Blog: Witchfinder General – Lazlo Ferran

This week: Sneak Preview, Gravity’s Rainbow review, the End of Formula 1?

Sneak Preview

This week’s is from a a project provisionally entitled December Radio. Hard to say what it’s about at this point without giving it all away but you can be sure there will plenty of tension with a huge climax and even some philosophy for those that have the time. This excerpt holds the reason for this week’s blog title.

December Radio

Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved

Sarah barked at the crows, “Shut yer mouths. I ain’t got no food for you and you int a ‘having my body. Not even when I’m dead. They’s ‘ll probably burn me and if not, I will get a Chist’an burial. She spat into the puddle swilling around her filthy skirt- hem but missed and it splatted against piece of rock. She even found this funny; Sarah had a bright soul. Her long, brown and unwashed hair had fallen loose over her left eye while she had been working at the crosses and she pushed the strands back into place while humming a tune. She had made it up to go with the spell her mother had taught her so long ago:

Firft, third and fourth finger,
From a dying fold’r,
To tickle the Debil
– he’ll hold back the sickle
But afore he’ll do It –
‘E must dance on the ‘eather,
In black temper weather,
Naked as t’wer in cradle.
T’sharpen hif piffle.

How she had wondered when she was a little-un what piffle was! It hadn’t been long afore she found out! She laughed as she sang.

Eh! It’s grand to be a healer – a wise woman – aye a witch! Dancing under the stars in summer, walking the lanes for herbs and not a man to hold her down. She could take a man whenever she wanted! Eh, it was grand until the likes of Matthew ‘opkins came a’hunting. And drowning. But now Merry Charlie was on the throne things were better. It was almost back to the old life. She was stopped in the middle of a laugh when she reached the top of the short hill. Serious for a moment, she turned to look back at the crossroads one last time. Shielding her eyes with her palm against the lowering sun in the blood red sky, she stared sadly at the three corpses hanging like fleshy rags from the crosses made by the townsfolk.

Review of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

I am about 70 pages from the end of this epic novel. The middle section about Slothrop’s adventures really had me hooked. But they came after page 400 which is leaving it very late; I might well have given up before then if it hadn’t been for a friend’s encouragement. I also love Byron the (eternal) Bulb’s story. It’s very witty and just the sort of thing I love. For instance, my favourite bit of Life of Brian is the alien spaceship bit. I love frivolity which throws the  main story into focus. There is no doubt Pynchon has a keen wit.

I must admit I struggled a lot until half-way through. At 900 pages it is way longer than anything of its kind that I have read before. It has very little chronological structure – indeed very little structure of any kind. The author attempts to make words the fabric of a reality without the meaning that we apply to the one around us but one in which everything is inter-connected. He is reducing reality to a serendipitous flux. I know Pynchon flirted with the beat writers but did he finally settle for the existential school of Camus et al? I haven’t finished yet but that seems so at this point; it’s a kind of American existentialism.

There are a few errors; Luftwaffe pilots did not get ‘furlough’s or holidays for instance. They had to fly until they dropped. There are a few references to things that didn’t come until after the War. So unless this is a time-travel story they are out of place. But fair dos – the book is very complex and Pynchon was writing before the world wide web so its a masterful piece of period depiction (and research), even with the mistakes (if you meant them Thomas, forgive me).

As I understand it, Mr Pynchon is shy of public intention so he’s unlikely to correct me. What are your views?

The End of Formula 1?

Brazil: the last race of the season and you would think it would be happy affair. Brazil is known for its parties – Valentino Rossi used to make a week-long affair or it. But it was like a funeral. Mark Webber retiring, Massa moving down a few teams from Ferrarri and Ross Braun apparently moving on made it it a very sad occasion.

I was not surprised when, somehow, Webber’s tyre went wrong, AGAIN! It even looked staged when Vettel has a similar problem. Perhaps the Red Bull feelers detected a certain sang froid from their fans and decided to stage Vettel’s problem to molify them? It didn’t work for me if that was the case. Mark’s time with Red Bull (not when it was Jaguar, mind) has been a story of mechanical and strategic failures whereas the Golden Boy, Vettel has had all the ‘luck’. Massa seems to have always come out worse when he has gone up against Hamilton and this week was no exception. Crossing the ‘hatched lines’ on pit entry has never been punished before. Why now? And especially why on his last race with Ferrari. It just seems cruel as well as unjust.

