to a large part of the eastern part of the city beign closed off by the emergency services.
By the descriptions I’ve heard of what was happening it looked like a civil war was breaking out in khobar. The rioters were rampaging about the town smashing things up and assualting people in restaurants and coffee shops, apparently both physically and sexually.

Don’t confuse these riots with the ones in Iran, these people are uncivilized savages who’ve just gone a rampage, I very much doubt that they have an agenda, other than enjoying themselves at the expense of others.

This year Saudi’s national day comes shortly after the Eid Il Fitr a three day festival marking the end of a month of fasting during Ramadan, lots of people visit the eastern province, where Khobar is, during the eid holiday either to visit family or to go shopping in the many shopping malls in the area. I think spirits may have been high witht he two coinciding but it really doesn’t excuse this.

I’ve posted a whole bunch of photos of the aftermath… Continue reading “Riots in the streets of Khobar”