My character in an upcoming playtest

Nov. 25th, 2015 04:50 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Is basically the answer to "what would happen if Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters was administered by the same people who ran the Residential School system?" Although it occurs to me my write-up may be too specifically Canadian; not sure if the campaign city is in Canada.

The Deal Is Done

Nov. 25th, 2015 08:08 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

So, here they are. These five contracts you see above encompass thirteen books and ten years. The general details of these contracts were agreed to six months ago, but the fiddly bits took time to sort. I got the final versions of the contracts, signed by me and the folks at Tor, just this morning. This means that, finally and officially, I’m on the hook for writing all these books in the next decade, and Tor is on the hook for, well, everything else. We’re both all in.

My understanding is that there are still some people who are flummoxed as to why either I or Tor would enter into a deal of this size and length. From the point of view of strictly business,  I explain Tor’s rationale using financial terms: Essentially, Tor is buying Scalzi futures — paying a set price now as a hedge against potentially having to pay more upfront later. Tor absolutely believes they can make back what they’re paying me upfront over the length of the contract based on my sales today, but if my sales increase over the decade, then they get the future books at a discount (they still have to pay me royalties, of course, but that’s out of money that’s already come in, not money that’s fronted out). It’s an entirely rational move, economically speaking, on Tor’s part.

As for me on the strictly business end of things, well. I’ve noted before that the sums involved in the Tor contract represent the floor of my earnings for the next ten years, not the ceiling, and subsequent contracts and agreements that I and my team have made (Yes! I have a team! I know, it’s weird for me too) have already boosted what I have coming in by a significant margin — contracts and agreements facilitated by the fact the Tor deal was the foundation. Nothing is as assuring to potential partners as the idea that other people are already invested in you. Tor’s deal with me was smart for it; it was also smart for me, and not just in relation to Tor. There are other advantages as well, not directly related to money, chief among them being how I get to structure my time, and my ability to intelligently explore other opportunities that these contracts will allow.

This is why, as an aside, the Monday morning quarterbacking of the business aspects of my Tor deal was and continues to be interesting for me to watch — not only because people were opining based on incomplete information about the deal itself, but also an incomplete understanding of what it was that I and my folks are trying to do. This makes it sound like I’m sitting here, fingers steepled, Monty Burns-style, bellowing You foolish mortals! You know nothing of my master plan! and cackling while a camera captures my visage from a low angle. It’s nothing that sinister or complicated. But in fact, people don’t know what I want, business-wise, and how I’ve structured things to get as close to what I want as possible. It’s fine to speculate, of course. Go right ahead. But unless you hear it from me, it’s only speculation.

Away from the strictly business aspects of things, there are other reasons that I like this deal. I like the people I work with at Tor. They generally like me (I hope!). I like the fact they’re competent at things I’m not, or have no interest in being, so I can focus on the things I am competent at. I like the idea that some of the money I make goes back in to pay other writers Tor publishes. I like being a part of a house that has published some of my favorite genre writers. We have a similar philosophy about where my career could go and how to get there. We’re both happy to be able to plan long-term instead of just book-to-book. It’s a good match.

I also have personal reasons to like this deal, some of which are obvious (money!) and some of which are not. The short version of the latter is that there are now a lot of things I had to worry about before which I no longer have to, and I am more free, rather than less so, to do a number of things I would like to do. Additionally, and bluntly, the jar containing all the fucks I have to give about a whole range of things is just about empty now, and is likely to stay that way from here on out. This is a rare gift, made possible by these contracts. I intend to take advantage of it.

Ultimately, though, these contracts mean this: I get to do what I love to do for at least another decade, and I don’t have to do anything else but the thing I love to do. This is freedom, simply put. I am looking forward to it. I hope you’ll enjoy what comes from it, over the next decade and beyond.

Marry the right guy maybe?

Nov. 25th, 2015 08:10 pm
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

How Melinda Gates Became The World’s Most Powerful Advocate For Women And Girls

Yeah, I know, but it does actually have to be said.