It just seems to me there is an element of choreography going on behind the scenes in F1. Some drivers (so called ‘crowd pleasers’) like Vettel and Hamilton are singled out and pushed into the limelight. They more than often than not win in any ruling situation with the stewards. Meanwhile drivers who are probably considered saps by the some cynics behind the scenes – Massa and Webber come to mind – are treated cruelly at times. I think it’s very sad to see a talented driver’s career being curtailed like this. Those responsible – if they are – should be ashamed.

Braun leaving Mercedes? It seems that Mercedes, having bought Braun racing from him, have decided he is no longer so useful to them. This is not just typical of F1 but of most industries. Buy up a successful business – reassuring the owner of their l;ong-term security of course – and then summarily sack them after a few years. The trouble with that is that the business usually fails soon after. Indeed a good example is Jaguar racing which was Stewart before that. Mercedes had better take note.

I won’t be sad if I never see another F1 race.

Blog: How to Commit the Perfect Murder – Lazlo Ferran

This week: How to Commit the Perfect Murder, Rant about Adespresso, updated bio, book price increases.

How to Commit the Perfect Murder
There is no Sneak Preview this week because I am still only slowly progressing with the latest book. If I excerpted every week you would soon have read all of it 🙂 Instead let me write about something which has preoccupied me this week and does for some time during most books I write. There is often a murder and one often has to think through just how the murderer in the book is going to handle it. There are many ways of murdering somebody so that it is unlikely you will be found out but very few people can or actually, do it in cold blood. It is more often done out of passion and on the spur of the moment ( it is more commonly state-sponsored executions that are planned). Serial Killers I won’t count here because they are not generally sane, usually psychopaths and don’t think rationally about what they are doing.

So my main character finds himself with a knife in his hand and the means, and motive, to kill somebody. It is war-time and you might think nobody will notice a missing person, or will care about a body in the street. But you would probably be wrong. Apart from cleaning up the crime scene (if he or she can do the deed) as best they can, the murderer will next have to consider either how to dispose of the body or how to conceal the act and make the death look natural. In my case (ie the character in my book, not me!) the latter is not possible, nor does the character need to fake his own death, but he does want to take the place of the deceased for a while. Therefore he needs to dispose of the victim.

Acid
Acid is of course one method but very difficult to execute: one needs to order large quantities of the acid, transport them, store them and have a device to fully immerse the body parts. You then have to dispose of the slush that results.

Immersion in water
Immersing in a fast flowing river or the sea is better.
This was my chosen method; in the murder’s location there are many ditches and canals. None of these are fast flowing. The next problem is therefore how to sink the body. Initially I just thought of using a sack of coal tied to the poor victim’s feet but this seemed at the same time too easy and  too dangerous. Where do you get the coal? Where do you get the sack? A crate suggested itself and then mud or stones. A combination might be quite good as long as all the soil doesn’t get washed out of the crate.

I had the person doing the concealing (who I must reveal here is not the murderer) using the victim’s belt to attach the crate to the body but then there is the question of whether the crate should be put on top of the body or underneath as an anchor.

Of course in time the body will rot. At first it will sink but then later it will tend to float. It’s hard for anybody doing the concealing to allow for thinks like tide, varying depths of water (in drought for instance), the action of boats, children, even animals chewing through the leather of the belt. Then there is flooding.

It’s a perplexing problem for the concealer and the writer too. The concealer can only hope that the body stays concealed long enough to decay beyond recognition. Of if at sea, that it gets washed out into the great oceans and decays there. I’m glad it’s not something I have ever had to consider for real and I hope I never have to.

Rant about Adespresso (http://www.adespresso.com/)
I tried out a so-called Beta package called Adespresso; software which allows you to compile advertising campaigns and post them to Facebook through the Facebook Ad API. It all looked good but first of all I received warnings saying that neither of my ads had posted! I received to notifications that the tech team were aware of the problem and would sort it quickly.
“Fair enough,” I thought.
Nothing happened and the campaign durations were almost at an end. Then I tried to contact the Adespresso team. The contact form didn’t work in Firefox or Chrome! I couldn’t believe it. I searched on the internet and found that it had the capability to import my existing ads from Facebook. This would be really useful so I resigned myself to the fact Adespresso didn’t work properly but could help me decipher my already-complete campaigns. I found the setting to import the campaigns and clicked the button. I had a jolly message telling me:
“Congratulations. It worked! You will be able to see the campaigns shortly.”
Did I, Hell! Nothing happened at all! I tried several times – nothing!
Oh- I did finally manage to submit the contact form – it only works in Internet Explorer. I thought such days were gone!

