Archive for October, 2016

Monday 31st October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 31, 2016 by bishshat

Rocky Raccoon

The Beatles

Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye Rocky didn’t like that
He said I’m gonna get that boy
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon
Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s bible
Rocky had come equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in and grinning a grin
He said Danny boy this is a showdown
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner, ah
D’da d’da d’da da da da
D’da d’da d’da da da da
D’da d’da d’da da d’da d’da d’da d’da
Do do do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do d’do d’do d’do d’do
Do do do do do do
Now the doctor came in stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said Rocky you met your match
And Rocky said, doc it’s only a scratch
And I’ll be better I’ll be better doc as soon as I am able
And now Rocky Raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s bible
Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival, ah
Oh yeah, yeah
D’do d’do d’do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do d’do d’do d’do d’do
Do do do do do do
D’do d’do d’do do do do, come on, Rocky boy
D’do d’do d’do do do do, come on, Rocky boy
D’do d’do d’do do do d’do d’do d’do d’do
The story of Rocky there

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Sunday 30th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 30, 2016 by bishshat

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Seahawks 20 Saints 25

The Seattle Seahawks fell short on Sunday with a 25-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
After once trailing 14-3, New Orleans scored on its last six possessions to give the Seahawks their second loss of the season and move Seattle to 4-2-1 on the year.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 27 of 35 passes and threw for 265 yards and one touchdown. Brees led the Saints on an 11-play, 51-yard drive to extend a 22-20 lead to a five-point cushion.

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Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were given a chance to respond. With under 30 seconds left, Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 27-yard catch-and-run to bring Seattle to the 18 yard line.
Two plays later, Wilson and the Seahawks faced a 4th-and-2 situation with two seconds remaining, but a pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse sailed a tad too far as Kearse hauled the ball in just out of bounds in the right corner of the end zone.
Wilson finished the game 22 of 34 and passed for 253 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Minus starters defensive end Michael Bennett and safety Kam Chancellor, Brees and the Saints had a fair deal of success on offense Sunday. Brees stayed clean in the pocket, only being sacked once. Additionally, Saints running back Tim Hightower piled on 102 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
The Seahawks hope to have Bennett, Chancellor and other key players back for their Week 9 matchup against the Bills on Monday Night Football.

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Saturday 29th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 29, 2016 by bishshat

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Spurs 1 Leicester 1

Vincent Janssen scored his first Premier League goal in our colours but it wasn’t enough to secure the three points as Leicester City hit back for a draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon.
It was a thoroughly entertaining match from start to finish, played with real tempo and passion throughout and one which we shaded in terms of possession and chances created, but we just couldn’t find the winner.

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Moments after Dele Alli had crashed a shot against the crossbar, Janssen was upended by Robert Huth to win a penalty on the stroke of half-time and then took responsibility himself, drilling the spot-kick past Kasper Schmeichel to give us a 44th-minute lead.
But the reigning Premier League champions were level three minutes after the interval when Jamie Vardy’s cross was slotted home at the back post by Ahmed Musa.
That made for an enthralling second half in which both sides showed plenty of attacking intent in search of a winner. Christian Eriksen had three efforts saved by Schmeichel, Jan Vertonghen headed against the crossbar, Andy King and Leonardo Ulloa went close with late headers while the last touch of the game saw
Danny Rose fire into the side-netting – leaving it all square at 1-1 at the final whistle.

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Friday 28th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 28, 2016 by bishshat

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Thursday 27th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 27, 2016 by bishshat

“Half our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think, and thinking where we ought to feel.”

John Churton Collins 

This Morning

Blue Jays

As the dawn is breaking on your future my child
Is there none of your love alive?
If every door you open closes on me
I don’t know if I can survive
I don’t know if I can survive

Long is the road that takes you from home
My baby, oh my darling
And sleepless are the hours
And lonely is the night
For the poor tormented soul
Who is searching for the light

This morning
I opened my eyes
I knew from the silence
That something was wrong
Turning, I realized
I wanted to cry
Cause I knew I was alone

But where will you go?
And who will be your guide?
And which way will you turn?
The waters are so wide
‘Cause I never told you
Now, you’ll never really know
I need you so

Now the sun is rising on your freedom my child
Is there none of your love alive?
Every door you open closes on me
I don’t know if I can survive
Knowing part of your love was lies

