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#91
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Tonitrus - May 19, 2024, 12:32:21 AM
Quote from: Admiral Yi on May 18, 2024, 11:00:02 PMA waste of resources by a very rich country at the height of its power.  The Mercury astronauts were PR eye candy.

Tim will surely curse you.
#92
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Admiral Yi - May 18, 2024, 11:00:02 PM
A waste of resources by a very rich country at the height of its power.  The Mercury astronauts were PR eye candy.
#93
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Tonitrus - May 18, 2024, 10:46:40 PM
Quote from: grumbler on May 18, 2024, 10:28:28 PM
Quote from: Razgovory on May 18, 2024, 09:47:27 PMReading Wikipedia and found something interesting.  Yuri Gagarin had 265 hours of flight time when joined the Soviet space program.  Alan Sheppard, first American in space, had 3,600 hours of flight time a year and half before he joined the Mercury program. 

It was probably not possible for the Soviets to find a test pilot still alive with more than 265 hours of flight time.

And I believe it is well rumored that Gagarin himself was barely above vegetable level after his return from orbit.
Quote from: grumbler on May 18, 2024, 10:28:28 PM
Quote from: Razgovory on May 18, 2024, 09:47:27 PMReading Wikipedia and found something interesting.  Yuri Gagarin had 265 hours of flight time when joined the Soviet space program.  Alan Sheppard, first American in space, had 3,600 hours of flight time a year and half before he joined the Mercury program. 

It was probably not possible for the Soviets to find a test pilot still alive with more than 265 hours of flight time.

And Gagarin himself is contributing evidence to that.  :P
#94
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by grumbler - May 18, 2024, 10:28:28 PM
Quote from: Razgovory on May 18, 2024, 09:47:27 PMReading Wikipedia and found something interesting.  Yuri Gagarin had 265 hours of flight time when joined the Soviet space program.  Alan Sheppard, first American in space, had 3,600 hours of flight time a year and half before he joined the Mercury program. 

It was probably not possible for the Soviets to find a test pilot still alive with more than 265 hours of flight time.
#95
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Razgovory - May 18, 2024, 09:47:27 PM
Reading Wikipedia and found something interesting.  Yuri Gagarin had 265 hours of flight time when joined the Soviet space program.  Alan Sheppard, first American in space, had 3,600 hours of flight time a year and half before he joined the Mercury program.  
#96
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Jacob - May 18, 2024, 06:55:52 PM
Quote from: Grey Fox on May 18, 2024, 04:47:02 PMAnd you know, Quebec legislature has no qualms about using the withstanding clause.

Yeah, I won't claim to have deep insight into Quebec's political and general culture - but I feel like Amazon trying to bully unions out of existence is not going to go over particularly well.
#97
Off the Record / Re: Brexit and the waning days...
Last post by Sheilbh - May 18, 2024, 06:29:28 PM
Found this SCMP piece quite moving in a way - not least for what's being lost for Hongkongers in their home city and also quite grateful that they're carrying on here.

Also obligatory mention of a surprisingly influential group in British politics: bats :lol:
QuoteWho are the Hong Kong BN(O) holders winning seats on UK local councils? Migrant scheme paves way for new life in politics
    Andy Ng is first ex-Hong Kong district councillor to be elected to UK local authority, and he hopes other new arrivals will also get involved in politics
    Fellow BN(O) status holder Ying Perrett has also won spot on local council and continues to help Hongkongers struggling with access to schools, finances

Jeffie Lam
Jeffie Lam
Published: 6:09pm, 18 May 2024

Andy Ng Siu-hong did it thousands of times when running for election in Hong Kong's district councils – introducing himself with a loudhailer in front of his branded pull-up banners, while waving to residents using the Central–Mid-Levels escalator.

But these skills were barely put to use in recent months when the 43-year-old set out to win a seat in the UK's Wokingham Borough Council election as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

Loudhailers are frowned upon in the quiet neighbourhood, and the only way to effectively reach out to constituents is by door-knocking.

That didn't stop Ng, who moved to the country in 2021 via the British National (Overseas) migration pathway, and earlier this month became the first former Hong Kong district councillor to win public office in the United Kingdom.

"I want to tell people it would have been no big deal even if I had lost when I decided to run for the election, and I hope to encourage more people to take part now with my victory," he told the Post.

"I believe that Hongkongers, after moving to the UK, should not just integrate in the country by going to work and schools, or paying taxes. We should also get engaged in politics."

Ng, a former Democratic Party member who represented the Mid-Levels East constituency, was among about 200 opposition councillors who resigned in 2021, a year after Beijing reshaped the city's political landscape with the introduction of the national security law in response to the social unrest in 2019 before.