My assessment: Okay it didn’t cost me anything but they call it a Beta! Its more like an Alpha if you ask me and in reality its just a pretty web page that does absolutely nothing! Either they are very optimistic (about both their customers and their own capabilities) or very cynical. Its just possible of course they have bitten off more than they can chew but don’t want to admit it to their investors. I did see one of the campaigns appear in the Facebook Campaign dashboard so it’s hard to tell whether it is Facebook at fault, Adespresso or both.

Very disappointing. Avoid Adespresso.

Updated Biography
I have updated my biography across all websites to reflect the new fans I have gained in the Far East, Middle East, and Egypt. Welcome to all of you. I hope you find something of interest here.

Book Price Increases
I have had to put my book prices up – generally to around the £3.99 mark. This is partly because Amazon are charging me a ‘supply’ cost for my kindles of up to 15p each and partly because I think this is just a fairer price for my books. I hope we will soon be far enough out of the recession that people can easily afford these prices. It is very little for projects that take a year of my life. I will be keeping down the price of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate  to £0.99  for just a little while longer and Too Bright the Sun will stay at that price. Oh and by the way, the title of the blog this week is from a TV series and not a film.

Blog: Playing for Keeps – by Lazlo Ferran

This week: Sneak Preview, Free offer results, Short Stirlings, philosophy.

Sneak Preview is back!
Yes, I am writing again! It’s taken a few weeks but here is an excerpt from the forthcoming (in the next few years!) novel with the working title December Radio.

December Radio

Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved

“Scary the first time but don’t look too long; you’ll be fine,” said Max Schickert, coiling the blue nylon safety line around the taut muscles in his forearm.
It was Davis Connaughy’s first trip to ‘The Telescope’. He looked at the innocent-looking gap between the two boulders with distrust. The noon-day heat of Peru in October was making him sweat slightly after the long hike up the hill above San Ramon. He glanced at the blonde Apollo in front of him and grinned. He turned to look back out across the vast valley of refulgent green, ruffled nearby by the gentle east-north east breeze.
“No problemo. I have done The Cave of Swallows twice!”
“You do realise how privileged you are to be here? Don’t fuck up! And pay attention.”
“Sorry.”
“Strap on here.” Max patted the piton he had just fixed his safety-line to and slipped through the tall grass covering the opening between the boulders. “Remember what I told you,” he shouted from within the cave. “The first twenty feet looks easy, but it’s slippy.”
Davis attached his line, took a deep breath and pushed aside the grass to enter the cave. “Moss?”
“Probably. Shit too. Including human. Shepherds used this as a latrine for hundreds of years.”
“Yeah I can smell that. Can’t see a damned thing yet.”
“You will. Swallows is nothing like this. I mean, bigger, yeah. But this place is just damned weird. Press will have a field day once this gets out. Okay, you beginning to see?”
“Yeah. Je-sus!”
“And I bet you ain’t never jumped from within a cave before.”
“Oops. Nearly went over! Still, Swallows is tricky at the top! Where is the first annulus?”
“You won’t see it. Not from up here. Stand here. And shut the fuck up about Swallows. It’s a walk in the park compared with this baby. Do you wanna die? I only accepted you along ‘cause your dad used to jump with my dad. I don’t usually jump with newbies!”
David caught up with Max on a narrow ledge overlooking the strange vaulted cavern. Once inside the entrance he could see for himself that the upper opening had been blocked by a massive rock fall, perhaps for thousands of years. The rocks were held in place only by their own weight. Any violent earthquake could have brought them down. The cave – if cave it was – ran down at an angle of 44.9 degrees from the horizontal and was five times as wide as the Albert Hall.
“I can’t even see the other side!”
“Nope. You’ll only see that when you jump!”
“This is the only way out and that’s the only way up,” Davis reflected out loud. He pointed to the single rappel rope secured around a rock to the right of his feet. It hung over the edge of the precipice and it stretched into the yawning abyss below. He stomach turned over.
“Yeah, we’ll fit a winch when we get time. Don’t forget you’re only the fifth man in here. How is your SRT?”
“Rusty. Never done much single-rope stuff.”
“Well make sure you have your gear secured before you jump. No way I’m pulling you up! You better get your stuff ready. And whatever you see, you’re sworn to secrecy. Right?”
“Right.”
Both men prepared their parachute equipment in silence. Speech could mean death. Davis was the first to finish.
“I’m ready,” he announced.
“Yeah… Well check it again. I’m not ready.”
“The lights!”
“Yeah. I’ll turn them on.”
Max bent to a crude electrical switch on the end of a black cable which also snaked over the precipice and into the gloom. Instantly the awesome shape of the cave was revealed dimly by a string of halogen lights, stretching away to the bottom of the cave. Every hundred metres or so, an annular opening marked a narrowing of the tunnel – five in all – before the bottom, over four hundred metres away.
“Wow! That looks scary!”
“Oh yeah! You’d better have your shit together here, man! Those ridges are what makes it lethal. And it narrows down to less than a tennis-court. Wet too. Mostly a big, slushy puddle. But you won’t mind, if you get that far. Ready?”