Long is the road that takes you from home
My baby
Oh, my darling
Sleepless are the hours
And lonely is the night
The poor tormented soul
Who is searching for the light

The moment I opened my eyes
I knew from the silence
That something was wrong
Turning I realized I wanted to cry
When I knew I was alone

But where will you go?
and who will be your guide?
And which way will you turn?
The waters are so wide
But I never told you
Now you’ll never really know
I need you so

I arrived late at Compton Verney this morning. I had to go for blood tests and a ECG.When I got there, there was no room to park the car. It was heaving. The Forest School was jammed and people were everywhere. 409 people in the Forest school today. 300 making jars.Busy, busy, busy.

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Vix Powell is Grounds Learning Programmer at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. Vix first approached Compton Verney Art Gallery in 2012 with a vision to utilise the Capability Brown park for education activities by creating a Forest School in the grounds. Her completely fresh perspective,
creativity and enthusiasm for outdoor learning generated a host of new opportunities for the gallery and has been significant in informing the strategic development of the education programme and the whole organisation. In four years, Vix has established a thriving and unique Forest School, which has allowed the learning team to support more areas of the national curriculum, enabled the public to engage with the site in new ways, has attracted over 7000 new visitors and, most innovatively, has used forest learning to
help diverse, unconfident and culturally disengaged audiences to connect and interact with the collections and exhibitions housed in the gallery. Vix developed a hugely beneficial and popular range of school programmes that support the science, geography and history curricula. By creating inspirational programmes based on the previously
unused parkland she has made Compton Verney accessible and relevant to an increasing number of schools. Vix’s creativity was most evident during the recent curriculum changes. Where most museums and galleries saw threats, the Forest School allowed Compton Verney to embrace the opportunities. With the changes in the primary history curriculum and the gallery and site having no connections to the pre 1066 areas of study, Compton Verney would have struggled to support schools, however Vix created 6 new programmes that took students and their staff back in time to experience a day in the life of a Stone Age Settler, Iron Age Inhabitant, Bronze Age Builder, Real Roman, Saxon Settler or Viking Villager. These hands-on programmes that allow the students to wattle and daub with real manure, make conker soap, cave paint and build their own settlements have had a huge impact on the understanding of students and staff as evidenced by feedback from
schools. “We all got so much out of it. It was great to see different children shine for a change, I’ve found artists I didn’t know I had, confident children that would normally sit back and found out who may struggle on our residential with all the walking and cold.”Tracey-Ann Brine, Class 4 teacher

“The children were totally engaged and are still talking about the experience and relating it to work we are doing in class. The delivery and pace was pitched just right. Thanks for a fantastic day.” Lynda Smith, Assistant Head Teacher
Vix also established weekly early years sessions, award winning birthday parties and family days, adapting the usual Forest School structure to fit in with the gallery’s popular drop in format. These have included exploring the paintings of Turner by creating dyes, brushes and colour charts from the natural resources of the grounds to developing a small scale 30 minute charcoal production system that enabled visitors to investigate the real world forms of carbon, an activity that linked to the exhibition Periodic Tales: The Art of the Elements. “Vast variety of things to do, for all age groups and attention spans. An excellent asset to Compton Verney.” Family day participants.

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I have bought my last CadburyS dairy Milk bar ever

We just had a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk and I would like to tell you and Cadburys dairy milk that they have ruined our chocolate! Whoever owns it now Kraft I think said they would not alter the recipe. Well they have and its crap. I will never buy another block of this crap as long as I live.

The many ways Cadbury is losing its magic

Harry Wallop

Last year, Cadbury made the bold – some might say foolhardy – decision to change the recipe for its iconic Creme Eggs. It caused a bit of a stink and made some consumers question what was going on at their favourite chocolate company. Here, Harry Wallop, who is presenting Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches: Secrets of Cadbury’, reviews the controversial changes Mondelez has made to the iconic chocolate company it bought six years ago.

1. Factory closure

Back in 2010, Kraft’s £11.5 billion hostile takeover of Cadbury sparked controversy. But some were won over by the American company’s “sincere belief” it would reverse a decision by Cadbury to close a key factory at Somerdale, near Bristol. Within weeks of the takeover going through, Kraft announced it was going to close the factory. Four hundred jobs were lost.

