rashbre central: February 2021

Friday 26 February 2021

Blank cheque special purpose acquisition company

Now London is to become the global centre for SPAC.  I'd better buckle my swash ready for this buccaneering and casino lifestyle.

Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation 

The founder of a SPAC pools money from investors and may contribute to the SPAC to form a blank cheque company with the sole purpose of acquiring another company—or companies. 

The money raised through the IPO of a SPAC is put into a trust. The funds are held until the SPAC successfully identifies a viable merger or acquisition opportunity to pursue with the invested funds.

Investors may not have full knowledge of how their money will be spent, so they issue blank cheques to the SPAC. In turn, the SPAC must receive shareholder approval for all acquisitions and 80% of investor funds must be used in any single deal. If the SPAC fails to find a shareholder-approved deal within two years of creation, it is liquidated and the SPAC's founder loses the investment.

Blank Cheque Preferred Stock

Some companies may issue blank cheque preferred stock as a way to raise additional funds from investors without the need to first seek and obtain approval from shareholders. In order to create blank cheque preferred stocks, the company is required to amend its articles of incorporation to allow for the creation of a class of unissued preferred stock. 

In some cases, a public company may choose to issue blank cheque preferred stocks as a form of defence against a potentially hostile takeover bid. 

Tuesday 23 February 2021

the plush march of the cuddly machines

I'm writing a novel about the inventor from Coin, who gets tangled up in another adventure, which involves Artificial Intelligence and HCCI (Human to Computer, to Computer to Human Interfacing). 

It deals with some of the issues to make the HCCI work, as well as the march of militarised robotics. 

 I was looking at the Chinese systems, like the one that looks like an old-school petrol pump, but can be used for facial capture/surveillance. I noticed that the Chinese have another system like a kid's motorised car, and they were deploying it in Wuhan after the virus subsided so that they could yell at people not wearing face masks. 

 I wondered about humanising the systems so that they are more readily accepted, but then I saw the above cuddly toy, available in Wal-Mart and Giant in the USA. 

It's a cuddly toy replica of the Marty robots that are being deployed as aisle monitors in an increasing number of US stores. They say that the devices are only good at monitoring spillages, but it wouldn't take much to add a few cameras and Bluetooth scanners. I'm not sure how I'd react to one of these peeking around the aisle or coming toward me.
Oh yes, and there's another type that looks suspiciously like Daleks. I'll find a picture later.

Thursday 18 February 2021

I think I'm on another world

I'm writing a novel about artificial intelligence at the moment. 

I decided to merge the Coin novel's characters with the Triangle folk. 

I had sneakily left a trapdoor to achieve this in Coin, by the use of Amanda Miller and Grace Fielding who happen to know both sets of characters, so all it needed was something sufficiently dark to bring them into the same storyline. 

I described the story to my sister the other evening, but she remarked, "Hmm - you're not exactly selling it." 

Maybe it was the bit about rats? 

Or could it be that I couldn't remember the title of the novel, which I do tend to change about five times during the writing process? 

I can remember that Coin was called Harrier, then Coin Operated and finally Coin. 

This one has gone through several similar changes and its current working title is "an unstable system." I'll have to post the current cover design here too.  

I'm just on my way to Madrid for the Expo, and Kjeld is going to use some industrial theatre to present the scientific findings. 

They've even chosen a walk-on track, and its 'Another Girl, Another Planet,' by the Only Ones.

 I found the Coal Porters' acoustic version and couldn't resist putting it at the top of the post - and maybe the original by The Only Ones below:


Wednesday 17 February 2021


Well organised, friendly, efficient and effortless. Thank you, NHS.

Friday 5 February 2021


It seems strange that the discussion about Hotel quarantine is only just taking place. 

We were around London Heathrow almost a year ago. We'd booked into a hotel before a flight and a man in a tin hat came out of a booth when we arrived. He told us the hotel was closed and that we should go along the road to another one. I should have noticed that the windows to the hotel were boarded up.

In truth, I'd gone to the wrong Holiday Inn.

He handed me a piece of paper, which explained that the original hotel had been taken over by the NHS/Public Health England as was to be used as an isolation location for people suspected of carrying COVID-19 to the UK. 

I remember thinking at the time it was like something out of the X-Files.

Contextually, it was ahead of a lockdown or even general awareness of the COVID pandemic.

What happened to those early preparations?

Thursday 4 February 2021

Up to no good?

My latest novel is back from the printers earlier than I expected, so I now have Corrupt, by Ed Adams listed as a Kindle on Amazon and available also as a re-assuringly expensive paperback, although not available in that format until 6 April 2021.
This one is a political thriller about the corridors of power in Whitehall and some dreadful lobbyists, who try to make money via sleaze and corruption. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, they are even doing it by manipulating healthcare.
The baddie organisation in the novel is Brant, which is a subsidiary of Raven and they seem to be up to no good. Clare gets enlisted as an MP Researcher, to help Amanda Miller to investigate.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Snake in the Tunnel graphs

Interesting that the latest Public Health England/New York Times graph for the vaccinations shows the completion date of the total vaccinations for all adults between May 22 and June 18. 

Admittedly it is only the first of two jabs - with the second jab trailing at around 2,500 per day, but it is encouraging news. 

I'd previously reckoned on it taking 4 quarters to inoculate everyone, based upon about 11 million jabs in 3 months for annual flu vaccine, so this is considerablly faster.