Gosport To Win the FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium!!!

http://www.gosportboroughfc.co.uk/videos/fa-trophy-final-song–this-is-my-town-night-of-treason-52458.html
Update: OK, so we came second to Cambridge. But it was a valiant effort against a professional team on top form. Bravely played, Borough!

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Terry Pratchett on Shechita

Here is Terry Pratchett in defence of shechita (alright, probably not his intention, but could be in an alternative universe).

Death (or, more properly, DEATH),has been told to retire and, somewhat at a loss what to do next, ends up working on a farm, under the name of Bill Door:

 

It was the most interesting technique she had ever witnessed. She wouldn’t even have thought that it was technically possible.

Eventually she said: ‘It’s good. You’ve got the swing and everything.’

THANK YOU, MISS FLITWORTH.

‘But why one blade of grass at a time?’

Bill Door regarded the neat row of stalks for some while.

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY?

‘You can do lots in one go, you know.’

NO. NO. ONE BLADE AT A TIME. ONE TIME, ONE BLADE.

‘You won’t cut many that way’, said Miss Flitworth.’

EVERY LAST ONE, MISS FLITWORTH.

‘Yes?’

TRUST ME ON THIS.

(Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett, 1991, Corgi edn. 1992 p.91)

 

The Sorrows of Ukraine

I do hope that Ukraine manages to transform itself into a progressive liberal democracy, a fit candidate for membership of the EU, as so many of its citizens wish, and does so with the minimum of bloodshed. Alas, the odds are against it. The name Ukraine means ‘borderland’, and the fact that it has been independent for the past 23 years is little short of a miracle. Since the fall of Kievan Rus’ (old Ruthenia) to the Golden Horde in 1240, Ukraine has only known a few short and scattered years of independence: it has been a perennial battleground, its rich black earth fought over and dominated by successive Western and Eastern powers, from the medieval Poles to the 20th century Soviets.
Today people are talking about the split between the pro-European Ukrainians of the West and their pro-Russian opponents (many of whom are of Russian descent) in the East. But more accurately there are not two Ukraines but four, each with their own distinctive national character.
From 1772 to 1918 the Western third of the country formed the Eastern half of Galicia (Halych, Austrian Poland or Malopolska) and was an integral part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To this day its inhabitants feel thoroughly European. Between the wars it had been returned to independent Poland, and was only united with the Ukrainian SSR at the Yalta Conference in 1945.
The southern region formed the old Czarist guberniyas (provinces) of Kherson, Taurida and Yekaterinoslav. Conquered from the Ottomans in the late 18th century, this was always part of Russia and it was largely colonized and developed by Russians, with the help of many Germans and Jews who moved there. It was only allocated to Ukraine by Kruschev in 1954, as an internal administrative exercise.
The Eastern third, or Donbass, is also Russian. This was never part of Kievan Rus’ and unlike the Ukrainian heartland is mainly industrial.
True Ukraine is an egg-shaped area centred around Kiev, and there the people are true Ruthenians, with a culture noticeably different from that of their neighbours to the south, east and west.