The following year the Business Select Committee criticised Kraft for acting “irresponsibly” in making pledges to keep the factory open.

2. Changing the chocolate on the Cadbury Creme Egg

To many, the Creme Egg is 177kcal of pure gloopy grossness, containing palm fat and paprika colouring. But to lovers of this strange Easter treat invented in 1971, it is a large mouthful of gooey joy. And should not be messed with.

In 2015, Cadbury confirmed that it would replace the very popular Cadbury Dairy Milk shell, with one made from a standard cocoa mix. They said they were in fact reverting back to the original 1971 recipe, and consumers prefered the original recipe. Many were unconvinced.

3. Ditching chocolate coins

Well, they might just have well shot Santa and cancelled Christmas. The Telegraph broke the shattering news that Cadbury was no longer going to make chocolate coins.

The company argued that it was not very profitable part of their business – after all, supermarkets and even pound shops sell their own (cheaper) versions. But many consumers love the taste of Dairy Milk. These fans wanted Cadbury coins, not Tesco or Marks and Spencer ones.

4. Rounding the corners on a Dairy Milk

Dairy Milk chocolate is a bar. It has chunks, you snap off those chunks, you pop those chunks in your mouth. Yum.

It is a formula that has served confectionery companies for decades and Cadbury since 1905. But Mondelez just couldn’t stop themselves from fiddling with Cadbury’s most famous product. They “rounded” the corners to improve the “mouth feel” of the chocolate. A spokesman said: “This undoubtedly helps improve the melt-in-the-mouth experience and feedback from consumers has been extremely positive.”

He failed to add that the new bars had been shrunk from 49g to 45g.

5. Making Dairy milk in Poland.

After the Somerdale factory closure, Kraft’s top brass were summoned to Parliament. Irene Rosenfeld, the Kraft CEO, did not come. She said it was not “the best use of her personal time”. But Trevor Bond President of Kraft Foods Europe, did come. He was asked: “Will Cadbury’s Dairy Milk continue to be produced in the UK?”. He said “yes”. He was then asked for how long. He answered: “For as long as our consumers are delighted by the taste and the product we produce”.

‘Dispatches discovered a number of Dairy Milk bars, including the small 95 calorie one, the 41g bar of Dairy Milk Oreos and the 47g bar of Dairy Milk Creations, are made in Poland’
Six years on, Dairy Milk continues to be produced at Bournville, which the company describe as “the home and heart of Cadbury”. But Dispatches discovered a number of Dairy Milk bars, including the small 95 calorie one, the 41g bar of Dairy Milk Oreos and the 47g bar of Dairy Milk Creations, are made in Poland. This is particularly galling as Cadbury likes to flaunt its Britishness. It even sells large 850g gift bars of Dairy Milk festooned with the Union Jack at Duty Free shops at UK airports. But on the back, it clearly says: made in Poland.

6. Putting Cadbury in Philadelphia cream cheese

No, no, no. When Kraft took over, how we all joked about how they’d put chocolate in processed cheese. It turns out, it was no joke. Cadbury Philadelphia is a thing.

The company describes it as an “irresistible spread for toast or bagels and a dreamy dip for fruit or oatey biscuits”. It isn’t. It is a cheesy version of Nutella. Next stop: putting Ritz salty crackers in a Dairy Milk.

7. Ritz crackers in a Dairy Milk

No, really. This isn’t a joke either. Cadbury now appears to favour one strategy when it comes to innovation: putting Mondelez products into a Dairy Milk bar. So there is now Dairy Milk Oreos, Dairy Milk Daim (that’s what the old Dime bar is now called), Dairy Milk with Lu biscuits and Dairy Milk with Ritz salty crackers.

8. Ditching the Bournville chocolate from the Heroes tub

Back in 2013, the parent company altered what went into a tub of Heroes, a selection box that highlights its key chocolate bars. It ditched Bournville – not only one of its oldest brands, but one that pays homage to the great Birmingham home of Cadbury – in favour of Toblerone, one of the Mondelez brands. And Swiss, to boot.

At the time Angus Kennedy, editor of Kennedy’s Confection magazine,told the Daily Mail: “To replace Bourneville with Toblerone is unpatriotic. It’s like replacing the fish in fish and chips with mussels.”