M. Gates is a bright woman, no doubt about it (I know people who have met her). But of the tens to possibly, if lucky, hundreds of millions of money bright.

The billions come from who she had her children by. And, of course, well done her, and her husband.

Marry well is not quite what modern feminism is really all about though, is it?

NaNoWriMo Complete! Sort of…

Nov. 25th, 2015 02:50 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Well, this is awkward.

Technically, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write at least 50,000 words during the month of November. Well, I just typed THE END on the first draft of my book. A first draft which is 40,861 words in length. So, technically speaking, I have not won NaNoWriMo.

Go on. Ask me if I care.

Over the course of 25 days, I produced a complete first draft of a middle grade fantasy novel. Like most of my first drafts, this one is an utter mess. (My son is disappointed I won’t read this version to him, and he has to wait until at least draft two.) But it has a lot of fun ideas, and is just begging to be rewritten and cleaned up into what I hope will be a publishable novel.

I’m thrilled. This is exactly what I hoped I’d be able to accomplish. There were several days I wasn’t sure I’d make it. We had some family issues, and I had to scramble to get the page proofs done and turned back on Revisionary. There were also times I think I might have pushed myself a little too hard. I felt myself skirting depression once or twice as I struggled to get things done in the real world while also chiseling away at the word count.

Lessons learned:

  • I’m not the 25-year-old kid with no life who can do 80,000 words in a month. But I can do 40,000 in just under a month, and that’s pretty damn sweet.
  • First drafts are allowed to be broken. Stop beating yourself up for not being perfect the first time. (I have to relearn this one with every book, but I had to learn it harder this time.)
  • Have fun.
  • Goblins make everything better. So do chainsaws.
  • Concrete wordcount goals and public accountability (like the word count meter) work really well for me, but also increase stress.
  • Don’t neglect self-care.
  • First drafts, for me, are about throwing in every idea you can. Revision is for pruning some of those ideas and developing the ones you keep.
  • Next book: chainsaw-wielding goblins…

For my fellow NaNo writers, whatever your goals this month, whatever your triumphs and setbacks, whether you “won” or not, I hope you had fun. I hope you discovered something new. I hope you grew as a writer, and I hope you feel good about the work you’ve done.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go print out a manuscript.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2015 11:44 am
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth

Last night, Kambriel (the sister of my heart!) and I did a photo shoot. With this photo (taken on my phone, no less!), she managed to capture the version of myself that lives in my head.

I love you, sister.
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Posted by Mark Pack

Spotted by Buzzfeed in George Osborne’s 2015 Autumn Statement is a cut in political party funding:

Autumn Statement on party funding

In 2015-16 the Liberal Democrats are down to receive £497,351.30 in Short Money. The Lib Dem response has been to say,

This is not a cut in the cost of politics; it is an attack on democracy.

While on the one hand the government wants to cut Short Money, they are spending £289 million, this year alone, on government spinners and marketing. This proposal is a purely partisan move that will backfire on the government disastrously.

Interested in more stories about how our elections are run? Follow my dedicated election law channels on Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted by The Voice

Willie leader launch crouching in front of bridgeThe St Andrew’s Day Anti-Racism March and Rally will focus on refugees this year, under the theme No Racism: Refugees Welcome Here.  It will start at 10.30am from Glasgow Green. Willie Rennie has been explaining the importance of this year’s march to the Scottish Trade Unions Congress.

The refugee crisis is the biggest humanitarian challenge that Europe has faced since 1945. Our response to the crisis needs to match the scale of this challenge. And just as we speak out against racism, we need to ensure that we are challenging those who would see us ignore our obligation to help.

He returns to the historical comparisons.
Britain has always been a country that welcomed refugees, from those fleeing religious persecution in the 17th century, to the children saved through the kindertransport ahead of World War II. Now is not the time to abandon these historic values.
Refugees are welcome here.

You can read the whole article here.