Free Offer Results

I had 373 downloads for Attack Hitler’s Bunker! which was a lot more than for Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate the week before. Admittedly there was a small promotional advert on Facebook but it yielded very few click-throughs so I think it’s a pretty fair comparison. It’s good to know my most recent work is doing so well.

Short Stirlings

As any who are fans of WWII aircraft will know, there are no Short Stirlings left in this world. Some may say that is a good thing; who wants to remember old bombers? However the Short Stirling was the first British heavy bomber. It suffered many handicaps forced on it by a short-sighted Air Ministry and yet still delighted the pilots who flew it with its beautiful flight characteristics. All other heavy bombers from all sides are represented in museums around the world but the few Stirling wrecks have been left to rot at the bottom of the sea and on mountain sides. The Stirling Aircraft Society aims to correct this. With very little money and few resources they are slowly, painstakingly building a ‘replica’ of a Stirling front fuselage using as many original parts as possible. Although I am not a member of the Society I have taken a keen interest in their progress. My book Attack Hitler’s Bunker! deliberately featured the Stirling prominently in an effort by myself to raise awareness of its achievements and plight. All profits from the book for the first two years will go to the Society. Last week I became aware of a wreck discovered by a French team of divers. They clearly do not realise the importance of the wreck which seems almost intact. It would be such a wonderful event if it could be lifted. The Society has contacted the team but as yet I have no information about where it is or how easy it would be to recover. I will post updates on here if there is any  progress.

Review of Castle Keep

I am reviewing this obscure WWII film  not because it’s good but because it raises some questions for me. The book is an average production, telling the story of a platoon of US soldiers defending a Belgian 11th Century castle during the Battle of the Bulge. No doubt soldiers had become incredibly cynical by 1944; the campaign was known for it’s brutality. No wonder then that it was chosen by the producers in the Hippy sunset of 1969. The period is known for its picaresque movies.

‘Picaresque’  – of or relating to a type of fiction in which the hero, a rogue, goes through a series of episodic adventures. It originated in Spain in the 16th century – Collins English Dictionary

Don Quixote is perhaps the first novel that suggests this type of character but he/she seems to have become very French by 1969. In most movies of this type there is at least one French character and so it is here; the US Major, played by Burt Lancaster billets at the castle and sleeps with the Count’s gorgeous young wife. His platoon are the usual bunch of misfits but with one art critic who envies the Major his bed-partner. Another soldier, played by Columbo’s Peter Falk is a former baker and when they discover a brothel he instead heads for the bakery.

“Where there is a baker, there’s a baker’s wife,” he answers to their jeers.

And sure enough the baker’s wife asks him to “Come to bed,” within a few short minutes. He has seemlessly replaced her lost husband. This typifies the slightly crazy and cynical nature of the film. In another scene a German tank is driven right inside a large church where the soldiers capture it. They try to drive it out but end up knocking down the whole church; typical dramatic and unnerving juxtaposition of images and ideas used in these picaresque adventures. They usually end inconclusively and so does this one. I find that I don’t really care for any of the characters; they have become too cynical for that. We are supposed to like the Major. Sometimes he is referred to as the General and I suppose this is where this film fails to even match it’s genre rivals. Everything about him is vague, as if he is a cipher.