A spokesman for Mondelez insisted Toblerone was only a “guest” during Christmas. But the Bournville bar is still missing.

9. Axing Christmas chocolate gift to pensioners

One of the perks of working for Cadbury, one of the great ethical Victorian firms set up by Quakers, was that you were looked after in retirement. Long-term former employees were given a gift of chocolates at Christmas. Not much, admittedly, but a small recognition of their years of service. Up to 14,000 would get these parcels.

Mondelez scrapped the gifts, claiming it needed the money to help plug the company’s pension black hole.

One pensioner, Ray Woods, who worked at the Bournville factory in Birmingham for 36 years until 2004, said: “The cost of this cutback is peanuts. To link it with plugging the gap in the deficit in the pension fund is laughable.

“(The parcels were) a way of somebody taking the trouble to say ‘you worked for Cadbury for a long time.’

“It’s tinged with sadness for me, and I think that a lot of people will think the same way.”

10. Shrinking pack sizes

It’s not just the Dairy Milk bars that have shrunk in size.

Last year it seemed that Cadbury chocolate Fingers had gone on a diet. Packs of the much loved biscuits were cut by 11g, which equates to around two fingers. But that’s not the only one. A big tin of Roses chocolates seems to get smaller every year – but not with a corresponding shrinkage in price. Back in 2011 it went from 975g to 850g. Then in 2014 it went to 777g. By 2015 it had fallen to 748g.

‘A big tin of Roses chocolates seems to get smaller every year’
The company say it only sets a recommended retail price, and it’s up to the supermarkets what price they sell it at. That’s true, but doesn’t help consumers who always seem to have to pay £5 for this shrinking tin.

11. Roses ‘flow wrap’ packaging

While we’re on Roses, just look what has happened to the wrappers. Since the 1920s, the Christmas box of Roses have contained sweets packaged in a twist of brightly coloured shiny paper. Part of the festive tradition was digging into the box looking for your favourite hazelnut swirl, then untwisting the wrapper to get your reward. But in 2015, the company ditched this method in favour of “flow wraps”, the packaging jargon for wrappers with a jagged end that you tear open. It’s the sort of wrapper you find on mints in a bowl at the reception desk at cheap European hotels.

12. Sultanas in Fruit & Nut

Raisins have been the dry fruit of choice in a Fruit & Nut bar for 90 years. At the end of 2015 sultanas were added “to add more variation”. Could the fact that sultanas are cheaper than raisins have anything to do with it? Perish the thought.

 

 

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 26, 2016 by bishshat

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Night of Fear

The Move

The silent night has turned to a night of fear
With windows howling wind into your ear
You listen to the spirits far behind
These things you hear are too much for your mind

The bell strikes and your spine chills like the grave
The chill that turns your blood from red to grey
You know that with these things you see and hear
The silent night has turned to a night of fear

Image on your bedroom wall
Shadows marching in the hall
Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind
Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind

The green and purple lights affect your sight
Your mother cannot comfort you tonight
Your brain calls out for help that’s never there
The silent night has turned to a night of fear

Image on your bedroom wall
Shadows marching in the hall
Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind
Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind

The silent night has turned to a night of fear
With windows howling wind into your ear
You listen to the spirits far behind
These things you hear are too much for your mind

Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind
Just about to flip your mind
Just about to trip your mind.

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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 25, 2016 by bishshat

Jars

Well I never stopped apart from twenty minutes for my lunch.
I arrived at nine ten because I wanted to be there and ready to start.
I took my own Gafa tape as I knew there would be none available to tape down the wires.We taped all the loose wiring down and made the area safe.
Then Anna and I collected more jars and the hanging bars from the store container.
I went to the briefing at ten thirty and by the time I got back to the studio at ten fifty the first family was waiting.From that time it never stopped until I had to stop a family of seven coming in at ten to four. Anna had gone out into the grounds so I was on my own.I had a volunteer with me after two.It was not difficult but it was full on. Explaining the idea and the process is a little more intense than we normal do as I felt it important to explain the end result of the jars. I explained that each tree would occupy its relevant tree space.

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Today I was only allowed to use the Alder leaf and this may change tomorrow.
A couple of the family’s wanted to use other shapes and were grumpy because they could not. One family did this while I was not looking. There is a red tape to stop them doing this. I told them what they were to do with the materials to create the lanterns and did not give them the jars until they were ready to put the leaves and things in. Also I had to explain that they could not take the jars home and as they normally take their creations away this too was difficult in a few circumstances. There were no volunteers to go with the families to take the jars into the grounds so the jars were left in the room.

The children wanted to put their names on them so I added tied on labels.

Landscapes

I found that it took time to explain and had to go step by step through the landscape process. Once finished, the children enjoyed just looking at their work without the laminate of the landscape underneath. The director of the project gave me an i-pad as he wanted documentation of the work.

I had 99 people and they used 47 jars. It was a logistical problem to begin with as they all wanted to do the jars and there was not enough room on the tables so I had to kind of insist that others did the landscapes which they did.

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This not how I feel personally but how history may have dealt with the Russian fleet.

Admiral Kuznetsov

Nelson would have got amongst them for sure
Harvey and Collingwood with sails billowing
Would have cut their line
Blotting out their black smoke
Ivan would have had to think again
Drake would have sent in fire ships
Hawkins and Howard would have harried their sterns
Jellico and Beatty although more cautious
For sure would have run them back to Severomorsk
Ivan would have had to think again
And as for Churchill?
Churchill would have sunk the fucking lot
And be dammed

Bish 25th October 2016
Putin’s Great White Fleet

By Matthew Bodner Moscow Times

In 1907, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt had a message to send to the international community: America was no longer a regional backwater, but a great power in global affairs.
To deliver the message, the jingoistic Roosevelt commissioned the construction of 16 brand-new warships. He had their hulls painted a stark white, rather than the customary dull gray, to better catch the eye. And with that, Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet – as the grouping came to be known – spent the next two years audaciously parading the oceans in a global publicity cruise.
Reportedly a keen student of history, Russian President Vladimir Putin may have had Roosevelt’s publicity stunt in mind when signing off on his navy’s largest deployment since the end of the Cold War: eight ships, including two of Russia’s most prominent warships, en route to Syria. And they are cruising slowly off the coasts of every NATO nation they pass.
But when the group, led by the Russian navy’s flagship – the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier – entered the British channel, it was not met with the alarmism typically prompted by Russian military maneuvers over the past two years. Instead, the Kuznetsov’s dramatic, billowing smoke — hardly the image of a modern aircraft carrier — was ruthlessly mocked. The battlegroup, it seemed, failed to impress.
“The Russian Defense Ministry is not as good at image making as it claims to be,” a source close to the ministry told The Moscow Times on a condition of anonymity. “If they knew that this was going to be the international community’s reaction, I am sure they would have thought twice about this publicity stunt.”
But the lashing Kuznetsov received in the international press missed the point. The ship is traveling with some of Russia’s heaviest hitting warships. Their arrival off the coast of Syria will represent a major upgrade to the Kremlin’s available firepower in the region. The journey is also being used by the navy to evaluate Kuznetsov’s abilities, and train its crew in combat situations.
Although the Kremlin clearly intended to use the Kuznetsov’s battlegroup as an important outward projection of strength, the motivations behind the deployment are largely internal. The ship has never seen combat before. Syria, already serving as a testing ground for Russian military hardware, gives the navy an opportunity to train and evaluate the crew. “There is no operational necessity to send the ship there, since we already have an airbase in Syria,” the Defense Ministry source said. Instead, beyond training the crew, it provides the navy with an excellent opportunity to evaluate the Kuznetsov’s overall performance. The navy has been embroiled in a heated debate over the actual utility of the ship for years.
Kuznetsov has been a financial burden since it was commissioned in 1990. Despite several major overhauls to keep the ship operational, it has spent most of its life in port. And it is due for another overhaul after completing this current deployment to Syria. That should happen early next year, since Kuznetsov has never spent more than six months at sea. When it does leave port, it is under the escort of the Nikolai Chiker, an ocean-going tugboat.
Russian navy brass and politicians see Kuznetsov as an important component of Moscow’s claim to great power status. Over the past two years, they have been lobbying for the construction of a new aircraft carrier to rival American designs. But others within the military see no real role for aircraft carriers in the Russian navy, which is oriented toward national defense rather than power projection abroad.
“Aircraft carriers are a waste of money for the Russian navy,” says retired Russian navy captain Maxim Shepovalenko, now an expert at the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). They require the construction of large battlegroups to escort them, and far-off destinations worth sending them to. Russia can make due with land-based airfields.
Instead, given Russia’s economic crisis, the navy should focus on its competitive advantage: a strong tradition of nuclear submarines, Shepovalenko says. This is, indeed, where a significant portion of Russia’s 20 trillion ruble ($350 billion) military modernization drive is focused. But Kuznetsov’s performance in Syria could tip money in favor of a new carrier. In sending Kuznetsov to Syria, Russia is also promoting its defense industry. Russia sold Kuznetsov’s sister ship to the Chinese, and refitted another old Soviet aircraft carrier for the Indian navy. It is hoping to sell Sukhoi and MiG aircraft outfitted for service on these types of ships to India for use on that ship.
The timing of Kuznetsovs’s deployment has rattled defense circles in the West, who have speculated that the ship is en route to destroy what remains of the Syrian opposition. A short-lived ceasefire intended to allow civilians to escape the encircled opposition stronghold of Aleppo last week did little to change the dynamic there. In the absence of renewed dialogue, all sides are retrenching.