Civil War Trailer

Nov. 25th, 2015 01:20 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
You know, the best trailers are a form of benign trolling. Some of those cuts were ... VERY strategic, just sayin'.

So, you know, speculate madly, I sure intend to, but keep in mind that they want to mislead us, yeah?
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by The Voice

Tim Farron writes:

This was a deeply political budget from a deeply political Chancellor.  It looks good in the theatrics of the Commons, with Labour divided, weak and inept, but the budget will unravel.

It will unravel in schools next year when they see funding slashed; it will unravel when local councils have to cut services and increase taxes just to get by; and it will unravel when projects can’t be built because of the skills shortage caused by the attack on further education.

The brighter outlook has given Osborne room for manoeuvre, yet he continues an ideological crusade to slash spending and attack working families on welfare.

Today, was supposed to be a Long Term economic plan, but it was a short term economic scam.

[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

I first blogged about this advert in 2010. Half way through the decade, it looks a great contender for the best political advert of the decade. So here it is for your enjoyment, nay bafflement, once again.

The stretch from 7 seconds in until 22 seconds in is fairly normal. But as for the rest…

Luis Fishman

The advert was run by Luis Fishman in Costa Rica in 2010. A former Vice President of the country (though he never formally took office) and an ex-Minister for Public Safety (during which time he tried to crack down on heavy metal music for encouraging Satanism, violence and drug use), he failed in his bid to become President in 2010.

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2015 12:30 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
Snaffled from ars technica

Stanford researcher Mark Jacobson likes to take current thinking about renewable energy and supersize it. Rather than aiming for 50 percent renewables, like California is, he has analyzed what it would take for each of the 50 states to go fully renewable. It would apparently involve so many offshore wind turbines that hurricanes headed toward the States would be suppressed.

I feel like that's an unalloyed good, am I missing something here?
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Photo by Josh Wedin. Used via Creative Commons license. To go to the original, click on the photo.

So it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, when the family will be all around the table, ready to dig in — but someone will have to say grace first! And it might be you! And if you’re worried that you will draw a blank in the heat of the moment, sputtering nonsense until the gravy grows cold, fear not. For I have recorded a Thanksgiving Prayer for you. Just memorize and repeat!

Don’t say I never did anything for you on Thanksgiving.

(Original text, if you’re into reading for some reason, is here.)

[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Mary

  • A Controversial Rewrite For Rules To Protect Humans In Experiments – “To protect people participating in medical research, the federal government decades ago put in place strict rules on the conduct of human experiments. Now the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a major revision of these regulations, known collectively as the Common Rule. It’s the first change proposed in nearly a quarter-century.”
  • The Strange Truth Behind Presidential Turkey Pardons – “There’s always lots of laughter for a lighthearted moment the day before Thanksgiving, but the truth behind the turkey pardons is a strange and sad tale with a long and myth-filled history. So, who are these overstuffed fowl? Where did they come from? And how did this whole thing get started, anyway?”
  • The Killing of Laquan McDonald – This article does a good job of explaining all of the background details for this case.
  • Worried About The Flu Shot? Let’s Separate Fact From Fiction – It’s that time of year again: debunking-flu-vaccine-myths season. 
  • Doctors debate safety of their white coats – “The debate — largely good-natured — has assumed an intensity that surprises even its participants, exposing divisions that go beyond microbiology and touch on shifting perceptions of the physician’s role. Those who call white coats dirty also find them elitist, a barrier between doctor and patient. Those who treasure the traditional garb believe it engenders trust.”
  • How I Fell Face First for an Epic IRS Scam – “As an Ivy League-educated journalist who has reported on scams and their victims, I certainly never thought I’d fall for one myself. I couldn’t have been more wrong.”
  • The Case of the Disappearing Quasars – “There is nothing controversial about the idea that active galactic nuclei can become inactive. What LaMassa and her colleagues doubted was that a quasar could go from active to inactive in just 10 years. Such a dramatic change should occur on a timescale that dwarfs human lifetimes. They looked for different explanations but did not find any that satisfied them.”