He said it did not take long to adapt to the fresh start as people from Britain and Hong Kong shared similar livelihood concerns such as access to dental services and school places.


But one major difference was the statutory powers held by the UK councils to make decisions in areas such as council tax collection and spending, he said, which differed from the advisory functions of the Hong Kong bodies.

He added his background as a former district councillor in the city was an asset.

"Many residents know what's going on in Hong Kong and they are supportive of [newcomers]," he said.

"While we may have different cultures, skin colours or even accents, our fundamental values on human rights and freedoms are actually very aligned with each other. This election has also proven that."


Ng was not the only BN(O) holder to score victory.

Ying Perrett, also of the Liberal Democrats and who moved to the UK in 2021, won the Bisley and West End ward of Surrey Heath Borough Council last November.


Ying Perrett moved to the UK in 2021 and says she was "mainly apolitical" during her time in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout

Unlike Ng, 58-year-old Perrett was, in her own words, "mainly apolitical" during her time in the city.

Fluent in both Cantonese and English, Perrett became the go-to person for newcomers from Hong Kong arriving in her community. She said one of the areas in which she was frequently asked for advice was from Hongkongers being asked to pay a year's rent upfront as they had no credit scores.


"It is a way for me to get involved in the community and to give back," she said.

She added the country's high degree of inclusiveness allowed her to succeed in her first bid for election, despite only arriving just over a year ago.

But a balancing act was needed to meet both the needs of Hongkongers and other constituents, while many issues were highly unfamiliar, including arrangements for managing grass cutting, bins and even a local population of bats.

Al Pinkerton of the Liberal Democrats, who worked with Perrett in Surrey Heath, highlighted the political potential of the Hong Kong diaspora.

Pinkerton, an associate professor of geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London, said a number of Hongkongers had experienced society in a way that "many very settled British people will never experience".

"What I think Hongkongers will bring to the political system is an awareness of sometimes the rough edges of our political system, the difficulty in accessing it."

So far three BN(O) holders in the party had won local elections, with four more planning their bids, he said.

Krish Kandiah, chairman of the Welcoming Committee for Hongkongers, a non-profit group, said the elected newcomers had done extremely well as Britain did not have an "easy system" and they were also not well-known in the community.

He noted there had been no negative feedback among the general population despite increased anti-immigration discourse.


Andy Ng (centre) says his background as a former district councillor in the city is an asset. Photo: Wokingham Liberal Democrats

Michaela Benson, a professor in public sociology at Lancaster University, said Hongkongers in the UK benefited from being allowed to stand for election – a right not extended to all immigrants.

"I think three people [getting elected] is pretty impressive, given the short time period they've been here. That makes them particularly well positioned to represent their communities and talk about the issues that people in their communities are facing," she said.

Benson said newly arrived Hongkongers faced a range of challenges such as not having qualifications recognised.

"For any community in the UK, having access to power, to be able to speak to the people who can affect change is important, and that has always meant having representation from your community," she said.


The UK government approved 191,158 BN(O) Visas for Hongkongers as of December 2023 since it officially launched the bespoke bathway in 2021 in response to the Beijing-imposed national security law the year before.

They are allowed to work, study and live in Britain for six years, after which they will be eligible to apply for citizenship.

I'd add that both of those areas - Wokingham and Surrey Heath - are big Lib Dem targets at the next election (Wokingham's about 30 on their target seats, Surrey Heath is more challenging at about 60). But the Lib Dem strategy is always to start by building a base in local government - so this is a step on the way and no doubt the councillors profiled here will be out campaigning to get rid of John Redwood and Michael Gove, which we can all support :ph34r: :lol:
#98
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Grey Fox - May 18, 2024, 04:47:02 PM
And you know, Quebec legislature has no qualms about using the withstanding clause.
#99
Off the Record / Re: TV/Movies Megathread
Last post by Admiral Yi - May 18, 2024, 04:34:34 PM
Quote from: Jacob on May 18, 2024, 04:30:15 PMWhat are legitimate hi-balls in your book?

Everything else except whiskey and fruit juice.
#100
Off the Record / Re: TV/Movies Megathread
Last post by Jacob - May 18, 2024, 04:30:15 PM
Quote from: Admiral Yi on May 18, 2024, 04:05:59 PMHas vodka coke become a real drink?  In my day it was what idiots ordered.

What are legitimate hi-balls in your book?

I haven't been drinking at a bar like that for years and years... but I recall the big ones being vodka-7, rye & ginger, rum & coke. I always felt super sophisticated with my gin & tonic on those occasions :smoke: