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I remarked in one of my recent posts that I was having a quick go at the Flashman Chronicles again, just by way of getting in a jolly romp before Lent.

Because my mind works that way, finishing off the first of the books has got me in the mood to charge the ol’ Netflix queue with what one might call Empire movies.  This involves revisiting both The Man Who Would Be King and Gunga Din.  I’ve also tossed in Khartoum, not having seen it before.  I have no doubt that Charlton Heston’s portrayal of General Charles George “Chinese” Gordon (whose birthday it is today, by the bye) is positively cringe-making.  However, I’m hoping that Larry Olivier’s portrayal of the Mahdi will more than make up for this in terms of entertainment value.  Aaaand, I also got hold of The Four Feathers – the 1939 version with Ralph Richardson, not the 2002 revisionist remake.

So, my fellow port-swillers, what other films of this sort do you think ol’ Robbo would enjoy?  (Don’t say Zulu, as I’ve seen it too many times.)  Recommendations would be gratefully appreciated.

I know it’s wrong of me, but somehow I can’t help but be amused by the attribution of yet another harm to green technology: wind-turbine syndrome.

Wind farms have traditionally been seen by protesters as a blot on the British countryside, but it has now emerged that their noise may make people ill.

A new study found no evidence for “wind turbine syndrome” where the wind farms directly cause a host of health problems such as headaches, nausea and panic attacks.

But the swishing sound caused by wind turbines can be a problem for certain people, causing sleep deprivation and even mental health problems.

It has sparked renewed debate on the Government’s plans for more onshore wind and led to calls for more research into the problems caused by noise.

And, as the night follows the day, verily it has sparked litigation as well.

Jane Davis is hoping to take the country’s first private nuisance case against a wind farm to the High Court.

The 54-year-old was forced to move from her home in Lincolnshire after eight wind turbines were built in 2006.

The qualified nurse said one in five wind farms cause noise problems for the local people.

“All I know is the amount of health problems people have suffered since [the turbines were put up] seem to be excessive in relation to what was happening,” she said. “Those symptoms include sleep deprivation, tittinus, vertigo, depression, raised blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart beat), needing to go the lavatory at night more often than you would normally, pneumonia, ear infections, stomach disorders and psychological stress.”

Mrs Davis said 190 campaigners around the country have complained of noise and are expected to consider legal proceedings if the test case is successful.

I don’t doubt it.  Cry “havoc!” and release the dogs of personal injury law.

Also, I always thought “tittinus” was a condition that had to do with cold weather and injudicious ladies’ clothing choices.  (Which, I suppose, could also be related to wind farming.)  Here, however, is seems to be a corruption of tinnitus, which is basically a ringing in the ears.


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January 2010