Featured Image 

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Posted by Bernard Aris

Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte discusses the UK’s negotiations over EU membership with David Cameron

Two prominent economists who also were Dutch ministers and still are influential “public thinkers” about macro-economic, budgetary and fiscal affairs, have come out in their weekly column for a strong Dutch government involvement in the campaign against Brexit.

write in their Sunday column (15th November 2015) in the biggest Dutch newspaper The Telegraaf, that the OECD may predict a sunny future for the Netherlands, but that uncertainties like the slump of China and others Emerging Economies (see: The Economist) can scupper those rosy predictions.

But a second danger looms on the horizon: a Brexit can also harm the economic and political interests of the Netherlands. Vermeend and Van der Ploeg point out that with a Brexit

  • an average British household stands to lose between 1200 and 3500 Pound a year;
  • the EU stands to lose 17% of its collective Bruto Interior Product, and 25% of its Defense expenditure; just when the EU enters a “Great Game” over Ukraine, the Crimea, Moldova, Hungary, Greece, Georgia, etcetera;
  • both the British and European/continental economy will be hit hard (important think tanks predict havoc for the British economic life and relations);
  • the Netherlands risks losing its second biggest trade partner (after Germany); we export for billions of euro’s to you, and 300.000 Dutch jobs are dependent on that (the Dutch government really struggles to get unemployment down as it is), and
  • Dutch companies invest to the tune of 180 billion euro’s in the British economy; that is bound to fall off when you slam the door on the continental EU, and parts of the City move to continental capitals and/or Frankfurt am Main (or independent Edinburgh?);
  • The Netherlands fought hard in the ‘60’s to get Britain in the EEC, as a counterweight to the continental giants France and Germany (we share a more maritime trading tradition); if London leaves, we’re back at the mercy of Berlin and its French sidecar.
  • Politically, Britain and the Netherlands share a sober, pragmatic outlook on how the EU should function, and distrust French grandiloquent but old-fashioned projects and proposals (political influence on central banks); and distrust the French and German love for the Common Agricultural Policy as a fountain of subsidies to big landowners instead of struggling British dairy farmers. When the crofters and gentry farmers disappear from the EU policy tables, the wily olive oil farmers and inefficient, rowdy French farmers will regain the dominance they had up to 1972. And British farmers will be even more at the mercy of the four big supermarket chains; no more protection by EU competition or market rules!
  • The Dutch, who alone amongst the Six stood up to De Gaulle over Britains entry, and who depend so strongly on our ties with you, will feel especially spurned and aggrieved if London leaves under UKIP’s banner (or: banter). And you will need our waterworks experts (dredging! dikes!) with increasing British flooding, to give just one example. The only non-Asian expert center on Indonesia, the biggest, strategically located muslim nation, where Cameron tries to get a foothold, is in the Netherlands (Indonesian students come here to study their Adat laws; and our navy and multinationals like Shell still have close ties!).

Vermeend and Van der Ploeg point out that the Dutch adage: “European if necessary, national if possible” resonates powerfully in how British policymakers see and use the EU; London will lose that “Glorious Revolution”-alliance if it excludes itself from EU policymaking, but still will have to follow each twist and turn of the EU Common Market’s regulation. The Swiss and Norwegians rue that they ever accepted that servitude…

Cameron is fearful of the EMU countries ganging up on poor Britain; if London walks out of the EU, the EMU member governments won’t cut Britain any slack in how they run that recovering economic and monetary bloc on the continent! And anyway: an exit procedure will entail years of renegotiating economic and financial relations with the continent; and continental EU governments, spurned by “those pesky Brits”, will be in no mood to pay heed to British concerns about those new relations.

* Bernard Aris is a Dutch historian (university of Leiden), and Documentation assistant to the D66 parliamentary Party. He is a member of the Brussels/EU branch of the LibDems.

[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

This week marks the (very round number) anniversaries of two of the most important scientific papers ever published.