Other movies of the type do better. The Beatles particularly employed this style in Help and The Magical Mystery Tour and here they manage to be likable. Perhaps they have more respect for the style. I can’t think of earlier films that follow this style but certainly by the turn of the decade films from Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines to The Confessions series to blockbusters like Waterloo and even Mary Poppins employed it. One of the more successful uses was Clint Eastwood’s series of Spaghetti Westerns (the genre probably culminating in El Topo, about as far ‘out there’ as a movie could be). Indeed Eastwood himself went on to star in one of the last picareque movies, Kelly’s Heroes.

Of course it’s not surprising that films became more cynical after the stifling of the Hippy movement. Either the directors were liberal and felt disappointed or they were right-wing and appropriated some of the Hippy aesthetics for their own use. Either way, such darker films became very typical in the early 1970s. Was it perhaps an Anglo Saxon attempt to appropriate French existential ideas as a sop during these dark times? British moral structure became almost vacuous in the wake of the Hippy collapse; probably not because everyone missed it but because nobody had anything better to offer.

Into this vacuum, perhaps the Dog-eat-dog philosophy of Freddie Ayers seeped. Many of his ideas were formed during the terrible Spanish Civil War of the late 30s and so his suggested structure – we are all animals so why not behave like it’ (my paraphrasing) was tailor-made for such times. Unfortunately, it may be that they have left a deeper imprint on our society than we would like to think.

Until now my views have been impartial, speculative but I leave you with one final thought and here I do have strong views: it might even be that the Big Brother House and X-Factor owe their existence to the picareque Don Quixote. Perhaps with the terrible fate of Jade Goody, who after all had nothing more than a hunger for fame as a talent, we have seen the noon of this way of thinking. Perhaps now we can get back to some sanity and appreciation of real talent.

Other News

As you can see from the excerpt, I am writing again. I reached a nice stage with the IT stuff so for the next month or so I will be concentrating on writing alone. I am assured that the Second Edition of Amit Bobrov’s The Journals or Raymond Brooks is being worked on by the publisher so I think we can expect that out soon. It is edited by me.

Elsewhere

I was a bit disappointed with the way Valentino Rossi ‘sacked’ Jeremy Burgess. After all these years of working so closely together it’s a bit rough. However I think it shows just how ruthless and determined to win Vale is. Let’s hope at least it brings results next year. Burgess has surely been one of Rossi’s most crucial partners during his whole career.

Blog: Miracles for Sale – Lazlo Ferran

This week: Facebook privacy, FREE Offers, building a social network, OCD Update and Formula One.

I haven’t actually seen the film Miracles for Sale from 1939, but having read the synopsis, I want to see it. The reason for my choice of title will become clearer if you read the section on Facebook privacy. Because You’re Worth It might have been a more appropriate choice of film title but the 2002, made for TV film has no reviews and no actors in it.

Facebook Privacy
Now I am making some progress with my project to build my own Social Network, I have to start thinking about I handle data and specifically how to keep member’s data private. Privacy is a huge issue these days; when I asked a friend for his views he told me he had joined over ten networks and that people are into privacy these days. I think he’s right. People don’t want to share their personal information with anyone but their closest friends. The problem is that Facebook is doing exactly that.

If you log in to Facebook and then click the drop down to select your Privacy settings you will see a menu on the far left which includes Apps and Ads. I suggest you turn off any aps you don’t use (I found many here listed which I never use) but for now click on Ads. At the bottom you will find a sub section: Website and Mobile App Custom Audiences.
Read this. So how does Facebook get away with this? Simples: they are very open about it.

But are they? If you click on the Learn more link in the first bullet point (it’s not very obvious because they have used a dark blue highlight with black text) you will see a video that explains how Online Behavioural Advertising works. Its all pretty simple and we know the theory behind it; by sharing some of your data with advertisers, Facebook allows the advertisers to place adverts in front of you if they think you might buy their products. In the process Facebook makes shit-loads of cash. Nothing new there.

However, Facebook is keen to point out they don’t share any of your Private Data. They only share your public data. In actual fact I found Facebook’s link didn’t work but a quick google located the website they refer to: http://www.iabuk.net/.

I was curious. This websites didn’t seem aimed at the general public but more at advertisers; they constantly talk about ‘they’ and ‘them’ when referring to the public who are viewing the adverts. It seems like another world from social networks so I hunted around and found this video: http://www.iabuk.net/video/the-evolution-of-online-display-advertising.