Given the Kuznetsov’s limitations, it is hard to imagine the deployment is purely about Aleppo. The ship’s MiG and Sukhoi aircraft are less effective than the ones already fighting in Syria, because the ship is unable to launch its planes with full fuel and bomb loads. Even if it could could, Russia has a shortage of pilots capable of tricky carrier flights. Their performance in Syria remains an open question.

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Instead, the strength of the Kuznetsov battlegroup is not the aircraft carrier, but the battlecruiser that accompanies it – the Peter the Great. The ship is loaded to the brim with anti-ship guided missiles, radar-aimed cannons, and is generally designed to destroy American ships in an all-out naval war. It is a very serious ship capable of dealing significant damage, but not to land targets in Syria.

“Sure, you can use the Peter the Great to fire some cruise missiles into Syria, but this is a very expensive way of bringing misery to a few huts somewhere,” says Mark Galeotti, an expert in Russian military affairs. “But sending that ship is symbolic. It’s about demonstrating to NATO that it should not be too confident about its ability to control the Mediterranean.”

The ship’s deployment also coincides with renewed discussions in Washington favoring potential military solutions to the raging civil war in Syria. Peter the Great is a deterrent to American carrier groups, which could conceivably be involved in some kind of action against Assad.

At the moment, little dialogue is taking place between Russia and the U.S. Two weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Russia should be investigated for war crimes over its actions in Syria. On Oct. 24, after rebels in Aleppo rejected an extended ceasefire proposal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow now sees a ceasefire as irrelevant.

So, when the Kuznetsov battlegroup arrives in Syria – presumably sometime in the next two weeks – it will be inserting a massive amount of Russian firepower into an increasingly volatile and intractable situation in Syria. Putin may yet have an opportunity to impress the world with his Great White Fleet.

Liverpool 2 Spurs 1

Vincent Janssen offered us late hope but our young team were ultimately undone by Daniel Sturridge after a valiant effort in the EFL Cup against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the team that started at Bournemouth on Saturday – Eric Dier the only survivor – and only three players were over the age of 24, Michel Vorm, Tom Carroll and Kieran Trippier. Dier, back in midfield, wore the captain’s armband.

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Sturridge struck after nine minutes and was denied soon after by Vorm, who had another fine game deputising for Hugo Lloris. Indeed, as the night progressed, Vorm would save from Divock Origi, a fantastic fingertip out of the top corner, Georgino Wijnaldum and Danny Ings. However, there was nothing the Dutch stopper could do when Sturridge raced clear on 64 minutes and the second goal gave the home side the buffer they would eventually need.

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Pochettino’s teams carry a never-say-die attitude and it was on show again. Erik Lamela buzzed around off the bench and was chopped down by Lucas Leiva for a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, clinically converted by Janssen. Liverpool remained a threat on the break – Sturridge denied a hat-trick by the crossbar – but we piled forward at every opportunity. Lamela went down again in the box by Alberto Moreno only for penalty appeals to be waved away and then a late final chance for substitute Shayon Harrison on his debut as Lamela switched play but the young striker allowed the ball to run away from him. The players were out but had no reason to be down on the final whistle after giving their all.