One you’ve heard of—or at least, you’ve heard of the author and its concepts. The other you probably haven’t. Yet it is equally as important, and tells as great a tale.

First things first: On Nov. 25, 1915—100 years ago Wednesday—Albert Einstein submitted a paper to the Proceedings of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin titled, “Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation,” or “The Field Equations of Gravitation.”

If that doesn’t sound familiar, maybe it would help if I said that this paper laid the groundwork for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Oh, right. That paper.

Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905. That groundbreaking work showed that space and time were relative, and that if you moved near the speed of light relative to another observer you’d see these two properties very differently. Since then, the Special Theory has since been experimentally verified countless times.

After publishing it, Einstein started working out how to add gravity to this mix. That’s extraordinarily difficult, and the math fiercely complicated. It took him many years, but he submitted the paper in November 1915, and it was published in the next month. In it, he made a startling and fundamental claim: Gravity is not really a force as had been thought, but instead is a warping of space caused by matter.

Sound esoteric? Well, that’s because it is, a bit. Centuries earlier, Isaac Newton had proposed his theory of universal gravitation, describing gravity as a force, attracting one object to another. It depended on their mutual masses and distance from each other. Newton’s idea works pretty well, and in fact we still use it today to plot courses for spaceships!

The term “force” is difficult to accurately define in layman’s terms,* but you can think of it as some sort of connection between objects, attracting them or repelling them. That’s how Newtonian mechanics works out.

But Einstein’s General Theory changed all that. He found that gravity is not a force between two objects, but a property of space itself, a geometric bending or warping of it. It’s usually described this way: Matter tells space how to bend, and space tells matter how to move.

It was a fundamental shift in how we thought of space and matter, and fit right in with Einstein’s previous Special Theory work in showing that space and time were connected. Their implications are wide-ranging as well; for example, the solutions to these General Theory field equations describe the structure of space, and naturally predict the existence of black holes. They also predict the existence of gravitational lensing (which we’ve seen, and which led to a confirmation of the existence of dark matter), gravitational radiation (which we’ve detected indirectly), and gravitational time dilation (which we’ve also seen).

An even more profound impact of these equations is that they lead the way to understanding how the Universe itself formed and evolves, and even of its ultimate fate.

Heck, without the General Theory your map app wouldn’t work!

So, yeah. It’s kind of a big deal.

The second anniversary we’re celebrating now is no less in stature, and has an equally deep practical impact on the world.

One hundred fifty years ago, in late November 1865, James Clerk Maxwell published his paper called “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field,” and in it he wrote down a set of equations we now call Maxwell’s equations, which should hint at their importance. Why? They describe how electricity and magnetism are two sides of the same coin, actually the effects of a single force called electromagnetism. Up to that point they were treated separately. Maxwell united them.

The importance of this can’t be overstated! His equations show that electricity can be used to induce magnetism, and vice-versa. We generate electrical power based on this. He showed that light is itself a wave, traveling through space as an oscillating electromagnetic field. Ever heard of the electromagnetic spectrum? Yeah. That’s from Maxwell. His equations show how light behaves, and in fact you can derive the speed of light from these equations if you can measure some other fundamental properties of space.

It is no exaggeration to say that Maxwell’s equations are at the very foundation of our modern civilization: computers, electrical systems, global communication—all of this comes straight out of these equations. Einstein’s ideas about relativity derive from them as well.

But there’s more to this story. Maxwell wasn’t a university scientist, working under a research grant to investigate the disparate fields of electricity and magnetism. Nor did he set out to revolutionize the entire planet’s civilization. He was just a curious person, someone who delighted in nature, who was puzzled by how it works, and who wanted to understand it.

And this led to the economic basis of a world.

This story is lovely and wonderful, and was best told by Carl Sagan in his opus, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. I strongly urge you to buy and read that book; it’s magnificent, and many (including me) consider it Sagan’s best work. In one chapter, he talks about Maxwell and his equations, and it’s a paean to allowing scientists to study the Universe unfettered by politics (academic or governmental), allowing their imaginations to guide them.