This is much more interesting than the first video. I had the uncomfortable feeling while watching it that I was being given the hard sell for the concept of the Ad Exchange. I didn’t really understand what it was other than a network of people sharing your personal data. I needed to do more research.

I won’t go into technical details but it seems to me that what Facebook and the Ad Exchange do is share your IP address which they consider NOT to be your Private Data. They consider this Public Data. This is because from a techy point of view, they processes simply won’t work unless they share your IP address (essentially the physical address of your computer). While it’s true that they are not connecting your browsing habits with your name, they ARE connecting them with your computer so to me, the difference between your IP address and personal name is academic. Sure somebody else could be using your pc/mac/laptop but most of the time it will be you.

I suspected as much because recently a friend of mine was caught in a retail scam and when she contacted them they managed somehow to connect her with her blog posts criticising them even though she used a false name on the blog. There is only one way they could have done this; if her IP address was shared.

Thus it looks like they have hidden a declaration of what they do beneath layer upon layer of jargon. Paradoxically it looks like the older process or infrastructure called the Ad Network is more transparent and fairer; there the advertiser buys advertisisng space on a website and trusts the publisher (usually the owner of the website) to publish their advert for them. In this process the advertiser never sees any data about you until you browse or buy their products.

While thinking about how to use RDF on my Social Network I had started to wonder how I was going to share the triples while (which is a fundamental part of the RDF paradigm) and now I have decided to develop a system along the Ad Network model.

Free Offers
Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate is still FREE on Amazon until 5 November for Halloween.
Attack Hitler’s Bunker! will be FREE on Amazon from 6-10 November. This will be its first free promotion so make sure you grab a free copy.

Building a Social Network
This week I had to choose a triple store for my data. It has taken me a few weeks to think about this because it was not clear to me how one can legally or morally share data in an RDF world although the world of triples is one of sharing data. I want to contribute to the Global Graph so I needed RDF. In the end I settled on MongoDB. It’s slow (according to reviewers) at inserting triple data but this doesn’t matter to me. My primary store is MySQL and I only need to run a daily cron to update the triple store. However, MongoDB is quick to query and more versatile if I later choose to build some commercial tools. Note: I will DEFINATELY NOT be sharing members’ Private Data of my members. So if you are one of those already in the test group, don’t worry!
Since installing the triple store (thanks MongoDB makers – your instructions were wrong and caused me problems for a few hours!) I have focused on building a Facebook Ap. That is about all I am prepared to say about this for now. It’s proving a bit tricky to achieve what I want but for those of you who are interested, I will keep you updated.

OCD Update
For those of you not aware, I have suffered from OCD for the last 18 years. After a six-month period of private Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) last year, ending in November, I pursued a plan devised by myself and refined by my therapist for the next six months. My fear is of dust and germs and my flat had become difficult for me to clean. My plan was to employ a regular cleaner and this worked for a while. But then I was made redundant. SInce then I have had to make do with cleaning myself. I must admit, there has been little improvement in my OCD since then. I talked to my doctor about it and we agreed that I should apply for more treatment on the NHS. I was placed in a queue and my first appointment is on the 6 November. I will let you know how I get on.
On the same subject, there were two tv shows on OCD this week; one focusing on patients at a treatment centre and one on OCD sufferers being used to clean the flats of people who simply don’t clean. I didn’t catch the second but the first was interesting. One sufferer called James seemed to suddenly gain control of his OCD through a fairly simple exposure exercise. For those not familiar with the term, one of the techniques used in CBT is exposure; making the sufferer touch something they don’t want to touch and then not applying their normal rituals to counter the effect. I am very happy for James that he made progress so quickly. I found it quite moving I did note that OCD can look amusing to the casual viewer. One case I have heard of was a sufferer who was convinced they caused road accidents wherever they drove and so had to loop back to check the roads all the time. Their journeys took a very long time to complete.

Formula One
I am even sadder that Mark Webber will be retiring this year. He has been a very underrated driver and has suffered while at Red Bull. Their constant pushing Vettel forward and holding Webber back has curtailed a promising career. I am not normally a conspiracy theorist but I do wonder why it is that Mark always gets the technical issues. Why on earth wasn’t his KERS turned on and charged when on the grid last Sunday?