In many fields of science there must be moral and ethical guidance, of course, but in theoretical physics it is the math and physics themselves that are the guide. Maxwell followed them and revolutionized a world. Einstein followed them and revolutionized our thinking about the Universe.

And today we celebrate the anniversary of both.

For science!

Although, in this case, one could quote Kenobi et al., 1977: “[A force] surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” While widely admired and quoted, many find Kenobi’s dabbling in mysticism a bit off-putting.

 To be fair, scientists before Maxwell knew that electricity and magnetism influenced each other, but Maxwell quantified it, defined it, and it’s from there that our modern power systems are derived.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Mary Reid


The Telegraph Travel section has interviewed Tim Farron about his holidays in their Celebrity Travel spot.

He reveals some distinctly non-celebrity holiday behaviour:

My wife, kids and I tend to have one foreign holiday a year, either in France or Spain – this year we spent two weeks in Andalusia – to get a bit of sun and spend some time together as a family. Most recently, I spent a few days on the Isle of Arran with my family during the half-term break.

When asked about childhood holidays he recalls:

We didn’t go away much when I was a kid. But I’ll never forget a couple of holidays in Wales – in Harlech and Fishguard when I was, respectively, about six and nine. We visited the castle on the first trip and I went paddling in the sea on the other. Happy days.

When I was 12, I went to Ibiza, before it was fashionable. … Another memory of that holiday, my one and only trip abroad as a child, is of playing on the Pac-Man machine in the bar. I also went fishing and caught something.

Is he an adventurous traveller?

Well, if your idea of being adventurous is walking to the top of Goat Fell, the highest spot on the Isle of Arran at just under 900m, the answer is “yes”. Mind you, after a walk like that, which I did during the recent half-term break, I always feel that I’ve earned a pint.

Tim claims he has never really had any luxurious travel experiences,

But I love travelling on the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao.

His favourite hotel is the Cairndow Stagecoach Inn on the banks of Loch Fyne, his favourite city is Granada, and St Kilda’s is on his bucket list.

Finally, Tim’s helpful advice to travellers is:

Charge your phone up before going away, and try not to spend all the time working if you’re travelling somewhere new. Make a bit of time to see and get a feel for the place.

* Mary Reid is the Monday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

Hang on a fucking minute - what?

Nov. 25th, 2015 03:06 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
I don't like the blogger who blogs as "Archbishop Cranmer" and "His Grace" and I trust him about as far as I could spit a medium-sized capybara. However, he's just posted this on his blog with a link to Twitter, and the emails he quotes in it are mind blowing (if true). READ THE DATES:

From: David Woolford [ ] Sent: 03 July 2015 16:10
To: Arun Arora <>
Subject: RE: Star Wars advertising

Afternoon mate,

I hope you’re well? Great catching up with you earlier.

Please could you fill out the attached form so I can get you on our system in order to draw up some paperwork?

Right, I’ve spoken to my boss and after a lot of toing and froing I’ve managed to get you a better offer. We’re offering 55% off if you were to sign this campaign off in the next 2 weeks. Obviously we need to move quickly to get the sign off anyway (the reel is 60% full for Star Wars already) but we’re extending this offer as a one off to incentivise an initial spend. This is the absolute limit of what we’re able to offer (I’m very surprised I’ve managed to get you this!) so let me know if you’re happy to go ahead, and I’ll put the paperwork together.


David Woolford
Agency Assistant

From: Arun Arora
Sent: 27 July 2015 19:34
To: David Woolford
Subject: RE: Star Wars advertising

It’s a yes from here
Can you call me tomorrow and talk me through what we need to do in terms of next steps ?
Speak soon

Rev. Arun Arora
Director of Communications

But a week later:

From: David Woolford
Sent: 03 August 2015 10:08
To: Arun Arora
Subject: RE: Star Wars advertising

Hey Arun,

Hope you’re well and had a good weekend?

Massive apologies for the delay in getting back to you, it’s been crazy here over the last few days! Just tried to give you a call but couldn’t get through but will try again in an hour or so.

Mate, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news, it looks like we’re going to be unable to carry your ad in our cinemas. Really sorry about this, as I know a lot of work has been put into the planning of this from both ends and it’s a really disappointing outcome for both of us. We initially thought it would be fine as long as the BBFC and CAA approved the copy (which would be more than likely). However, after our exhibition team spoke to our exhibitors themselves, Vue, Odeon and Cineworld have told us that they can’t carry any ads of a religious nature. It’s similar to the rules about political advertising- basically the exhibitors can’t be seen to have any manifesto or motive of their own, be it political or religious. Our hands are tied by these guys so it’s a massive shame and I’m pretty gutted about it, apologies again for any inconvenience this has caused.

Please give me a call if you have any questions about this or would like any more information.


David Woolford
Agency Assistant

On 26 Aug 2015, at 11:06, Andy Edge <> wrote:

Dear Arun,

I was sent an email by my Head of Brand Marketing, Delia Atkinson, this morning that you had sent to her a few weeks ago but seems to have been held in our email filter.

I’d be more than happy to discuss the DCM position on this as a Board Member of DCM but also as a member of the ODEON (UK & Ireland) management team. My contact details are below. I am travelling up to Manchester at the moment but could make a call later if you are free at all ?


Andy Edge | Commercial Director (UK & Ireland) ODEON Cinemas, St Albans House, 57-59 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QX


From: Arun Arora
Sent: 26 August 2015 11:08
To: Andy Edge
Subject: Re: Your Email.

Many thanks indeed for this email.
Would you be free anytime between 2-3pm today to talk ?
With many thanks

Sent from my iPhone


From: Arun Arora
Sent: 26 August 2015 18:19
Subject: Go Pray Update

I have just got off the telephone with Andy Edge Commercial Director for Odeon (who jointly own DCM with Cineworld) and a Board Member of DCM.
I go into some detail below as this note serves as an aide memoir of the conversation.
He began by saying that this was a straight decision on the basis that DCM had a policy which is that they don’t carry religious or political advertising.
I pushed a little on whether it was a “policy” given that this policy seemed to be unknown to their account executives.
I explained that at the outset of our negotiations with DCM we had clarified that as long as it had approval form the Cinema Advertising Authority there was no issue with DCM carrying the ad.
Andy suggested that the matter had been discussed by the Board of DCM at their q1 2015 meeting ahead of the General Election and they had decided that carrying political or religious adverts might offend people and they didn’t want to do that.
I (gently) raised the issue as to whether he can considered that the “policy” might not be legal given that it might be arguably discriminatory and used the B&B owners case as an example where businesses need to offer their services to all without discrimination.
He recognised the issue immediately, conceded that there had been no legal consideration of the policy, that it might not be so much a policy as a “steer” and that he could understand entirely where we were coming from.
He thought it was an interesting issue and volunteered that the cinemas might be offending people who had lost loved ones in road traffic accidents by carrying car ads and hence was alive to the “philosophical” nature of the decision and where lines had to be drawn. I suggested that this might be in a different category that “philosophical” given the legal requirements on businesses to offer services to all those covered by equality legislation on an equal basis.
He took the point and wants to works with us to resolve the issue.
He asked to see the ad letter we sent to the CAA which he will take to his managing director and discuss with her tomorrow.
He is keen for a resolution next week and we have booked a conference call to follow this up on 8.30 Wednesday morning next week.
We may yet be in the Star Wars ad reel.

On 8 September 2015 at 21:33, Arun Arora <> wrote:

Evening Andy
Wondering whether there had been any progress as yet ?
Would be very grateful for a response.
Many thanks

Sent from my iPhone


From: Andy Edge
Sent: 09 September 2015 09:37
To: Arun Arora
Subject: Re: Progress ?


One of the DCM Directors, Paul Maloney, has been looking into this and he told me yesterday that according to the ASA, as a media owner it is at the discretion of DCM as adverts that it decides to carry or not carry. I am also speaking to our legal council today just to check that it’s her interpretation too.

I have also spoken to Paul and said that I would like to discuss as an agenda item at our board meeting on Friday.


Andy Edge | Commercial Director (UK & Ireland) ODEON Cinemas, St Albans House, 57-59 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QX


On 14 September 2015 at 14:13, Arun Arora wrote:

Dear Andy
I hope this email finds you well.
I have a meeting this Thursday where I need to make some final decisions about the ad in terms of funding and would therefore very much welcome an update from the board meeting on Friday and update from your legal counsel.
Consequently I would be very grateful indeed if you might be able to update me on your decision whether to carry this advert or not.
With many thanks

Rev. Arun Arora
Director of Communications


From: Andy Edge
Sent: 14 September 2015 17:32
To: Arun Arora; Paul Maloney <>
Subject: Re: Progress ?


We did indeed discuss this at the board meeting as promised. I have copied Paul on this note so that he can give you the DCM policy situation so that you have clarity ahead of your meeting on Thursday.

I hope that all is well with you,


Andy Edge | Commercial Director (UK & Ireland) ODEON Cinemas, St Albans House, 57-59 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QX


On 15 Sep 2015, at 07:51, Arun Arora wrote:

Dear Andy
Many thanks for your email. It sounds like we are nearing some form of resolution.
Paul I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Many thanks


From: Paul Maloney
Sent: 16 September 2015 13:30
To: Arun Arora
Cc: Andy Edge
Subject: Re: Progress ?

Dear Arun,
I write further to your contact with one of our Members Andy Edge.
Having now fully looked into the matter, I am afraid that we will be unable to take forward the proposed Church of England advertising campaign.
As I think you are aware, DCM has a policy not to run advertising connected to personal beliefs, specifically those related to politics or religion. Our Members have found that showing such advertisements carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences. We at DCM had first-hand experience of this risk recently when we and our members received considerable negative feedback from audiences following our decision to allow both Yes and No campaigners to run adverts in the lead up to the last year’s Scottish independence referendum.
Having learned from this episode, as well as paying close regard to our obligations under the CAP Code and equality legislation, the Board of DCM took the decision not to run any advertising promoting any religion or political views in the future.
For this reason, we are unable to take your request forward. I know that this will come as a disappointment; however, I hope you can understand and accept the rationale for our decision.
Kind regards

Paul Maloney

Finance and Operations Director DCM


From: Arun Arora
Sent: 17 September 2015 10:21
To: Paul Maloney Cc: Andy Edge
Subject: Re: Progress ?

Dear Paul
Many thanks for your email.
You are right, of course, when you say this news comes as a disappointment.
You refer to “a policy not to run advertising connected to personal beliefs, specifically those related to politics or religion”.
Reflecting the spirit of openness and amicable (dis)agreement in which Andy and I have approached this matter I would be very grateful if you might send me a copy of the policy so that I can further understand the reasons for the decision. Whilst understanding your actions in relations to political campaigns following the comments you received after the Scottish referendum I am unclear where the link to religion comes in and am hopeful the policy will make that a little clearer to me.
I look forward to hearing from you.


From: Paul Maloney
Sent: 17 September 2015 18:23
To: Arun Arora
Cc: Andy Edge
Subject: Re: Progress ?

Dear Arun

Many thanks for your email. There is no formal policy document that I can share with you, but the policy is as set out in my earlier email, in which I also explained why it was adopted.
I am sorry not to be able to help further.

Kind regards


Paul Maloney Finance and Operations Director

The last email cited - with a date over TWO MONTHS AGO - is the last I have seen in the chain.

Over to you, I rather think, Church of England.

Are they covered by FOIA, anyone?

ETA If this turns into a contractual dispute, and the above emails are real, I can think of all sorts of juicy arguments which can be run. For instance: was DCM's offer still open at the time when the CofE purported to accept it? Fascinating stuff.


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Mat Bowles

October 2015


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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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